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From sea to shining seashore and beyond, Sarasota boasts home styles and neighborhoods that everyone can love.

When musician Jimmy Buffett penned the song, "I Have Found Me a Home" more than 25 years ago, he included this verse: "The days drift by, they don't have names, and none of the streets here look the same." It was a loving tribute to a dulcet paradise where the attitude is relaxed and a stimulating array of communities came in all shapes and sizes. For Buffett, the lyrics described his home in Key West, but today they suit Sarasota just as well.

That's because when newcomers get beyond our startling views of Gulf waters, they discover a variety of neighborhoods, housing styles and prices, from Spanish-style bungalows in historic neighborhoods to secluded waterfront estates and pristine golf course condominium communities.

So special is Sarasota that Money Magazine named it the best small city in America--and not just for the beaches. The average commute to work is a mere 18.4 minutes; public school students consistently outscore 95 percent of all Florida students on standardized tests; and a five percent job growth ranks Sarasota among the top 25 metro areas in the country.

The city has come a long way since the mid 1800s, when pioneer Bill Whitaker settled the first modern neighborhood of Yellow Bluff, near today's downtown. In 1910, Chicago socialite Bertha Palmer arrived and created a gracious estate called The Oaks. Then John and Mable Ringling roared in with the '20s, bringing a world-famous circus to town and constructing a palatial residence called Ca d'Zan. It was the beginning of an era when sophisticated Mediterranean shapes took over the landscape and established a series of distinctive neighborhoods.

In the '50s, an adventurous group of architects began designing a new kind of home in harmony with the landscape. Their work won worldwide fame and came to be known as the Sarasota School of Architecture. Characterized by flat roofs, movable walls and expanses of glass from floor to ceiling, the homes fit in with the tree and easy resort atmosphere. In the '60s, modest Florida ranch homes attracted many of the Northern retirees who were settling here in record numbers, and in recent years, elaborate, near-mansion-size homes have risen on many choice waterfront lots.

Today, Sarasota boasts home styles and neighborhoods for all sensibilities. Its fortuitous location along Florida's Gulf Coast ensures that each neighborhood is only minutes from a beach. In addition, recreational opportunities abound for those who enjoy world-class tennis, championship golf or international performing arts.

From townhouse to club home, waterfront estate to high-rise condo-minimum-whatever you're looking for, you will find it right here in Sarasota. Allow us to show you around.

THE OFFSHORE ISLANDS. "My old red bike gets me around, to the bars and the beaches of my town." So goes another verse in that Jimmy Buffett song, and there's no more suitable description of Sarasota's barrier islands. With their thick, salt-air breezes, lapping surf and swaying palms, they will always dominate the area's neighborhood choices.

The oldest is Bird Key, first inhabited by Ida Ringling North, only sister of the famous circus magnate. Dredging by a developer in the '50s enlarged the area to accommodate its growing popularity, and now it includes about 500 stylish, very private and distinctive homes. A neighborhood in the strictest sense of the word, Bird Key holds no commercial enterprises. Most of the older residences have undergone major renovations, and many are being replaced by luxurious new homes. The Bird Key Yacht Club hums as a social hub for boaters and for members ($420,000 to $4.95 million).

Just down the street from Bird Key, St. Armands plays host to a thriving community of about 225 homes that radiate from the famous circle of shops and restaurants. Because the circle's founder, John Ringling, once envisioned the area as a summer White House for Warren G. Harding, many of the streets are named for presidents, and most of the homes are within easy walking distance of Lido Beach. It's surprisingly quiet, despite its close proximity to such continuous activity ($425,000 to $3 million).

Just north of St. Armands lies Lido Shores, a narrow collection of palatial homes where residents share the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, New Pass or Sarasota Bay. The beach in this deed-restricted neighborhood is private, and the location makes it convenient to shopping, cultural and recreational pursuits ($200,000 to $6 million).

Crossing the bridge from St. Armands and Lido Shores takes you to Longboat Key, a 12-mile-long island of impeccably maintained neighborhoods that spans both Sarasota and Manatee counties. Best known for its resorts and assorted enclaves of villa and patio homes, the southern half of the key holds a glamorous array of luxury condominiums that overlook the Gulf. The northern half personifies "old-Florida" character with captivating bungalows, low-slung, tropical-ranch homes, funky beach cottages and compact seasonal apartments ($200,000 to $8.5 million).

At its north end lies Conrad Beach, recently named Coastal Living magazine's 2001 Community Development of the Year. This collection of single-family homes is being designed in a seaside architectural style by Frank Folsom Smith ($750,000 to more than $1 million).

The Longboat Key Club is a private luxury complex encompassing 1,000 acres; it is home to some of the area's most exclusive gated neighborhoods. The Resort at Longboat Key Club ($215,000 to $700,000) is a Four-Star resort that includes a mix of privately owned vacation suites and draws connoisseurs from around the world to its annual Florida Winefest & Auction. In Bay Isles, lavish homes and condominium units are securely tucked behind a privacy wall ($500,000 to $3.5 million).

At the tip of Longboat sits Lighthouse Point, a 13-acre tropical paradise (from $3.25 million). Most of the homes that share the manicured golf courses and bayfront views of Queens Harbour are already sold. Resales, however, are finally cropping up here. Expect to pay from $675,000 to more than $2 million.

Condominiums on the island are select and exclusive: The Water Club offers floor plans that take full advantage of magnificent views of the Gulf ($1 million to $3 million); The Grande houses eight units and offers spectacular views of sand and surf (starting at $950,000); Vizcaya is a collection of 32 sky homes that feature exquisite architectural details ($2.5 million to $4 million); Villa DeLancia celebrates Mediterranean architecture with tropical gardens and water views amid a select community of lust 38 condominiums ($700,000 to $2.5 million); and Tangerine Bay offers gorgeous views from $769,000 to $895,000.

Longboat Key's newest residential community, en Provence, is already sold out; units there sold from $2 million to $5 million.

Older neighborhoods hold their own among the glitz and glamour of Longboat--namely, Beachplace, Fairway Bay, L'Ambiance, The Pierre, the Players Club, Promenade, The Sanctuary ($775,000 to $4.5 million), Grand Bay ($500,000 to $1.4 million) and Longboat Cove, Longboat Terrace, Bayport and Seaplace. These residences offer traditional high-rise condominiums with panoramic views, garden apartments, mid-rise buildings and townhouses. All include luxurious amenities that are as reliable and convenient as they are beautiful. One of the few single-family neighborhoods is Country Club Shores at the south end of the key ($539,000 to $3.65 million).

While Longboat Key holds some of Sarasota's most affluent citizenry, Siesta Key's mote laid-back population enjoys white sand beaches and wooded pathways that epitomize the quintessential Florida way of life. In its center, Siesta Village is a bustling, cozy neighborhood market with an array of galleries, boutiques and energetic restaurants. Fishing is good throughout the year, and biking and boating provide much of the transportation. The flora and fauna are gorgeous, and the open shores present a dazzling collection of marine life that includes dolphin, live conchs, coquinas and sea rays.

The north end of Siesta Key offers convenient access to downtown Sarasota and boasts several neighborhoods tucked away amidst tropical foliage, including Norsota Way ($600,000 to $5 million), Cedar Park Circle ($1 million to $4 million) and Flamingo Street ($800,000 to $3 million). Two bridges provide access to the island. The north bridge is along Siesta Drive and the south bridge is at Stickney Point Road.

The mid-key is comprised of a mix of neighborhoods. Sandy Hook ($500,000 to $2 million), Siesta Isles ($350,000 to $750,000), Hidden Harbor ($750,000 to $2 million-plus) and Riegels Landing ($600,000 to $2 million) are diverse island communities and home to retirees, families, and seasonal guests.

Condominium communities on Siesta Key range from Dolphin Bay's 50 spacious residences ($600,000 to $900,000), to Casarina ($400,000 to $700,000), Excelsior ($200,000 to $500,000), Windward Passage ($500,000 to $1.5 million), Siesta Breakers ($500,000 to $1 million), The Terrace ($600,000 to $1.2 million) and The Gulf & Bay Club ($600,000 to $1.5 million). Each combines the best of private home ownership with the advantages of maintenance-free convenience.

Further south toward Turtle Beach are the condominium communities of Island Reef ($300,000 to $600,000), The Pointe ($250,000 to $390,000), Boca Siesta ($300,000 to $600,000) and Siesta Dunes ($400,000 to $1 million). The southern end of the key has its share of waterfront estates, but consists primarily of upscale residential communities, including the serene and private Sanderling Beach Club ($700,000 to $4.5 million), several resort complexes and high-rise neighborhoods.

New to Siesta Key, is Somerset Cay, an exclusive collection of 17 waterfront condominiums from the $500,000s.

Casey Key rounds out the island communities. This eight-mile stretch of paradise, flanked by Sarasota Bay on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other, still holds a few rustic wooden cottages dating back to the '20s. But most have been replaced by grand estates--some of which stretch from Gulf to bay and include separate guest quarters. The meandering, narrow road discreetly disguises this expensive, exclusive and extremely beautiful neighborhood ($315,000 to $9 million). Casey Key Estates offers 14 sites and homes inside a gated community with tennis courts and private beach (starting at $500,000).


From sparkling new designs to traditional favorites, the mainland communities of Sarasota offer something for everyone.

Cherokee Park is a beloved collection of traditional homes with big landscaped yards where children and pets play along wide streets. A respected elementary school, shopping, hospital and beaches are all nearby. This remains one of the hardest neighborhoods to buy in--many of the older homes have undergone major renovation, and a few have given way to larger versions of luxury ($450,000 to $1.5 million).

Harbor Acres is an older neighborhood prized for its waterfront lots and the ambience of its established, beautiful surroundings. The rare home for sale is snatched up fast and often remodeled or replaced by a lavish new structure. Consequently, this prestigious address houses some of the most coveted acreage and spectacular homes in the city ($475,000 to $3.8 million).

Between Orange and Osprey avenues lies McClellan Park, a lovely tree-lined neighborhood dating back to 1915. The architectural styles of the homes include Craftsman Bungalow, Spanish Revival, even English Tudor ($440,000 to $650,000).

Downtown Sarasota continues to expand living opportunities for those who love to be in the thick of things. The architectural and development team that created Vizcaya and en Provence on Longboat Key scores another hit with Beau Ciel, on the bay at Boulevard of the Arts. These luxurious condominiums feature 44 unique floorplans, each with private entrance and vistas of downtown and Sarasota Bay (from $900,000). Also planned for Sarasota Bay is Villa Serena, located between Sarasota Quay and the Hyatt, with 70 upscale units (including six penthouses) on a deep-water marina basin.

Located in the theater and arts district of downtown Sarasota, Tessera (from $700,000 to $2 million-plus) and its sister residence Sarabande (from $585,000) offer spacious apartments at a prestigious Palm Avenue address and commanding views of Sarasota Bay. Both are close to fine restaurants, bookstores, live theater, movies and much more. The historic Orange Blossom Hotel has been converted into seven intimate residences, each of which occupies an entire floor (from $825,000). One of the most coveted spaces on Sarasota's downtown bayfront is The Phoenix, on Golden Gate Point. These striking condominiums offer residents water views on three sides (from $1,115,000 to $2,725,000). The Phoenix joins the peaceful Golden Gate Point neighborhood, where older homes are being remodeled and where the up-and-coming Casa de Mayo will house 16 condominiums from $300,000 to $1.3 million.

Soaring above the North Trail across from the Van Wezel, the giant, Palm Beach-style Renaissance is now offering one-, two- and three-bedroom condominiums from the $200,000s to $600,000-plus.

Marina Tower, with its bay views, has shot up on Gulfstream Avenue with a prime location near the renovated Van Wezel and the galleries and boutiques of Palm Avenue. This limited selection of 42 luxurious condominiums will feature penthouses with grand balconies, valet and concierge service, pool, spa and recreation facilities. Eleven floorplans are available, from 1,770 to 5,100 square feet (from $500,000).

Also situated along Palm Avenue is Palm Avenue Villas, a gracious compound of elegant Mediterranean-style townhomes with a lovely courtyard and private parking ($269,000 to $345,000). Continuing the Mediterranean theme is Library Mews, a compact collection of 11 cozy townhouses in the immediate vicinity of the Selby Public Library on Cocoanut Street. Amenities include an entrance courtyard, parking garage and a roof garden that can accommodate a Jacuzzi. This is a hot property for young professionals and active retirees seeking the urban life ($280,000 to $340,000).

Downtown's revitalization extends to its older neighborhoods as well. Many of Laurel Park's original homes were built in the Craftsman Bungalow and Mediterranean Revival styles between 1900 and 1926. After decades of neglect, restoration projects are flourishing. One of the most successful is the artist colony of Towles Court, where a variety of painters and sculptors have converted aging bungalows into working studios that arc open to the public. The neighborhood's centerpiece is a beautifully maintained city park that provides a true urban gathering area for families ($100,000 to $300,000).

The hottest property downtown remains the future Ritz-Carlton, a luxury resort hotel that will devote its top floors to dazzling city residences. Homebuyers snatched up the 50 condominium units, which ran from $750,000 up to $4 million, and plans are already underway to expand into the adjacent Quay business park. Joining it soon will be The Tower Residences at the Ritz-Carlton, a similar community of spectacularly appointed condominiums overlooking Sarasota Bay.

West of the Trail and close to Sarasota Memorial Hospital is the increasingly popular community of Poinsettia Park, with its mature trees and streets with floral names like Datura, Bougainvillea, Rose and Magnolia. Along these streets, old Florida bungalows exist alongside restored rustic cottages and smallish stucco Mediterranean villas ($200,000 to $1 million). Mandarin Park is one of the first new developments to take advantage of this neighborhood's many traditional characteristics. Located near Bahia Vista, its 19 single-family homes have been designed in a Charleston townhome architectural style by Tangerine Development (from $265,000).

Further south, the Gulf Gate neighborhood presents carefully manicured lawns and neatly maintained classic Florida ranch homes. It is a favorite among young families and retirees for its moderate prices and convenience to major malls, schools, Siesta Key, churches, the Gulf Gate Golf Club and a bustling neighborhood collection of funky shops and boutiques ($100,000 to $300,000).

Two of Sarasota's most-traveled roads feature neighborhoods at reasonable prices: Just off a bustling Bee Ridge Road, Center Gate offers an older, established neighborhood from $140,000 to $299,000; also off Bee Ridge, Lake Sarasota features one older, non-deed-restricted area and a newer, deed-restricted collection of single-family homes (from $120,000 to $160,000); Cedar Hollow, off Honore south of Fruitville, is a real value with homes from just $110,000 to $140,000; Colonial Oaks, located between Honore and Cattlemen near Bee Ridge, is a family-oriented, established neighborhood with tennis courts, ball fields and an activity center (from $140,000 to $200,000); and Old Forest Lakes offers single-family homes from $275,000 to $500,000.

At Sunridge, a condominium community located just south of University Parkway on Royal Palm Avenue, lakes with fountains surround a community center with pool and activity room. These 94 two-bedroom, two-bath villas and three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath townhouses are a great value (from $86,900).

Also off University Parkway is Longwood Run, a tranquil area for some of Sarasota's most charming single-family homes, townhomes, garden villas and patio homes ($200,000 to $400,000).

The Sarasota bayfront currently boasts some of Sarasota's most sought-after neighborhoods. The historic area once called Yellow Bluffs is now the Sarasota Bay Club, a retirement community with every possible amenity, including health care facilities. The spacious apartments offer luxury and a convenient location between downtown and the museum area (from the $250,000s to $700,000s).

The area surrounding the Ringling Museum of Art exudes the history of its founders, John and Mable Ringling, the Caples family, and famous '20s architect Thomas Reed Martin. Martin designed more than 500 buildings in the county between 1910 and 1949, and Indian Beach Drive, Sapphire Shores and Bayshore Road are full of his signature Mediterranean structures. Many enjoy water views and nearly all are framed by lush tropical foliage and festive blooms. The older homes are undergoing renovations, and the more glamorous play host to dazzling designer showcases in the spring. Close to all these neighborhoods are Jungle Gardens, the Ringling Museum complex and the Florida State University Center for The Performing Arts, home of the Asolo Theatre Company and the Sarasota Ballet of Florida ($200,000 to $4 million).

Further inland, The Landings near Phillippi Creek is a newer neighborhood of large single-family homes and condominiums. It is home to a genial mix of active retirees and young families. Amenities include nature trails, pool and clubhouse, biking and more ($250,000 to $1.5 million).

Villa Rosa is a gated property located on Honore south of Bee Ridge. More Mediterranean architecture enhances a 16-acre lake, preserved, open spaces and amenities that include a fitness center, pool, spa and barbecue area (from $170,000s).

Award-winning builder Jade Homes is active in several desirable Sarasota neighborhoods: Green Tree on Sawyer Road offers single-family homes from the $170,000s; Laurel Lakes, a gated lakefront community on Tona Road, features amenities like tennis courts, a pool and fitness center (homes and homesites from the low $200,000s); the gated community of Palmer Glen has single-family homes from the $180,000s; and Chatwick Court has single-family homes on lakefront and thickly wooded lots from the $150,000s.

About two miles east of 1-75 and north of Fruitville Road, the gated community of Tatum Ridge lies adjacent to the Tatum Ridge Golf Course and features moderately priced single-family homes that range from 1,551 to more than 3,000 square feet ($140,000 to more than $250,000).

Oak Court is a private, gated neighborhood with mature oaks and located just minutes from downtown Sarasota ($190,000 to $225,000). The neighborhood also features a maintenance-free area of 64 homes with all the amenities of country living.

West of the Trail between Hansen Street and Kimlira Lane lie the quiet, private streets of Oyster Bay, an exclusive yet unpretentious neighborhood that dates back to the '40s. Situated near the historic Field Club, the homes of Oyster Bay are a comfortable blend of both modern and traditional architecture ($400,000 to $4.7 million).

Developed in the 1950s, Southgate is a sprawling subdivision of about 2,000 ranch-style homes. Some have added caged pools, and most have been updated to modern standards. This convenient neighborhood stretches from Hyde Park Street to Bee Ridge Road and from Tamiami Trail to Beneva Road. It is also home to the fashionable and upscale Southgate Plaza, featuring Saks Fifth Avenue, Williams-Sonoma, and Ann Taylor ($120,000 to $300,000).

South of the immediate Sarasota area, several new communities in Osprey are creating their own strong statements. The Eagle Point Club was originally owned by socialite Bertha Palmer and dates from 1911, when it was an elite hunting and fishing resort. In 1989, developers lovingly restored the clubhouse and some of the cottages, adding single-family homes in the island style. The attitude is secluded "Old Florida Key West," but the 21st-century amenities include deeded boat slips, a deepwater dock for serious boaters and metal roofs. Each home is custom-designed and built ($149,000 to $525,000).

Likewise, Hidden Bay has bright, spacious Key West-style homes with award-winning interiors overlooking Little Sarasota Bay (from $150,000 to the $250,000s).

Located south of Stickney Point and west of the Trail, Southpoint Shores is a waterfront community that offers a wide array of options and prices. Homes in this friendly neighborhood range from the low $200,000s for the interior homes to more than $1 million for those with spectacular bay views.

A newcomer of note is Sarasota Ranch Club. Set among 620 acres of grassy fields and rolling pastures and located 15 minutes from I-75 and 20 minutes from downtown, this unspoiled acreage is available for development in spacious 10-acre parcels. (Sites range from $100,000 to $225,000; homes range from $300,000 to $1 million.)

AT THE COUNTRY CLUBS. If golf is your game, Sarasota has more than 35 courses to whet your appetite. Combined with a stellar collection of tennis, boating and other recreational opportunities, it also has some of the finest country club communities in southwest Florida.

One of the most established country club communities is Bent Tree, a large neighborhood of families and young-at-heart retirees that enjoys all the urban amenities convenient to its northern neighbors. With mature trees, winding trails and lakes, it provides golf and tennis facilities as well as fine dining in the clubhouse ($200,000 to $800,000).

In Englewood, Boca Royale Golf & Country Club is a private gated neighborhood of single-family homes, most of them of one-story Georgian design, that attract professionals in their 40 and active retirees ($250,000 to $500,000).

South of Sarasota Square Mall, Calusa Lakes is characterized by heavily wooded homesites with lake and golf course views ($159,000 to $500,000-plus); and the Country Club of Sarasota just off Beneva Road offers elegant homes on the TPC Golf Course in Prestancia. This community also offers lakefront lots that are only minutes from Sarasota Square Mall (from $250,000 to $500,000).

New to the same area is Savannah at Turtle Rock, with maintenance-free homes from $190,000 to $260,000.

One of the state's most award-winning master-planned communities, Lakewood Ranch lies just east of I-75 on S.R. 70 and University Parkway. With more than 30 unique neighborhoods in five distinct villages, its hall-marks are miles of sidewalks and trails, beautiful lakes and parks, polo fields, excellent schools, shops and services, an athletic club and the Arnold Palmer-designed Legacy Golf Course. The main villages include: The Country Club; Edgewater; Summerfield Village; Riverwalk, from builder Lee Wetherington; and the just opened Greenbrook. Prices range from the low $100,000s to the millions.

The Meadows is Sarasota's first master-planned community and remains one of its most popular. A dancing fountain frames the lushly landscaped entrance of this Taylor Woodrow community, where single-family homes mingle with condominium neighborhoods. The architecture is eclectic, and the amenities include fitness trails, golf and tennis, swimming, horseback riding and more. It is also convenient to shopping, medical facilities and schools (from $100,000 to $600,000).

Taylor Woodrow is also developing The Villages of Palm-Aire, a master-planned community of three separate "villages" that revolve around the championship golf course at Palm-Aire Country Club. Maintenance-free, paired villas, single-family homes and estate homes have been designed by five of the areas top local builders. Amenities range from community pools to basketball and tennis courts, picnic areas and a children's playground (from the $140,000s to the $500,000s).

Near the Palm-Aire Golf Club, Florida's largest builder, Lennar, is creating the homes of Mote Ranch on the Braden River. This neighborhood offers large wooded homesites with conservation, golf or lakefront views (from $170,000 to $250,000).

Laurel Oak Estates and Country Club is a gated neighborhood of 813 acres of trees and lakes built around a 36-hole golf course designed by Gary Player. One of its most famous residents is tennis star Monica Seles, who plays on the club's professional clay tennis courts. Another amenity is the six-lane, competitive swimming pool. Grand scale homes in this prestigious neighborhood range from $400,000 to more than $2 million (for resales).

Once the estate of Mrs. Potter Palmer, The Oaks is a community in Osprey that spans both the east and west sides of Tamiami Trail. Majestic trees host nesting bald eagles within its three distinctive and upscale neighborhoods. Oaks I, on the west side, features large Georgian-style homes, many designed by noted architect Bo McEwen. On the east side, Oaks II offers single-family homes. Oaks club memberships include access to two 18-hole golf courses, Har-Tru tennis courts, croquet grounds and a junior Olympic swimming pool. The clubhouse is lavish, and the grounds are positively regal ($400,000 to more than $2 million).

The final phase of development at the Oaks is The Oaks Preserve, yet another Taylor Woodrow community of luxury condominium towers, elegant club homes and estate home sites. (Condominiums range from the high $300,000s to more than $1 million; club homes from $200,000.)

In the center of Sarasota County on 10,000 acres lies Palmer Ranch, a master-planned community of 27 different neighborhoods like Deer Creek and Marbell, all designed with America's small towns in mind. A perfect example is Rivendell, a nostalgic package of white picket fences, front porches and flower gardens combined with all of life's modern conveniences. Larger custom homes are available in the Village and Estate neighborhoods. A total of 380 acres blends 600 homesites with 225 acres of parks, lakes and woodlands. Rivendell is five minutes from Sarasota Square Mall, two minutes from Oscar Scherer State Park and three minutes from the beaches of Casey Key ($170,000 to $600,000).

Also located at Palmer Ranch is Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club, an Arthur Hill golf course surrounded by villas, condominiums and single-family homes. When not on the links, residents enjoy tennis, pool, fitness center and spa ($100,000s to $400,000s).

Plaza De Flores, a Palmer Ranch condominium, is one of the area's best values. Two and three-bedroom residences priced from $117,900 are sleek and inviting, with volume ceilings, large screened lanais, ceiling fans and covered parking.

The last of Palmer Ranch's initial 5,000 acres are being developed into apartments (Savoy), single-family homes (Hamptons and Stonebridge), luxury estate homes (Silver Oak), two continuous care retirement communities (ManorCare and Glenridge), rentals (La Venezia), condominiums (Botanica and PineStone, from the low $200,000s) and Village Walk, a collection of about 1,100 homesites and a town center off Honore Avenue (from $170,000 to $300,000).

Further south in Sarasota County, and home of two championship golf courses, including the prestigious Tournament Players Club, Prestancia encompasses some of Sarasota's most luxurious homes (from $250,000 to $1 million-plus).

Go further south, and Venice offers an impressive selection of country club living. Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club is a neighborhood of single-family homes, golf villas and luxury villas where residents enjoy fine dining in the clubhouse and championship golf ($130,000s to $400,000).

Located between Sarasota and Venice, Southbay Yacht and Racquet Club has more than 345 custom homes, a large clubhouse and one of the finest private deepwater marinas on the Gulf Coast ($200,000 to $1 million).

The popular Venice neighborhood of The Plantation Golf and Country Club blends custom and estate homes with villas, patio homes and traditional condominiums, all designed with open floor plans and island flair. Amenities include tennis, pool and fitness facilities, two restaurants and a 36-hole championship course that serves as the LPGA Qualifying School ($175,000 to $500,000).

Venice Golf & Country Club nestles six small neighborhoods of single-family homes amid nature preserves, lakes, tennis courts and an 18-hole championship golf course. The community spans 460 wooded acres and appeals to families with children and active retirees who love sports and appreciate quality facilities ($180,000 to more than $500,000).

Waterford is a combination of single-family homes and villas, some on the lakefront and some overlooking the 27-hole golf course, where streets are named after the famous designer's crystal patterns. Other delights include pool, fitness center and four lighted tennis courts (from $109,000).

Serenoa Lakes is a newer collection of 92 homesites being built along Serenoa Golf Course. The comfortable and scenic atmosphere is attracting a combination of retirees, families, and young professionals, who seek the solitude of country living along with a superior golf course. Homes with lake or golf course views range from $300,000 to $600,000.

Rounding out Sarasota's neighborhoods is University Park Country Club. Winner of numerous awards--including one for the best master-planned community in the country--this gated and private neighborhood in north Sarasota offers maintenance-free and custom estate homes. It also has a four-star golf course, tennis center, clubhouse, fine dining and a wealth of shopping. (Single-family homes from the mid-$200,000s; custom homes from $400,000 to more than $1 million.)
COPYRIGHT 2001 Clubhouse Publishing, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Haire, Pat
Publication:Sarasota Magazine
Date:Mar 1, 2001
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