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
Tatum Ridge Golf Links
Tee Times
Sarasota $20
Waterlefe Golf & River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $15
Creek/Oaks Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $28
2/3 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
1/2 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 $13
The River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
3/1 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Oaks/Marsh Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $28
Championship Course at Lakewood National Golf Club
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $25
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Preserve Golf Club at Tara
Tee Times
Bradenton $9
Bobcat Trail Golf Club
Tee Times
North Port $13
The Meadows Country Club Sarasota $35
Serenoa Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $25
Bent Tree Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Moccasin Wallow Golf Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $21
The Palms Golf Club At Forest Lakes
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $16
Village Green Golf Club of Sarasota
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Second/Third at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $19 - $30
First/Second at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $19 - $30
Stoneybrook Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Manatee County Golf Course
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Suncoast Golf Center
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Rolling Green Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Peridia Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Misty Creek Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Tributary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40
Links at Greenfield Plantation Bradenton $14.95 - $34.95
Third/First at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $19 - $30
Buffalo Creek Golf Course
Tee Times
Palmetto $12
Jacaranda West Country Club
Tee Times
Venice $12
Estuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40
Boca Royale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Englewood $12
Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
Sarasota National Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $27
River Run Golf Links
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Terra Ceia Bay Golf & Tennis Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $12
Sabal Trace Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $23
Sanctuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40
The Groves Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $9
Venetian Golf & River Club North Venice $90
Riverwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $13
Palm View Hills Golf Course Palmetto $9 - $24
Hills Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $18.99 - $33.99
Red/White at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Duffy's Golf Center Port Charlotte $28
Pinemoor West Golf Club Rotonda West $15.99 - $26.99
Bobcat Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Lakes Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Calusa Lakes Golf Club Nokomis $30 - $70
American Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $13 - $33
West Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Panther Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Champions Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Eagle Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
IMG Academies Golf & Country Club Bradenton $25 - $68
Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club Sarasota $32.50 - $75.00
Preserve/Hatchett at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Founders Golf Club Sarasota $95
Gleneagles/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Royal Lakes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club Sarasota $36 - $88
Coral Creek Club Placida $125
Heron Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
British Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $13 - $33
Links Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $12.99 - $22.99
East Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Gillespie Executive Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $9 - $20
White/Blue at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
Oyster Creek Golf Club Englewood $19 - $25
Sawgrass/Gleneagles at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Harborside Red/White at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $53 - $173
Venice East Golf Club Venice $12 - $20
Sawgrass/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Bradenton Country Club Bradenton $70 - $75
Sorrento Par-3 Golf Course Nokomis $6
Mission Valley Golf & Country Club Nokomis $30 - $45
Venice Golf & Country Club Venice $75
Gator Creek Golf Club Sarasota $100 - $124
King's Dunes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Stadium Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $205
Ritz - Carlton Members Club Bradenton $125
Capri Isles Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Bird Bay Golf Course Venice $26
River Isles Golf Club Bradenton $13
Tara Golf & Country Club Bradenton $60
Meadows/Preserve at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Sara Bay Country Club Sarasota $60
Timber Creek Golf Course Bradenton $10 - $23
Red Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Key Royale Club Holmes Beach $14
Blue/ Red at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
The Long Meadow Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $23.99 - $43.99
Harbourside Blue/Red at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $53 - $173
Hatchett/Meadows at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club Bradenton $13.85 - $16.00
Gasparilla Inn & Club Boca Grande $115 - $140
White Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
The Resort at Longboat Key Club - Links on Longboat Longboat Key $53 - $173
River Wilderness Golf & Country Club Parrish $60
Harborside White/Blue 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
Orange Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
White Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $23.99 - $43.99
Cypress Links Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Greens of Manatee Golf Course Bradenton $16 - $32
Lemon Bay Golf Club Englewood $70 - $80
Palms Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $19.99 - $39.99
Club Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $151
Blue Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
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