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