Area Sports and Recreation

Michael’s Top Picks for enjoying sports and recreation in Sarasota

Sarasota Golf

With an average annual temperature of 72 degrees, Sarasota is the place for outdoor recreation. It’s a golfer’s dream come true, with over 30 courses throughout the county. In fact, Sarasota is home to nine of the Top 20 Southwest regional courses featured in Florida Golf News. Below is a list of semi-private and public courses.sarasota golf course

During the summer months many of the local private courses also permit public play, and I highly recommend purchasing The Big Summer Card if you plan on spending several weeks in the area, as this affords you special pricing at some of the area’s best courses.

Semi-Private and Public Golf Courses

Bobby Jones Golf Club, Sarasota, FL 941-365-4653

IMG Academy Golf Club, Bradenton, FL 941-758-1466

Legacy Golf Club, Lakewood Ranch, FL 941-907-7067

The Meadows – Highlands or Groves Courses, Sarasota, FL 941-371-0982

Preserve Golf Club at Tara, Bradenton, FL 941-756-2944

The River Club, Bradenton, FL 941-751-4211

Rosedale Golf and Country Club, Bradenton, FL 941-756-0004

Stoneybrook Golf and Country Club, Sarasota, FL 941-966-1800

Tatum Ridge Golf Links, Sarasota, FL 941-378-4211

University Park Country Club, Sarasota, FL 941-359-9999

Waterlefe Golf Club, Bradenton, FL 941-744-0393

Sarasota Tennis

longboat key tennis

Sarasota tennis is legendary! In addition to being one of the region’s favorite pastimes, Sarasota boasts a history rich in tennis. Did you know that famed tennis coach Nick Bollettieri called renowned Colony Beach & Tennis Resort on Longboat Key his home courts for many years before moving his world-class academy to the Bollettieri/IMG Academy location in nearby Bradenton? And tennis enthusiasts’ beloved announcer and writer Bud Collins also spent several months each year at The Colony and even hosted an annual international tournament there. Visitors and residents are often surprised to find themselves on an adjacent court to world ranked players warming up for championship tournaments, as many live in the area and others come because of the extraordinary facilities located throughout the area. USTA leagues are some of the best in the nation – men, women, senior and super-senior teams from the region boast national top rankings. While virtually every community, hotel and condominium have private courts, there are also some excellent facilities available for public play.

Public Courts

GT Bray Recreation Center, Bradenton, FL 941-742-5923

Longboat Key Tennis Center, Longboat Key, FL 941-316-8367

Payne Park Tennis Center, Sarasota, FL 941-861-8196

Siesta Beach Tennis Courts, Sarasota, FL 941-346-3207

Boating in Sarasota

sarasota boatingWhether your passion is deep sea fishing, angling in the flats, sailing in the calm Gulf and Bay waters around Sarasota, renting your own motorboat for a cruise to one of the many waterfront restaurants dotting the Intracoastal shoreline, or enjoying a leisurely tour with a cold beverage in hand, there is something for every lover of the boating.  Here are a few popular options to consider:

For its vast number of options for fishing enthusiasts, The Flying Fish Fleet something for just about anyone.

If you prefer to be your own captain for the day CB’s Saltwater Outfitters offers several types of boats to choose from.  They also have a terrific boutique if there’s anything you might have forgotten to bring along for your adventure on the local waters.

For sailors, Key Sailing with captain and first mate Tim and Jan on their stunning 41′ “Key Breeze” vessel, you’re sure to have one of the most peaceful journeys on Sarasota Bay…and Jan always has the best chocolates on hand!

Marina Jack II hosts individuals and groups for a luxury tour of Sarasota Bay.  With excellent cuisine and a full bar, plus air conditioned indoor spaces and a narrated tour, you can spend as much time as you like outside on deck, or viewing the beautiful Sarasota waterfront from a comfortable indoor seat.

For a more informal option for touring Sarasota Bay, check out LeBarge – a floating island. With real palm trees, music, a full bar and narrated tours including the daily “dolphin watch”, this a a fun and relaxing way to spend a few hours.

Sarasota Baseball

Since 1924 Sarasota has played host to professional baseball spring training. With 15 teams playing in the Grapefruit League around Florida, visitors and residents are sure to have a chance to watch one or more of their favorite MLB team play. Sarasota is home to the Baltimore Orioles who base is the beautiful Ed Smith Stadium. In nearby Bradenton, the Pittsburgh Pirates play at McKechnie Field.

And There’s More!

Adventure Kayak Outfitters – rentals and guided tours

Nathan Benderson Park – home of International Rowing Championships

Sarasota International Cricket Club

Sarasota Kennel Club – live Greyhound racing

Sarasota Lanes Bowling

Sarasota Lawn Bowling Club

Sarasota Polo Club

Scuba Quest

Sarasota Trap, Skeet and Clays

With so much to do, it’s hard to know where to begin. We’ve compiled this list of some of the most popular things to do in Sarasota…aside from enjoying activities along our waterways, beaches, and golf courses check out all of the options in our parks, nature and wildlife centers located HERE.