Winding down the pathway toward The Oaks Club, magnificent ancient oaks dripping with Spanish moss seem to wrap their arms around you. In the distance a stately Antebellum mansion with soaring white columns beckons. Once inside the clubhouse, an intoxicating atmosphere of Southern hospitality welcomes you. A graceful double staircase, beautiful flowers, warm rich woods and elegant fabrics are the final indication that you have arrived in Paradise!

The essence of luxury and comfort is the aura created by this wonderful community living “under the Oaks.” Celebrated for its sense of community and social calendar, this premier golf and country club is located in Osprey, just a blink from downtown Sarasota and beaches that are ranked among the world’s finest.

Enveloped in a lush thousand-acre tropical landscape, The Oaks Club is a private membership-required community created expressly for the very discerning. The Oaks Club offers lifestyle opportunities for all ages within three gated neighborhoods including waterfront estates, high-rise luxury condominiums, sophisticated town homes, golf course homes and maintenance-free villas.

“Life under The Oaks Club,” as described by Susan Greene, Director of Membership and Marketing, “is the result of a community of couples, families and individuals who are looking for camaraderie, security and a strong neighborhood spirit. Here they find a wonderful place to make friends and enjoy the lifestyle they have earned.” Families with children are often attracted to The Oaks Club by the exceptional educational opportunities nearby, headlined by the distinguished Pine View School for the intellectually gifted and the renowned Ringling College of Art and Design.

Susan continues, “Living at The Oaks Club is like being on a cruise ship – so many activities to choose from every day.” Among those activities are two 18-hole championship golf courses with an elite staff and first-rate pro shop, 12 lighted Har-Tru tennis courts staffed by USPTA-certified professionals and an active croquet court.

The Tavern at Oaks Club

No need is missed! Outstanding dining choices include three distinct dining rooms with three different menus (72 menu items in all). Options for dining include the Tavern with its “steakhouse feel,” the Grill, a casual spot to meet after the game and the Glen Room, the most formal dining room with traditional menu items such as dover sole, rack of lamb, and tenderloin. At The Oaks, even your golf clubs get VIP treatment – they are loaded and ready at your tee time and then cleaned and stored for you after your game.

This slice of Paradise has a remarkable cultural history; it was discovered and purchased after the turn of the century by Bertha Honore Palmer, a Chicago socialite, business woman, philanthropist and champion of women’s issues. She built a residence and wintered on an area of The Oaks Club property now known as Oaks Bayside. Her original gazebo and reflecting pond remain there, providing a unique centerpiece for the community.

Bertha Honore Palmer

The imprint of Mrs. Palmer’s attention to furthering women can still be felt within The Oaks Club community, where the Women’s Club membership is three hundred and seventy-five. Many of the tournaments held in this community are female-centered: the USTA Women’s $50,000 Pro Circuit Tournament, and the U.S. Women’s Open Qualifier.

As to what’s around this well-situated neighborhood – well, there’s a lot! The Sarasota beaches must be mentioned. Famous for their white sand, Nokomis and Casey Key beaches are visitor friendly and beautiful beyond description. Dr. Beach named Siesta Key, “America’s Most Beautiful Beach,” in 2011. A Sunday sunset on Siesta Key listening to the drum circle as the sun disappears is a not-to-be-missed experience.

Nature lovers will also enjoy the abundance of hiking, canoeing and kayaking at nearby Oscar Scherer and Myakka State Parks. History buffs, as well as their families, will not want to miss Osprey’s historic Spanish Point and baseball fans will find an exciting spring season with the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. When shopping therapy is required, you can check-in at Southgate Mall where occupants include Saks Fifth Avenue and Williams Sonoma or cruise over to the specialty shops on St. Armand’s Circle.