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
White/Blue at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
1/2 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Waterlefe Golf & River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $21
Blue/ Red at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
3/1 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
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
The River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
2/3 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Creek/Oaks Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $27
Championship Course at Lakewood National Golf Club
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $25
Oaks/Marsh Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $27
Tatum Ridge Golf Links
Tee Times
Sarasota $20
Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $31
Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
The Meadows Country Club Sarasota $35
Misty Creek Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $13
Preserve Golf Club at Tara
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
First/Second at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $10 - $30
Buffalo Creek Golf Course
Tee Times
Palmetto $13
Second/Third at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $10 - $30
Estuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $32 - $89
Moccasin Wallow Golf Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $18.69
Charlotte Harbor National Golf Club
Tee Times
North Port $19
Bent Tree Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
Boca Royale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Englewood $12
Suncoast Golf Center
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Terra Ceia Bay Golf & Tennis Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $10
Manatee County Golf Course
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Riverwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $17
Sarasota National Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $39
Jacaranda West Country Club
Tee Times
Venice $12
Riverside Club
Tee Times
Ruskin $12
River Run Golf Links
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Third/First at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $10 - $30
Village Green Golf Club of Sarasota
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
Links at Greenfield Plantation Bradenton $14.95 - $34.95
Rolling Green Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Tributary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $32 - $89
Heritage Harbour Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Venetian Golf & River Club North Venice $90
The Palms Golf Club At Forest Lakes
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
River Wilderness Golf & Country Club Parrish $60
Peridia Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
The Groves Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $9
Sanctuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $32 - $89
Serenoa Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $17
Lemon Bay Golf Club Englewood $70 - $80
Gasparilla Inn & Club Boca Grande $125
Meadows/Preserve at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Champions Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Orange Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Hatchett/Meadows at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Harborside Red/White at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $55 - $162
Bird Bay Golf Course Venice $26
Palms Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $19.99 - $39.99
American Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $13 - $33
River Isles Golf Club Bradenton $13
Pine Valley Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $18.00 - $49.99
Capri Isles Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Bradenton Country Club Bradenton $70 - $75
Players Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $159 - $205
White Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $18.00 - $49.99
East Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Founders Golf Club Sarasota $95
Ritz - Carlton Members Club Bradenton $125 - $155
Harbourside Blue/Red at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $55 - $162
Gillespie Executive Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $9 - $20
Links Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $12.99 - $22.99
Royal Lakes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Hills Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $18.99 - $33.99
Stadium Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $197 - $205
Red Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Preserve/Hatchett at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Mission Valley Golf & Country Club Nokomis $30 - $45
Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club Sarasota $32.50 - $75.00
Lakes Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Greens of Manatee Golf Course Bradenton $16 - $32
IMG Academies Golf & Country Club Bradenton $30 - $69
Sorrento Par-3 Golf Course Nokomis $6
Gimme Course at The Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Key Royale Club Holmes Beach $14
Panther Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Pinemoor West Golf Club Rotonda West $14.02 - $49.99
West Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Venice Golf & Country Club Venice $75
Venice East Golf Club Venice $12 - $20
Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club Sarasota $36 - $88
Timber Creek Golf Course Bradenton $10 - $23
Eagle Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club Bradenton $13.85 - $16.00
Cypress Links Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Gleneagles/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Bobcat Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Sara Bay Country Club Sarasota $60
Sawgrass/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
British Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $13 - $33
King's Dunes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
The Resort at Longboat Key Club - Links on Longboat Longboat Key $55 - $162
Oyster Creek Golf Club Englewood $19 - $25
Calusa Lakes Golf Club Nokomis $30 - $70
Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Tara Golf & Country Club Bradenton $60
The Long Meadow Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $18.00 - $49.99
Harborside White/Blue at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $55 - $162
Coral Creek Club Placida $125
Duffy's Golf Center Port Charlotte $28
Heron Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Sawgrass/Gleneagles at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Gator Creek Golf Club Sarasota $100 - $124
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