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
Waterlefe Golf & River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $29
Oaks/Marsh Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $25
Creek/Oaks Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $25
IMG Academies Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $17
The Highlands Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $26.17
Tatum Ridge Golf Links
Tee Times
Sarasota $20
The River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $15
Marsh/Creek Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $25
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $25
Manatee County Golf Course
Tee Times
Bradenton $17
Suncoast Golf Center
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
Imperial Lakeswoods Golf Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $18
Sabal Trace Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $15 - $27
Jacaranda West Country Club
Tee Times
Venice $32
Peridia Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
River Run Golf Links
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Buffalo Creek Golf Course
Tee Times
Palmetto $21.5
Sanctuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $40
Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $29
Misty Creek Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $25
First/Second at Lake Venice Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $19 - $30
Second/Third at Lake Venice Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $19 - $30
Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $35
Stoneybrook Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $19.99
Links at Greenfield Plantation
Tee Times
Bradenton $17.99
3/1 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $52
Sarasota National Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $35 - $79
The Palms Golf Club At Forest Lakes
Tee Times
Sarasota $22
Bent Tree Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $20
Tributary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $40
The Meadows Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $35
2/3 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $52
Boca Royale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Englewood $17
Third/First at Lake Venice Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $19 - $30
Venetian Golf & River Club
Tee Times
North Venice $90
1/2 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $52
The Groves Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $15
Preserve Golf Club at Tara
Tee Times
Bradenton $15
Riverwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $25
Bobcat Trail Golf Club
Tee Times
North Port $21
Village Green Golf Club of Sarasota
Tee Times
Sarasota $11 - $24
Estuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $40
Terra Ceia Bay Golf & Tennis Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $10
River Wilderness Golf & Country Club Parrish $60
Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club Sarasota $55
Champions Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
White Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Oyster Creek Golf Club Englewood $19 - $25
Timber Creek Golf Course Bradenton $10 - $23
Lakes Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Sorrento Par-3 Golf Course Nokomis $7
Red Course at Gulf Gate Golf Club Sarasota $30
Sawgrass/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
King's Dunes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Panther Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66
Hills Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $18.99 - $33.99
Pinemoor West Golf Club Rotonda West $28.99 - $49.99
Harborside White/Blue at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $50 - $106
Venice East Golf Club Venice $12 - $20
Myrtle/Palms at Oak Ford Golf Club Sarasota N/A
Heron Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Sawgrass/Gleneagles at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
White Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $23.99 - $43.99
Venice Golf & Country Club Venice $75
Mission Valley Golf & Country Club Nokomis $30 - $45
White/Blue at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
Lemon Bay Golf Club Englewood $70 - $80
Eagle Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Preserve/Hatchett at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
The Resort at Longboat Key Club - Links on Longboat Longboat Key $50 - $106
Bradenton Country Club Bradenton $70
Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Palm View Hills Golf Course Palmetto $9 - $24
Harborside Red/White at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $50 - $106
Coral Creek Club Placida $125
Cypress Links Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Pine Valley Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda $23.99 - $43.99
Bobcat Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66
Calusa Lakes Golf Club Nokomis $10 - $58
Palms/Live Oaks at Oak Ford Golf Club Sarasota N/A
The Long Meadow Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $23.99 - $43.99
Red Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club Sarasota $36 - $88
River Isles Golf Club Bradenton $13
Gillespie Executive Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $7
Gasparilla Inn & Club Boca Grande $115 - $140
Tara Golf & Country Club Bradenton $60
Bird Bay Golf Course Venice $26
Harbourside Blue/Red at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $50 - $106
Duffy's Golf Center Port Charlotte $28
Links Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $12.99 - $22.99
Live Oaks/Myrtle at Oak Ford Golf Club Sarasota N/A
Greens of Manatee Golf Course Bradenton $30
Stadium Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $205
Hatchett/Meadows at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Blue/ Red at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
Meadows/Preserve at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Key Royale Club Holmes Beach $14
Pinemoor East Golf Club Rotonda West $20
Red/White at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
West Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Capri Isles Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Palms Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $19.99 - $39.99
Club Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $151
American Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $12
East Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Gleneagles/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Ritz - Carlton Members Club Bradenton $125
Blue Course at Gulf Gate Golf Club Sarasota $20
Serenoa Golf Club Sarasota $20 - $38
Sara Bay Country Club Sarasota $60
Orange Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Blue Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
British Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $12
Gator Creek Golf Club Sarasota $105
Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club Bradenton $13.85 - $16.00
Rolling Green Golf Club Sarasota $20 - $29
Founders Golf Club Sarasota $95
Royal Lakes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
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