Known as “The Sharks’ Tooth Capital of the World”, Venice lives up to its Italian namesake with Renaissance-style architecture in its historic downtown. Antique shops, boutiques, and restaurants thrive in this vibrant area which offers an excellent choice of European and international cuisine.
With a spectacular coastline, Venice stands partly on an island, although few people notice the transition from the mainland as they cross the Blackburn Canal that connects the Intracoastal Waterway with Roberts Bay.
Parks and Beaches in Venice, FL
Venice has a series of beautiful sandy beaches, each with its own distinctive character and appeal. Casperson Beach on Harbor Drive has pavilions and a children’s playground bordering Red Lake. The currents consistently wash up fossilized sharks’ teeth on the beach and visitors can buy sand traps to sift the sand for teeth, shells, and other treasures. Learn more about hunting for sharks’ teeth.
Further north is Brohard Beach and Paw Park, a dog-friendly beach and dog play area, and the fishing pier nearby which is a great place for sunset drinks, al fresco dining, and live music after dark. Venice Avenue leads to the main Venice Beach which stretches north to the Venice Jetty. This is a favorite spot for fishing and surfing in Venice.
Nokomis Beach lies north of the Roberts Bay entrance, on Casey Key. It’s a popular place to find boat tours, sunset cruises, and fishing charters departing from the sheltered boat ramp. This protected stretch of Intracoastal Waterway is also ideal for jet skiing, kayaking, and nature spotting.
Family-friendly activities can be found in Centennial Park which has a water park and plenty of space for games and picnics. The gazebo is the focal point for outdoor jazz concerts. Snook Haven County Park also offers fishing, boating, canoe and kayak rentals and Myakka River State Park offers pontoon boat tours, tram tours, and a range of things to do on the river, lakes, trails, and canopy walkway.
Recreational Things to Do in Venice
Walkers, joggers, bicyclists, nature spotters, and rollerbladers are well-served in Venice with the Venetian Waterway Trail running either side of the Intracoastal channel, and the Legacy Trail paved recreational trail, a former railroad. See boats, birds, and even dolphins as you enjoy exercising in the fresh air.
As well as having access to the Gulf of Mexico, which is a prime location for sport fishing, Venice, Florida also offers freshwater fishing on the Myakka River. On the coast, Venice Fishing Pier provides excellent catches of snook, mullet, red fish, Spanish mackerel, pompano, and flounder. The bait shack provides pole rentals and no fishing license is required.
Historic Attractions in Venice, FL
Pick up a self-guided walking tour of Venezia Park which explores the subdivision of homes built in Mediterranean Revival style in the 1920s. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it includes the Historic Triangle Inn where many archives are kept.
A great way to learn snippets of Venice history is in Linear Park. The walkway has shady banyan trees, benches, and plaques with interesting information about Venice history.
Murals are another way to appreciate Venice attractions and historic charm. Wildlife, sealife, historic scenes, and even a circus mural show pride in local history.
Birding and Wildlife Attractions in Venice
Venice Area Audubon Society was founded in 1965 to protect and conserve the habitat for wildlife and migrating birds. It now offers educational tours, bird counts, field trips, and birding walks. There’s an excellent Bird Sanctuary, Butterfly Garden, Venice Rookery at the Welcome Center on Annex Road where you may spot alligators, raccoons, and owls as well as herons, egrets, and ibis during nesting season.
All these Venice attractions make the city popular with both winter snowbirds and summer visitors. In fact, Venice Florida was voted one of the “Top 10 Happiest Seaside Towns” by Coastal Living and is a hub for festivals and cultural events in the area.