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
White/Blue at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
Heritage Harbour Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Blue/ Red at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
Red/White at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
2/3 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Waterlefe Golf & River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $21
Creek/Oaks Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $27
The Highlands Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $8
Oaks/Marsh Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $27
1/2 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
3/1 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
The Club at River Wilderness
Tee Times
Parrish $60
IMG Academies Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $30 - $69
Charlotte Harbor National Golf Club
Tee Times
North Port $19
Jacaranda West Country Club
Tee Times
Venice $12
Venetian Golf & River Club North Venice $90
Manatee County Golf Course
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Timber Creek Golf Course Bradenton $10 - $23
The Groves Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $9
Sawgrass/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Panther Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Bobcat Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Village Green Golf Club of Sarasota
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
Moccasin Wallow Golf Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $18.69
Buffalo Creek Golf Course
Tee Times
Palmetto $13
Riverside Club
Tee Times
Ruskin $12
Tatum Ridge Golf Links
Tee Times
Sarasota $20
Boca Royale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Englewood $12
Serenoa Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $17
Gleneagles/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
The River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
The Meadows Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $35
Wellen Park Golf & Country Club Venice $99 - $149
Terra Ceia Bay Golf & Tennis Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $10
River Run Golf Links
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Misty Creek Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $13
Calusa Lakes Golf Club Nokomis $30 - $70
The Palms Golf Club At Forest Lakes
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
Riverwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $17
Sarasota National Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $39
Preserve Golf Club at Tara
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Duffy's Golf Center
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $28
Capri Isles Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Bent Tree Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
Sawgrass/Gleneagles at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Venice East Golf Club Venice $12 - $20
Peridia Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Links at Greenfield Plantation Bradenton $17.99 - $29.99
Hatchett/Meadows at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
River Isles Golf Club Bradenton $13
King's Dunes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Gator Creek Golf Club Sarasota $100 - $124
Harbourside Blue/Red at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $58 - $164
Pinemoor West Golf Club Rotonda West $10.28 - $26.99
Bradenton Country Club Bradenton $70 - $75
Gillespie Executive Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $9 - $20
Third/First 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
Red Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Suncoast Golf Center
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Meadows/Preserve at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Players Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $159 - $205
Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club Sarasota $32.50 - $75.00
Gimme Course at The Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Cypress Links Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Ritz - Carlton Members Club Bradenton $125 - $155
Tara Golf & Country Club Bradenton $60
Heron Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Tributary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $32 - $89
Lemon Bay Golf Club Englewood $70 - $80
Estuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $32 - $89
Second/Third at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $15 - $35
Stadium Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $197 - $205
Orange Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club Bradenton $13.85 - $16.00
Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Harborside White/Blue at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $58 - $164
Royal Lakes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Venice Golf & Country Club Venice $75
Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $31
Lakes Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Harborside Red/White at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $58 - $164
Preserve/Hatchett at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club Sarasota $36 - $88
The Resort at Longboat Key Club - Links on Longboat Longboat Key $58 - $164
Key Royale Club Holmes Beach $14
Hills Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $18.99 - $33.99
Commander Course at Lakewood National Golf Club
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $25
Champions Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Founders Golf Club Sarasota $95
Greens of Manatee Golf Course Bradenton $16 - $32
Championship Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota N/A
West Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Oyster Creek Golf Club Englewood $19 - $25
Palms Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $19.99 - $39.99
Sorrento Par-3 Golf Course Nokomis $6
Sara Bay Country Club Sarasota $60
Lakewood National Golf Club - Piper Course
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $89 - $129
Mission Valley Golf & Country Club Nokomis $30 - $45
The Long Meadow Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $15.00 - $43.99
Eagle Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Gasparilla Inn & Club Boca Grande $125
Links Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $12.99 - $22.99
Sanctuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $32 - $89
Coral Creek Club Placida $125
White Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $15.00 - $43.99
First/Second at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $15 - $35
East Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
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