Sarasota Golf Courses#7 in Best Things To Do in Sarasota
To many travelers, Sarasota may not be the first Florida destination to come to mind when thinking of a golf getaway. But golfers regularly seek out this city's championship courses. In fact, Sarasota is regularly referred to as "The Cradle of Golf" because of its abundance of top-notch courses. Noteworthy public clubs include Tatum Ridge Golf Links and Bobby Jones Golf Club, an 18-hole course that was originally designed by Donald Ross and opened in 1927. Or, pay for a membership to hone your skills at private clubs like Sara Bay Country Club, The Founders Golf Club and TPC Prestancia.
Visitors praise Sarasota's golf courses, though some did cite a few maintenance issues and wished courses like the ones at Bobby Jones Golf Club were a bit more challenging. Others lamented the amount of time required to get through some of the city's greens. Nevertheless, many reviewers rave about the courses' dining venues.
Most of Sarasota's golf courses can be found east or north of downtown. Bobby Jones Golf Club and Tatum Ridge Golf Links both sit along Fruitville Road, while Sara Bay Country Club is located by the airport. SCAT buses do not stop within walking distance of any of the courses, so travelers will need to arrange transfers or drive. Complimentary parking is provided at all of the area's golf clubs, and green fees start at $15 per adult. Reduced rates for juniors, twilight play and golfers who do not use a cart are available at many courses. Additional charges may apply for use of facilities like practice ranges, tennis courts and storage lockers. Several clubs also house restaurants and pro shops, and course hours vary by club. Check out Play Golf Sarasota's website to learn more about the area's golf courses.
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#1 Myakka River State Park
Considered one of Florida's oldest and largest state parks, Myakka River State Park stretches across 58 square miles of wetlands, hammocks, pinelands and prairies. The area also features a river and two lakes, making it a prime place to enjoy water activities like canoeing, kayaking and fishing. Or, visitors can tour the lakes via one of the attraction's airboats, which are the largest in the world. Land-based tours are offered seasonally as well.
Though some travelers caution that finding the park's entrance and parking near the lake's main activities can be a bit of a challenge, many agree that this scenic spot is a must-visit for nature lovers. All sorts of animals – including alligators, roseate spoonbills and armadillos – are known to frequent the area. What's more, the park offers nearly 40 miles of hiking trails – including one walkway suspended 25 feet above the ground – and several biking paths.
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