Destination Guide

Destination: Bradenton/Sarasota

The Bradenton-Sarasota region of Florida fits the definition of overlooked and underrated by both tourists and golfers alike.

That's a mistake on both accounts. This Gulf Coast destination, sandwiched by Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg to the north and ritzy Naples to the south, still offers the mild winter weather of the Sunshine State and attractions good enough to entice beach bums and golfers to visit year-round, but with a sleepier, small-town vibe.

Sarasota's best rounds come courtesy of the Arnold-Palmer-designed Legacy Golf Club at Lakewood Ranch and the Troon Golf-managed Sarasota National in Venice. There are a couple dozen more courses to consider, just be sure to save some energy for post-golf adventures.

Sailing and chartered catamaran and fishing trips are great day excursions on the Gulf of Mexico available in either city. Boaters can explore Beer Can Island.

The miles-long Siesta Key Public Beach ranked no. 1 in the world in 2011 by Dr. Beach for its soft, sugary-white sand, but the Venice Beach, Longboat Key Beach, Anna Maria Island, Bradenton Beach and Lido Key Beach are also revered shoreline spots for families and sunbathers.

Spoiled guests love the luxury of the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota and, across the Sarasota Bay on a thin finger of land, the Longboat Key Club & Resort, home to 45 holes of golf in Longboat Key.

Sarasota boasts a vibrant arts community. The paintings at the world-famous Ringling Museum of Art highlight the museum scene. John Ringling's Ca D'Zan Mansion, made of Venetian Gothic architecture, and the Ringling Circus Museum are intriguing, too. A nationally recognized opera house, ballet company, symphony orchestra and multiple theaters reside just a mile down the road from the Ringling complex.

Sarasota's quaint Towles Court art district comes to life with brightly painted wooden homes filled with galleries, shops and restaurants. Main Street is for strolling, whether you're on the prowl to eat, drink or shop. St. Armand's Circle across the Ringling Causeway is another hotspot.

Away from the hustle and bustle, the gigantic Myakka River State Park offers miles of hiking trails, campgrounds, cabin rentals, and airboat tours.

The Sarasota Jungle Gardens animal park showcases the Florida wildlife. For a different kind of migratory bird, check out Ed Smith Stadium, the spring training headquarters of the Baltimore Orioles. The stadium is fresh off a $31-million renovation completed in 2011. Up the coast, the McKechnie Field, home of the minor-league Bradenton Marauders, hosts the Pittsburgh Pirates spring training camp. Nick Bollettieri's Tennis Academy, where Andre Agassi honed his game, calls Bradenton home as well.

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Courses

Course City Rates from
Course City Rates from
Tatum Ridge Golf Links
Tee Times
Sarasota $26
The River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $11
The Highlands Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $14
3/1 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $30
The Palms Golf Club At Forest Lakes
Tee Times
Sarasota $23
Oaks/Marsh Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $30
1/2 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $30
Waterlefe Golf & River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $31
Championship Course at Lakewood National Golf Club
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $31
Creek/Oaks Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $30
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $18
2/3 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $30
Marsh/Creek Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $30
Jacaranda West Country Club
Tee Times
Venice $17
Sarasota National Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $26
Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $19
The Groves Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $18.69
Moccasin Wallow Golf Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $21
Terra Ceia Bay Golf & Tennis Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $15
Tributary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40
Suncoast Golf Center
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Bobcat Trail Golf Club
Tee Times
North Port $23
Boca Royale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Englewood $18.75
The Meadows Country Club Sarasota $35
Sanctuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40
Rolling Green Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $17
Peridia Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Links at Greenfield Plantation Bradenton $14.95 - $34.95
Estuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40
Village Green Golf Club of Sarasota
Tee Times
Sarasota $14
Venetian Golf & River Club North Venice $90
Misty Creek Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $22
Second/Third at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $19 - $30
Third/First at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $19 - $30
Riverwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $25
River Run Golf Links
Tee Times
Bradenton $13
Manatee County Golf Course
Tee Times
Bradenton $15
Stoneybrook Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
Preserve Golf Club at Tara
Tee Times
Bradenton $13
Buffalo Creek Golf Course
Tee Times
Palmetto $16
First/Second at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $19 - $30
Sabal Trace Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $23
Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $35
Bent Tree Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $16
Calusa Lakes Golf Club Nokomis $10 - $58
Gasparilla Inn & Club Boca Grande $115 - $140
Coral Creek Club Placida $125
Gillespie Executive Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $9 - $20
Gleneagles/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
White/Blue at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club Sarasota $32.50 - $75.00
Harborside White/Blue at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $53 - $173
British Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $13 - $33
Harborside Red/White at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $53 - $173
Bird Bay Golf Course Venice $26
River Wilderness Golf & Country Club Parrish $60
The Long Meadow Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $23.99 - $43.99
Blue/ Red at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
Harbourside Blue/Red at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $53 - $173
Cypress Links Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Blue Course at Gulf Gate Golf Club Sarasota $20
White Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Lemon Bay Golf Club Englewood $70 - $80
Sawgrass/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Greens of Manatee Golf Course Bradenton $30
Red Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Timber Creek Golf Course Bradenton $10 - $23
Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club Sarasota $36 - $88
Gator Creek Golf Club Sarasota $100 - $124
Red/White at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
Palms Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $19.99 - $39.99
Champions Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Sara Bay Country Club Sarasota $60
Sorrento Par-3 Golf Course Nokomis $7
Pinemoor West Golf Club Rotonda West $28.99 - $49.99
Duffy's Golf Center Port Charlotte $28
Blue Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Serenoa Golf Club Sarasota $20 - $38
IMG Academies Golf & Country Club Bradenton $25 - $68
King's Dunes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Pine Valley Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda $23.99 - $43.99
Royal Lakes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Lakes Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Eagle Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
River Isles Golf Club Bradenton $13
Stadium Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $205
Meadows/Preserve at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
West Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Panther Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Hills Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $18.99 - $33.99
Bradenton Country Club Bradenton $70 - $75
Founders Golf Club Sarasota $95
Sawgrass/Gleneagles at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club Bradenton $13.85 - $16.00
Venice Golf & Country Club Venice $75
Ritz - Carlton Members Club Bradenton $125
Tara Golf & Country Club Bradenton $60
American Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $13 - $33
Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Orange Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
The Resort at Longboat Key Club - Links on Longboat Longboat Key $53 - $173
Heron Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Hatchett/Meadows at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Key Royale Club Holmes Beach $14
Bobcat Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Club Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $151
Venice East Golf Club Venice $12 - $20
Mission Valley Golf & Country Club Nokomis $30 - $45
East Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Capri Isles Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Links Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $12.99 - $22.99
Palm View Hills Golf Course Palmetto $9 - $24
Preserve/Hatchett at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Red Course at Gulf Gate Golf Club Sarasota $30
Oyster Creek Golf Club Englewood $19 - $25
White Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $23.99 - $43.99
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