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
1/2 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Oaks/Marsh Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $27
The Highlands Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $8
Waterlefe Golf & River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $21
Marsh/Creek Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $27
Tatum Ridge Golf Links
Tee Times
Sarasota $20
White/Blue at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
Creek/Oaks Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $27
The River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Blue/ Red at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
Championship Course at Lakewood National Golf Club
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $25
3/1 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Red/White at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
2/3 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Terra Ceia Bay Golf & Tennis Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $10
Sanctuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40
The Groves Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $9
Serenoa Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $17
Suncoast Golf Center
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Riverwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $17
Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
Peridia Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
First/Second at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $10 - $30
Jacaranda West Country Club
Tee Times
Venice $12
Links at Greenfield Plantation Bradenton $14.95 - $34.95
Venetian Golf & River Club North Venice $90
Third/First at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $10 - $30
Riverside Club
Tee Times
Ruskin $12
River Run Golf Links
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
The Meadows Country Club Sarasota $35
Boca Royale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Englewood $12
Estuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40
Second/Third at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $10 - $30
Stoneybrook Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Rolling Green Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $31
Tributary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40
River Wilderness Golf & Country Club Parrish $60
Preserve Golf Club at Tara
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Moccasin Wallow Golf Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $18.69
Sarasota National Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $39
Manatee County Golf Course
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Buffalo Creek Golf Course
Tee Times
Palmetto $13
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
Charlotte Harbor National Golf Club
Tee Times
North Port $19
Misty Creek Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $13
Bent Tree Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
Village Green Golf Club of Sarasota
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
The Palms Golf Club At Forest Lakes
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Gleneagles/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Venice East Golf Club Venice $12 - $20
Pinemoor West Golf Club Rotonda West $14.02 - $49.99
Bobcat Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club Sarasota $36 - $88
American Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $13 - $33
Mission Valley Golf & Country Club Nokomis $30 - $45
Champions Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Preserve/Hatchett at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Sara Bay Country Club Sarasota $60
Sawgrass/Gleneagles at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Lemon Bay Golf Club Englewood $70 - $80
Sorrento Par-3 Golf Course Nokomis $6
Venice Golf & Country Club Venice $75
River Isles Golf Club Bradenton $13
Harbourside Blue/Red at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $55 - $185
Gator Creek Golf Club Sarasota $100 - $124
Heron Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Orange Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
King's Dunes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Gasparilla Inn & Club Boca Grande $115 - $140
Red Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Duffy's Golf Center Port Charlotte $28
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
Key Royale Club Holmes Beach $14
Bird Bay Golf Course Venice $26
Hills Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $18.99 - $33.99
Eagle Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Meadows/Preserve at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Lakes Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Bradenton Country Club Bradenton $70 - $75
Tara Golf & Country Club Bradenton $60
Links Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $12.99 - $22.99
Oyster Creek Golf Club Englewood $19 - $25
British Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $13 - $33
Timber Creek Golf Course Bradenton $10 - $23
IMG Academies Golf & Country Club Bradenton $25 - $68
Cypress Links Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Stadium Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $197 - $205
The Long Meadow Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $18.00 - $49.99
Capri Isles Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
The Resort at Longboat Key Club - Links on Longboat Longboat Key $55 - $185
Coral Creek Club Placida $125
Greens of Manatee Golf Course Bradenton $16 - $32
Ritz - Carlton Members Club Bradenton $125
Hatchett/Meadows at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Sawgrass/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Royal Lakes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Players Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $159 - $205
Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club Bradenton $13.85 - $16.00
Harborside White/Blue 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
Gillespie Executive Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $9 - $20
Founders Golf Club Sarasota $95
Palms Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $19.99 - $39.99
Harborside Red/White at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $55 - $185
Calusa Lakes Golf Club Nokomis $30 - $70
Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club Sarasota $32.50 - $75.00
East Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
West Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
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