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
Marsh/Creek Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $27
3/1 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Blue/ Red at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
1/2 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
2/3 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Creek/Oaks Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $27
Waterlefe Golf & River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $21
White/Blue at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
Red/White at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
The Club at River Wilderness
Tee Times
Parrish $60
The Highlands Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $8
Oaks/Marsh Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $27
Heritage Harbour Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
River Run Golf Links
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Charlotte Harbor National Golf Club
Tee Times
North Port $19
The Palms Golf Club At Forest Lakes
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Panther Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Terra Ceia Bay Golf & Tennis Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $10
Riverside Club
Tee Times
Ruskin $12
The Meadows Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $35
Jacaranda West Country Club
Tee Times
Venice $12
Venetian Golf & River Club North Venice $90
Duffy's Golf Center
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $28
Links at Greenfield Plantation Bradenton $17.99 - $29.99
Sarasota National Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $39
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
Village Green Golf Club of Sarasota
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
Boca Royale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Englewood $12
Peridia Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Preserve Golf Club at Tara
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Bent Tree Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
Serenoa Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $17
The River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Tatum Ridge Golf Links
Tee Times
Sarasota $20
Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
Riverwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $17
Buffalo Creek Golf Course
Tee Times
Palmetto $13
Misty Creek Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $13
Bobcat Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
The Groves Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $9
IMG Academies Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $30 - $69
Moccasin Wallow Golf Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $18.69
Manatee County Golf Course
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
River Isles Golf Club Bradenton $13
Commander Course at Lakewood National Golf Club
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $25
Greens of Manatee Golf Course Bradenton $16 - $32
Harbourside Blue/Red at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $58 - $164
Lakes Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Gasparilla Inn & Club Boca Grande $125
Lakewood National Golf Club - Piper Course
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $89 - $129
Timber Creek Golf Course Bradenton $10 - $23
Meadows/Preserve at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Hills Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $18.99 - $33.99
Lemon Bay Golf Club Englewood $70 - $80
White Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $15.00 - $43.99
Harborside White/Blue at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $58 - $164
Palms Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $19.99 - $39.99
The Long Meadow Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $15.00 - $43.99
King's Dunes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Calusa Lakes Golf Club Nokomis $30 - $70
Founders Golf Club Sarasota $95
Champions Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Royal Lakes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Red Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Sanctuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $32 - $89
Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club Bradenton $13.85 - $16.00
Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Capri Isles Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Key Royale Club Holmes Beach $14
British Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $13 - $33
East Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Tributary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $32 - $89
Cypress Links Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Sorrento Par-3 Golf Course Nokomis $6
Heron Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
First/Second at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $15 - $35
Venice East Golf Club Venice $12 - $20
West Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Pinemoor West Golf Club Rotonda West $10.28 - $26.99
Links Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $12.99 - $22.99
Gimme Course at The Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Second/Third at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $15 - $35
Pine Valley Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $15.00 - $43.99
Sawgrass/Gleneagles at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Harborside Red/White at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $58 - $164
Venice Golf & Country Club Venice $75
Tara Golf & Country Club Bradenton $60
Mission Valley Golf & Country Club Nokomis $30 - $45
Ritz - Carlton Members Club Bradenton $125 - $155
Gleneagles/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Gator Creek Golf Club Sarasota $100 - $124
Sara Bay Country Club Sarasota $60
Gillespie Executive Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $9 - $20
Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $31
Hatchett/Meadows at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Coral Creek Club Placida $125
Stadium Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $197 - $205
Oyster Creek Golf Club Englewood $19 - $25
Suncoast Golf Center
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Players Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $159 - $205
Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club Sarasota $32.50 - $75.00
Bradenton Country Club Bradenton $70 - $75
Orange Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Sawgrass/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Preserve/Hatchett at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Estuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $32 - $89
American Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $13 - $33
Third/First at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $15 - $35
Bird Bay Golf Course Venice $26
Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club Sarasota $36 - $88
The Resort at Longboat Key Club - Links on Longboat Longboat Key $58 - $164
Eagle Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
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