Unless you travel to Florida with a group of friends solely interested in making the most of the fantastic variety of golf on offer, you are likely to have members of your party who either don’t like golf at all or would like to combine a round or two with some alternative activities, possibly cultural in nature. In these circumstances, the ideal location to set up base is the Sarasota area, where you can find excellent golf alongside some of the best cultural highlights that Florida has to offer.
Culture in Sarasota
Sarasota offers a full range of cultural delights, including a symphony, opera, ballet, a number of museums and in excess of thirty art galleries. The starting point for all this culture must surely be The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, beautifully situated overlooking Sarasota Bay, which houses a world class collection of Rubens as well as many other significant works of art. Another must is the astonishing Asolo Theater, originally built in Italy during the nineteenth century before being dismantled and rebuilt on the Ringling estate just before the second world war.
Sarasota also plays host to a number festivals and tying in your trip to take in one or more of these is a good way of enhancing your stay. The Sarasota Film Festival in early spring and the Sarasota Film festival in early winter provide all that a film buff could desire. The Sarasota Music Festival takes place in early summer and aims to showcase young musical talent, while the Ringling International Arts Festival, usually taking place in October covers a wide variety of music, dance, film and theater.
Well that’s the culture taken care of, what about the golf? Don’t worry there is no shortage of golf courses in the area and the following are just a few;
Tatum Ridge Golf links is a fantastic links style course, supporting abundant wildlife, as does the University Park Country Club. For a more challenging experience try the Bobcat Trail Golf Club, particularly the par-4 ninth hole with its difficult approach and unforgiving green. If you are an Arnold Palmer fan don’t miss the legacy golf club, with every hole appearing to be protected by water.