Sarasota is a dream golf destination for amateurs and professionals. It's no wonder! It offers more than 1,000 holes at public, semi-private and private courses. Its fame began more than a hundred years ago when John Hamilton Gillespie, a Scottish colonist, built the first golf course in Florida here in Sarasota. The nine-hole course was located in the heart of today's downtown near today's Golf, Links and Gillespie Streets. Nowadays, there are more than 30 public, semi-private and private golf courses throughout the county. You can play in the historical Bobby Jones Golf Complex designed by famed architect Donald Ross in 1927, or in private golf community at upscale Misty Creek Country Club built in 1989. Four local courses are in the top 100 places to play in the whole state. Fishing and water sports are your second top option for outdoors activities. Snook, tarpon, cobia, and jack cravelle are some of the catches in these waters. You can board any of the fishing yachts that will take you off-shore. You can always do some windsurfing, boogie boarding, snorkeling or ride motor scooters that you can rent at the beaches.

Myakka River State Park is a great destination for outdoor activities. In this 29,000 acre-park you will find alligators, vultures, and herons. Guided tours by foot, canoe, and kayak offer nature lovers an interesting look at wild cypress swamp, mangrove forests, and marshland.