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
Waterlefe Golf & River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $24
Preserve Golf Club at Tara
Tee Times
Bradenton $24
Marsh/Creek Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $30
Tatum Ridge Golf Links
Tee Times
Sarasota $40
The Highlands Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $20
The River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $25
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $29
The Palms Golf Club At Forest Lakes
Tee Times
Sarasota $25
Creek/Oaks Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $30
Oaks/Marsh Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $30
Rolling Green Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $25
Venetian Golf & River Club North Venice $90
Suncoast Golf Center
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
First/Second at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $19 - $30
Boca Royale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Englewood $28
Bobcat Trail Golf Club
Tee Times
North Port $35
Terra Ceia Bay Golf & Tennis Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $16
The Meadows Country Club Sarasota $35
Second/Third at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $19 - $30
Links at Greenfield Plantation
Tee Times
Bradenton $29
1/2 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $50
Misty Creek Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $22
Third/First at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $19 - $30
The Groves Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $13
3/1 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $50
Tributary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $49
Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $27
Bent Tree Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $19
Sarasota National Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $45
Sanctuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $49
Stoneybrook Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $17.5
Estuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $49
Buffalo Creek Golf Course
Tee Times
Palmetto $16
Village Green Golf Club of Sarasota
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Riverwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $29
2/3 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $50
Manatee County Golf Course
Tee Times
Bradenton $16
River Run Golf Links
Tee Times
Bradenton $19
Peridia Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Sabal Trace Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $23
Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $49
Jacaranda West Country Club
Tee Times
Venice $18
Capri Isles Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Links Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $12.99 - $22.99
The Resort at Longboat Key Club - Links on Longboat Longboat Key $53 - $173
Palms Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $19.99 - $39.99
Serenoa Golf Club Sarasota $20 - $38
Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Hills Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $18.99 - $33.99
Cypress Links Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
The Long Meadow Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $23.99 - $43.99
Coral Creek Club Placida $125
Timber Creek Golf Course Bradenton $10 - $23
Blue Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Champions Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
White Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Bradenton Country Club Bradenton $70 - $75
Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club Sarasota $36 - $88
Panther Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Heron Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Pinemoor West Golf Club Rotonda West $28.99 - $49.99
IMG Academies Golf & Country Club Bradenton $25 - $68
Stadium Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $205
Palm View Hills Golf Course Palmetto $9 - $24
Harborside Red/White at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $53 - $173
Hatchett/Meadows at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Orange Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club Bradenton $13.85 - $16.00
Ritz - Carlton Members Club Bradenton $125
Lemon Bay Golf Club Englewood $70 - $80
Key Royale Club Holmes Beach $14
Sawgrass/Gleneagles at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Championship Course at Lakewood National Golf Club
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $39
Preserve/Hatchett at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Founders Golf Club Sarasota $95
Royal Lakes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Bird Bay Golf Course Venice $26
Sara Bay Country Club Sarasota $60
Greens of Manatee Golf Course Bradenton $30
Club Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $151
Meadows/Preserve at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Red/White at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
Venice Golf & Country Club Venice $75
Harborside White/Blue at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $53 - $173
Red Course at Gulf Gate Golf Club Sarasota $30
Sorrento Par-3 Golf Course Nokomis $7
Gator Creek Golf Club Sarasota $100 - $124
Venice East Golf Club Venice $12 - $20
Tara Golf & Country Club Bradenton $60
Moccasin Wallow Golf Club Palmetto $30 - $49
Oyster Creek Golf Club Englewood $19 - $25
Gleneagles/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Calusa Lakes Golf Club Nokomis $10 - $58
East Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Gillespie Executive Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $9 - $20
Gasparilla Inn & Club Boca Grande $115 - $140
White/Blue at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
British Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $13 - $33
Red Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Harbourside Blue/Red at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $53 - $173
Sawgrass/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
King's Dunes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
West Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
White Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $23.99 - $43.99
Eagle Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
River Wilderness Golf & Country Club Parrish $60
Blue/ Red at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
Blue Course at Gulf Gate Golf Club Sarasota $20
Mission Valley Golf & Country Club Nokomis $30 - $45
American Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $13 - $33
Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club Sarasota $32.50 - $75.00
Bobcat Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Lakes Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Duffy's Golf Center Port Charlotte $28
Pine Valley Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda $23.99 - $43.99
River Isles Golf Club Bradenton $13
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