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.

See also


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Courses

Course City Rates from
Course City Rates from
2/3 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $8
Championship Course at Lakewood National Golf Club
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $25
Waterlefe Golf & River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $8
Tatum Ridge Golf Links
Tee Times
Sarasota $8
Oaks/Marsh Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $28
3/1 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Marsh/Creek Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $28
The Highlands Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $17
Creek/Oaks Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $28
1/2 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
The Palms Golf Club At Forest Lakes
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
The River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $8
Preserve Golf Club at Tara
Tee Times
Bradenton $8
Suncoast Golf Center
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
Sanctuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40
Stoneybrook Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Estuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40
Boca Royale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Englewood $12
First/Second at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $19 - $30
Venetian Golf & River Club North Venice $90
River Run Golf Links
Tee Times
Bradenton $8
Sabal Trace Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $23
Riverwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $8
Second/Third at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $19 - $30
Buffalo Creek Golf Course
Tee Times
Palmetto $8
The Meadows Country Club Sarasota $35
Manatee County Golf Course
Tee Times
Bradenton $8
Village Green Golf Club of Sarasota
Tee Times
Sarasota $8
Bent Tree Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $8
Tributary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40
Moccasin Wallow Golf Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $21
Rolling Green Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $8
Peridia Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $8
The Groves Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $9
Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
Bobcat Trail Golf Club
Tee Times
North Port $11
Terra Ceia Bay Golf & Tennis Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $8
Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $8
Misty Creek Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $8
Jacaranda West Country Club
Tee Times
Venice $8
Links at Greenfield Plantation Bradenton $14.95 - $34.95
Sarasota National Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $20
Third/First at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $19 - $30
Duffy's Golf Center Port Charlotte $28
Red/White at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
Heron Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Sawgrass/Gleneagles at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Bird Bay Golf Course Venice $26
King's Dunes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Sara Bay Country Club Sarasota $60
White/Blue at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Blue Course at Gulf Gate Golf Club Sarasota $20
Club Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $151
Sorrento Par-3 Golf Course Nokomis $7
Ritz - Carlton Members Club Bradenton $125
Venice Golf & Country Club Venice $75
Mission Valley Golf & Country Club Nokomis $30 - $45
Blue/ Red at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
Gillespie Executive Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $9 - $20
British Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $13 - $33
Champions Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Sawgrass/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Preserve/Hatchett at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Cypress Links Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Oyster Creek Golf Club Englewood $19 - $25
Blue Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Venice East Golf Club Venice $12 - $20
Gleneagles/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
The Resort at Longboat Key Club - Links on Longboat Longboat Key $53 - $173
Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club Sarasota $32.50 - $75.00
Hills Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $18.99 - $33.99
Meadows/Preserve at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
White Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $23.99 - $43.99
West Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Calusa Lakes Golf Club Nokomis $10 - $58
Red Course at Gulf Gate Golf Club Sarasota $30
Gator Creek Golf Club Sarasota $100 - $124
River Isles Golf Club Bradenton $13
Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club Bradenton $13.85 - $16.00
Eagle Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Pinemoor West Golf Club Rotonda West $28.99 - $49.99
Key Royale Club Holmes Beach $14
Founders Golf Club Sarasota $95
Capri Isles Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Harborside Red/White at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $53 - $173
Harborside White/Blue at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $53 - $173
Bobcat Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
White Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Red Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
The Long Meadow Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $23.99 - $43.99
American Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $13 - $33
IMG Academies Golf & Country Club Bradenton $25 - $68
Palms Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $19.99 - $39.99
Bradenton Country Club Bradenton $70 - $75
Tara Golf & Country Club Bradenton $60
Royal Lakes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Lakes Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Hatchett/Meadows at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Links Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $12.99 - $22.99
Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club Sarasota $36 - $88
River Wilderness Golf & Country Club Parrish $60
Timber Creek Golf Course Bradenton $10 - $23
Stadium Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $205
Panther Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Coral Creek Club Placida $125
Orange Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Harbourside Blue/Red at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $53 - $173
Pine Valley Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda $23.99 - $43.99
Lemon Bay Golf Club Englewood $70 - $80
Serenoa Golf Club Sarasota $20 - $38
Greens of Manatee Golf Course Bradenton $30
Gasparilla Inn & Club Boca Grande $115 - $140
East Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Palm View Hills Golf Course Palmetto $9 - $24
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