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
Red/White at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
Blue/ Red at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
2/3 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
White/Blue at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
Oaks/Marsh Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $27
Waterlefe Golf & River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $21
The River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Creek/Oaks Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $27
Tatum Ridge Golf Links
Tee Times
Sarasota $20
1/2 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Championship Course at Lakewood National Golf Club
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $25
Marsh/Creek Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $27
The Highlands Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $8
3/1 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Manatee County Golf Course
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Suncoast Golf Center
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
Village Green Golf Club of Sarasota
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
Links at Greenfield Plantation Bradenton $14.95 - $34.95
Tributary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $46 - $66
Heritage Harbour Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Estuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $46 - $66
Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $31
River Wilderness Golf & Country Club Parrish $60
The Palms Golf Club At Forest Lakes
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Boca Royale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Englewood $12
First/Second at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $10 - $30
Riverside Club
Tee Times
Ruskin $12
The Groves Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $9
The Meadows Country Club Sarasota $35
Moccasin Wallow Golf Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $18.69
Second/Third at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $10 - $30
Sanctuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $46 - $66
Third/First at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $10 - $30
Charlotte Harbor National Golf Club
Tee Times
North Port $19
Bent Tree Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
River Run Golf Links
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Sarasota National Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $39
Buffalo Creek Golf Course
Tee Times
Palmetto $13
Preserve Golf Club at Tara
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Serenoa Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $17
Misty Creek Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $13
Peridia Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Riverwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $17
Jacaranda West Country Club
Tee Times
Venice $12
Rolling Green Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Venetian Golf & River Club North Venice $90
Terra Ceia Bay Golf & Tennis Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $10
Bradenton Country Club Bradenton $70 - $75
Meadows/Preserve at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Coral Creek Club Placida $125
Founders Golf Club Sarasota $95
West Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Links Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $12.99 - $22.99
IMG Academies Golf & Country Club Bradenton $30 - $69
Orange Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Palms Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $19.99 - $39.99
East Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Mission Valley Golf & Country Club Nokomis $30 - $45
Royal Lakes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Calusa Lakes Golf Club Nokomis $30 - $70
Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club Sarasota $32.50 - $75.00
River Isles Golf Club Bradenton $13
Sara Bay Country Club Sarasota $60
Oyster Creek Golf Club Englewood $19 - $25
Venice East Golf Club Venice $12 - $20
Hills Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $18.99 - $33.99
Gillespie Executive Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $9 - $20
Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Harborside Red/White at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $55 - $185
Stadium Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $197 - $205
Tara Golf & Country Club Bradenton $60
Hatchett/Meadows at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
American Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $13 - $33
Gleneagles/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Champions Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Heron Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club Bradenton $13.85 - $16.00
The Long Meadow Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $18.00 - $49.99
Sorrento Par-3 Golf Course Nokomis $6
Capri Isles Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Lemon Bay Golf Club Englewood $70 - $80
Panther Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
White Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $18.00 - $49.99
Eagle Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Gator Creek Golf Club Sarasota $100 - $124
Greens of Manatee Golf Course Bradenton $16 - $32
Sawgrass/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Gasparilla Inn & Club Boca Grande $125
Timber Creek Golf Course Bradenton $10 - $23
British Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $13 - $33
Key Royale Club Holmes Beach $14
Duffy's Golf Center Port Charlotte $28
The Resort at Longboat Key Club - Links on Longboat Longboat Key $55 - $185
Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club Sarasota $36 - $88
Players Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $159 - $205
Bird Bay Golf Course Venice $26
Sawgrass/Gleneagles at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Red Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Preserve/Hatchett at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Harbourside Blue/Red at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $55 - $185
Pine Valley Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $18.00 - $49.99
Cypress Links Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Venice Golf & Country Club Venice $75
King's Dunes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Bobcat Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Harborside White/Blue at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $55 - $185
Lakes Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Pinemoor West Golf Club Rotonda West $14.02 - $49.99
Ritz - Carlton Members Club Bradenton $125 - $155
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