Exuding “Old Florida” charm, Venice stretches across the Intracoastal Waterway to include its own small island community. From surfing to fishing, rock climbing, antique shopping and beachcombing for shark’s teeth, Venice offers its own quirky Florida experiences.
Things to do
Named after the famous Italian city, Venice mirrors its namesake with Renaissance-style architecture in the original downtown district. Stroll its historic streets to find antique shops, upscale boutiques and European cuisine. Stop by the Venice Museum & Archives to see photographs, artefacts and fossils.
Follow Venice Avenue down to the main Venice Beach and over to Venice Jetty. You’ll discover water-based activities, such as snorkelling, scuba diving, boat excursions and dolphin spotting. You can drop a line at the jetty for snook, pompano and Spanish mackerel or head over to Myakka River for freshwater fishing on a riverboat.
Amble along Venice Pier for sunset cocktails, dockside dining and live music. At Sharky’s on the Pier, you can hear “troprock” bands while sampling local brews and freshly-caught grouper. Another favourite seafood eatery known for its house-made bisque and shrimp is Dockside Waterfront Grill on the Intracoastal Waterway.
The currents at Caspersen Beach routinely deposit fossilised shark’s teeth onto the beach, lending Venice the moniker of the “Sharks’ Tooth Capital of the World”. Pick up a mask, snorkel and shark-tooth sifter at one of the shops along the waterfront to scoop up the ancient treasures.
The historic Venice Train Depot now serves as the central hub for local and regional buses. Bicycle hires are available, which are convenient for accessing beaches and cruising the twin bike paths in Venetian Waterway Park. Rental cars are available at Sarasota-Bradenton International, less than a 30-minute drive from Venice.
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