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Venice is one of the most underrated beach towns to explore in Florida. Located right between Fort Myers and Tampa Bay, this waterfront city boasts some of the most stunning buildings and boulevards whose designs display the look of an Italian city. Some of the prettiest beaches in the United States are based here. Venice Beach is specifically one of the most popular in Sarasota County.

While the landscape is not as dramatic as the Italian Venice, like there isn't a Grand Canal sinking into the water, it's worth exploring. Vacationers will find magnificent gardens, shops, and trees in its historic downtown, which is also a great place to enjoy the city’s impressive architecture.


Things To Do In Venice, FL

Venice is a beach lover's paradise that spoils vacationers with smooth, sandy shores, clear blue waters, and epic ocean views. However, there are more fun things to do in Venice, Florida other than touring its beautiful beaches. This updated article highlights extra attractions in this charming coastal city.

Things To Do

From a bustling downtown area to pristine white sand beaches, Venice, Florida, is packed with fun, sun, and experiences for vacationers. Explore a bit of Italy in Florida with this ultimate travel guide to Venice.

1 Visit Caspersen Beach

Caspersen Beach in Venice Florida

Sunset over the rocky shore of the Gulf of Mexico at Caspersen Beach in Venice Florida

Located towards the end of the Venetian Waterway Park trail, Caspersen Beach is one of the best beaches to explore on the East Coast. One of the fun things to do here is hunting for prehistoric shark teeth, something an entire family would find enjoyable.

This beach boasts beautiful shorelines, some with white sand. Other shorelines are rough and rocky, making them unsuitable for lounging by the beach. Visitors will find shops selling various goods.

The best time to search for shark teeth at Caspersen Beach is during low tide when the shore is clear and the teeth are exposed.

2 Venice Theatre

 Venice Fishing Pier in Venice

Venice, Florida/US: Entrance to Venice Fishing Pier in Venice, Florida.

Another thing to see while in Venice, Florida, is the theater. Here, tourists can watch a show at a community theater, whether a high school production or an adults-only viewing of Rocky Horror Picture Show.

What makes this local theater shine is its dedication to the arts in southern Florida, where, a lot of the time: that is lacking. This is the perfect way to support local theater, as well as be entertained by amazing performers!

  • Tickets and hours: Visit the official website to check the calendar of events, dates, and ticket prices.

The Venice Theater puts on shows regularly, with local teens, adults, and even kids performing original and previously done musicals/plays.

3 Venice Municipal Beach

Venice (FL) municipal fishing pier
Venice FL: An image of two older male friends walking out on the Venice (FL) municipal fishing pier.

Venice Municipal Beach is one of the best beaches in the city, popular among locals and tourists. People gather here to admire its beautiful coral reefs and comb out its shores for shark teeth. The beach boasts numerous public amenities that make it a crowd favorite, from restrooms, concessions, and picnic areas to outdoor showers and a scenic boardwalk.

This makes it the perfect spot for a family day out. Visitors don't have to worry about the safety of their kids, as lifeguards are always on hand to monitor the situation.

Being a popular spot, parking is limited. This means that vacationers should have good planning to enjoy paradise. It might be a better idea to Uber/Lyft/taxi here because of the parking.

4 Nokomis Beach

Boardwalk to Nokomis Beach

Boardwalk to Nokomis Beach in Southwest Florida on the Gulf of Mexico in Nokomis Florida USA

Most popular with teenagers and young adults in their 20s, it’s also among the popular beaches, which means parking is limited. It offers diverse opportunities, including fishing and collecting shark teeth. Anglers can find a bait store near the North Jetty Park and a boat/canoe launch to set into the Atlantic waters.

The beach also features a concessions stand serving visitors everything from breakfast to lunch and dinner, which they can down with margaritas, a cold beer, organic juice, or even coconut water. Nokomis Beach also hosts weekly drum circles, which may be a fun "after-hours" event.

The Nokomis Beach Drum Circle is a fun family-friendly event where participants dance to the lively beat of drums in a show that lasts about an hour, give or take.

Related: 15 Things To Do In Destin: Complete Guide To This Dreamy Florida Destination

5 Historic Downtown Venice

historic old town of Italian city district, Venice
Venice, USA : Welcome to historic old town of Italian city district in Florida 

Another activity for travelers to Venice, Florida, is Historic Downtown Venice, a shopping and dining district comprising over one hundred independently owned businesses. Here, people can purchase local art, clothing, and other accessories while strolling along a historic, charming downtown area.

It's also worth noting that Historic Downtown Venice is merely a mile from the beach, so this could be a nice morning adventure before setting up in the sand.

Book a history walking or ghost tour of downtown Venice by a local guide for a more immersive experience when exploring the quaint neighborhood.

6 Detwiler's Farm Market

A market in Venice

Venice FL : Several tables covered with fruits and vegetables, with several people paying for their items in the background.

For anyone traveling to Venice who wants to immerse themselves in local events, the Detwiler's Farm Market might be the perfect way to spend the day.

Here, visitors can purchase fresh produce, see a butcher shop, a seafood shop, an Amish-style deli (full of meats & cheeses), a farmhouse bakery, and even an old-fashioned ice cream shop. There are so many great bites here!

  • Hours: Monday to Saturday, 8 am - 7 pm

The best time to visit Detwiler's Farm Market is soon after it opens and before the crowds start to build up. Otherwise, it gets very busy, and the experience can be taxing.

7 South Jetty Beach

Sun sets over people on the jetty


Sun sets over people on the jetty. Venice, FL

This is the perfect beach destination for travelers seeking a quiet spot away from crowds. Visitors need to walk about five minutes from Humphris Park across the soft sand to get to the beach. Of the beaches in the area, South Jetty is more of a local spot, which is why travelers may not experience so much traffic here.

South Jetty Beach boasts a diverse ecosystem, perfect for guests hoping to catch a glimpse of the Florida manatees. Also, bring binoculars to stake out various bird species and dolphins.

Related: 10 Of The Best Florida Beaches For Families

8 Venice Museum And Archives

The shops in historic downtown in Venice

VENICE, UNITED STATES: The shops in historic downtown in Venice, USA

This is a perfect spot for history buffs interested in learning more about the city's past. Located right in the heart of downtown, Venice Museum and Archives is housed in a building that dates back to 1927 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Vacationers will find exciting exhibitions, including those of the mid-19th century.

  • Admission: Free
  • Hours: Monday to Wednesday, 10 am - 4 pm

There are over 30,000 memorabilia to explore at the VMA, including photographs, objects, and archives that should make history enthusiasts feel right at home.

9 Venetian Waterway Park

Venice Florida near Interstate 75
Aerial photo of Venice Florida near Interstate 75 and Jacaranda. 

Like its Italian namesake, Venice is known for its striking canals and waterways. Venetian Waterway Park is the perfect place to experience this beautiful side of the city. This park follows the major Intracoastal Waterway, which divides the mainland from the coast.

Vacationers will find numerous gorgeous walkways leading to the downtown area. Sometimes, visitors get lucky and spot alligators swimming in the waterways.

  • Hours: 6 am - 8 pm

10 Venice Fishing Pier

Venice Fishing Pier
Photo by Robert Rasmussen on Unsplash
Venice Fishing Pier

Dating back to 1966, the Venice Fishing Pier is one of the most beautiful spots to explore in the city. It is free to access, which isn't always the case with other Florida piers.

There are many fun things to enjoy here, including the breathtaking ocean and sunset views, fishing, and exploring the food scene.

Travelers don’t need a license to fish on this pier.

11 Brohard Paw Park

Brohard Beach Sunset

Brohard Beach Sunset. Venice, FL

While most beaches in Venice don't allow dogs on their property, Brohard Paw Park is one of the dog-friendliest beaches in Florida, enabling tourists who brought along their furry friends to spend quality time on the beach. Dogs are free to run around unleashed on the soft shores and dip in the water.

Besides playing with their pets, guests can also access public amenities like picnic tables, restrooms, and a picturesque fishing pier for those hoping to catch the amazing sunset.

At Brohard Beach, birdwatchers will find a nice wetland area where several bird species converge to hunt for fish in the water.

12 Venice Area Audubon Rookery

Audubon Bird Rookery in Venice

Great Blue Heron chick with mouth open at the Venice Area Audubon Bird Rookery in Venice Florida USA

Nature lovers looking for a delightful outdoor space can head to Venice Area Audubon Rookery, where a tiny lake draws various species of nesting birds, such as great egrets, cattle egrets, blue herons, green herons, and tricolored herons. The tranquil atmosphere and fresh air also make it a perfect place to unwind and sightsee.

Guests can bring their cameras and find a quiet spot at the on-site pavilion to snap cute photos of the nesting birds.

  • Admission: Free
  • Hours: 6 am to sunset

The best time to watch the birds is early in the morning or just before sunset.

13 Jelks Preserve

Walking trail in Jelks Preserve

Walking trail in Jelks Preserve in Sarasota County in Venice FLorida United States

Home to over 8 miles of beautiful hiking trails, Jelks Preserve offers an excellent off-the-beaten-path adventure for visitors to the city. It is just about 10 minutes from downtown and perfect for those looking to take a break from the urban hustle and bustle.

The main highlight of the nature park is a 4.9-mile loop with benches, where guests can sit to watch different wildlife. Fortunately, a great portion of the trail is paved, which guarantees a comfortable experience for hikers of all skill levels.

  • Admission: Free
  • Hours: 8 am to sunset

Since the trail is low-lying, it is prone to floods during the rainy season, so travelers should wear waterproof walking shoes when visiting at this time.

14 Oscar Scherer State Park

Oscar Scherer State Park

A landscape in Oscar Scherer State Park, Florida, USA

Oscar Scherer State Park is an awesome outdoor area along South Creek teeming with lush greenery and calm waters. It hosts an extensive network of scrubby flatwoods and hardwood hammocks vital to the region's ecosystem. Lucky travelers have an opportunity to spot the elusive bald eagle, which nests in the trees during winter.

Several recreation opportunities exist at the park, including over 15 miles of trails that lead adventurers through the amazing park habitat.

  • Admission: $2 per pedestrian and bike, $5 per vehicle
  • Hours: 8 am to sundown

Visitors can rent a kayak or canoe near the park's campground for an enhanced experience when exploring the park, as South Creek is relatively easy to navigate.

Related: Not In Italy: The Ultimate Travel Guide To Naples & Things To Do

15 Best Time To Visit Venice, Florida

Venice, Florida
Image by Rolando Otero from Pixabay
Venice, Florida

Venice, Florida, is beautiful at any time of the year, but winter is the most popular time, thanks to the warm weather and clear skies. Being the most popular time of the year, the city gets busy and is filled with lots of visitors, mostly from Canada, the Northeast, and the Midwest.

Summer is less popular, which means vacationers will enjoy a quiet spot with lots of friendly locals. Beaches are less crowded, and it's easy to explore the city's attractions without spending much time in long queues.

  • Best time to visit: winter
  • Best time for thinner crowds and great deals: summer

Related: This Is The Best Time To Visit Manatee Park In Fort Myers

16 Best Ways To Get Around Venice, Florida

Venice, Florida
Image by profcalamitous from Pixabay 
Venice, Florida

Vacationers can get to Venice either in a car or an airplane and use the local buses and bikes to get around the city. The nearest airport is Sarasota-Brandenton International Airport, located 45 minutes away, and drivers can follow Route 41 or 1-75.

From the airport, tourists can choose to rent cars to get around Venice. There are several car rentals at the airport and in some locations within the city.

Buses are another option for getting around. The Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) operates the local and regional buses. Routes 99 and 215 travel from SQR Airport to the Downtown Sarasota Transfer Station.

Venice has beautiful roads, bike paths, and low traffic, making biking a great option for getting around, especially for vacationers visiting the city on a budget. Some of the most enjoyable biking routes are the twin bike paths in Venetian Waterway Park and the Legacy Trail between Venice and Sarasota.

17 Where To Eat In Venice, Florida

Venice Beach, Venice, Florida, USA
Photo by Tommaso Teloni on Unsplash
Venice Beach, Venice, Florida, USA

Venice, FL has tons of eateries to choose from, many inspired by international cuisine.

Breakfast in Venice

  • Croissant & Co: This is a French bakery selling homemade products prepared with fresh ingredients. They offer incredible breakfast and lunch menus, with salads, Croque, sandwiches, quiches, and cheese plates, among others.

Lunch in Venice

  • Suncoast Café: This café is one of the best in town, mainly because it offers the best view in town. Visitors can enjoy dining as they watch an aircraft landing or taking off from the beautiful airport. Their breakfast menu is extensive and includes French toast, corned beef hash, Cuban, burrito, and more.

Dinner in Venice

  • Tikka Indian Cuisine: This restaurant is perfect for vacationers into Indian food and prefers vegetarian-friendly, vegan, and gluten-free options in their diets.

Related: These Are The Best Steakhouses On The East Coast

18 Where To Stay In Venice

Nokomis, Florida
Image by J Griff from Pixabay 
Nokomis, Florida

Finding a spot to stay in Venice is easy enough; there are hotels and accommodations at various price points.


Best Western Plus Ambassador Suites Venice

Best Western Plus Ambassador Suites Venice is located only a few minutes from Gulf Beaches and puts vacationers in the middle of several facilities and outdoor opportunities.

Whether visiting the city for business purposes or enjoying the nearby golf courses. Ringling Museum of Art, Fisherman’s Village, and Siesta Key Beach are located nearby.

  • Address: 400 Commercial Ct, Venice, FL 34292-1647
  • Amenities: Outdoor pool, fitness center, free Wi-Fi, coffee machine, business center, Wi-Fi available in all areas, flat-screen TV, free toiletries, and meeting/banquet facilities.

Casey Key Resorts - Beachfront

This luxurious waterfront resort in Nokomis is excellent for beachgoers looking to make the most of beautiful city beaches. Casey Key Resorts is only three minutes from Nokomis Beach and less than 10 miles from North Jetty Beach, Caspersen Beach, and Venice Beach.

  • Address: 221 Casey Key Road, Nokomis, FL 34275
  • Amenities: Private beach, Free Wi-Fi, Tea/coffee maker, Coffee machine, Free parking, Flat-screen TV, Cable or satellite TV, Free toiletries, Internet, Pets allowed on request. Charges may apply.


Hampton Inn & Suites Venice Bayside South Sarasota

Hampton Inn & Suites Venice Bayside South Sarasota is situated on US 41 (By-Pass), and visitors staying here can enjoy shopping in the bustling historic downtown Venice. It comes with incredible amenities, including a complimentary hot continental breakfast, hairdryers, cable TV, and more.

  • Address: 881 Venetia Bay Boulevard, Venice, FL 34292
  • Amenities: Outdoor pool, fitness center, free Wi-Fi, coffee machine, free parking, business center, Wi-Fi available in all areas, flat-screen TV, and cable TV.

Inn at the Beach

A stay at Inn at the Beach spoils guests with front-row views of the ocean, thanks to its proximity to Venice Beach. It is also a short drive from other popular attractions in the city, including Nokomis Beach and Caspersen Beach. Furthermore, a 2-minute drive from the inn will take visitors to the Venice Theater.

  • Address: 725 West Venice Avenue, Venice, FL 34285
  • Amenities: Outdoor pool, Hot tub, Free Wi-Fi, Private bathroom, Complimentary breakfast, Coffee machine, Terrace/Patio, Air-conditioned, Flat-screen TV


Suntan Terrace

Staying in Suntan Terrace puts vacationers only a minute away from Nokomis Beach and nine minutes away from the stunning Venice Beach. There is parking onsite, but it’s limited.

  • Address: Nokomis, Florida
  • Amenities: Private beach, private pool, outdoor pool, kitchen, kitchenette, terrace/patio, balcony, outdoor dining area, air-conditioned, and coffee machine.

Island Breeze Inn - Venice

Travelers need not worry about breaking the bank when spending the night at Island Breeze Inn. This comfortable hotel, a short distance from Venice Beach offers decent amenities for the price, including an outdoor pool, a business center, and free parking.

  • Address: 340 Tamiami Trail S, Venice, FL 34285
  • Amenities: Outdoor pool, Free Wi-Fi, Coffee machine, Free parking, Business center, Wi-Fi available in all areas, Flat-screen TV, Cable or satellite TV, Free toiletries

19 Tips For Visiting Venice, Florida

Venice Florida
Image by caddmandew from Pixabay 
Venice chalk festival

There are a lot of advantages to visiting Venice, including plenty of parks to explore, a small-town feel, beautiful beaches, great fishing, and numerous biking trails. But there are certain things that vacationers should also know before they make their way into the city, including:

  • High cost of Traveling. Traveling to Venice isn’t going to be that cheap because the cost of living is a bit high.
  • The city is always overcrowded and has several snowbirds. Being overcrowded, traffic can sometimes be bad, or worse, especially during the busiest times of the year.
  • Public transportation is limited. Unlike other cities in Florida, Venice’s public transportation doesn’t offer many options for getting around.

20 How To Spend The Perfect Day In Venice, Florida

Venice, Florida
Image by Francesco Vignati from Pixabay
Venice, Florida

There are plenty of things to keep travelers busy in Venice. So, how can one spend a perfect day in the beautiful city of Venice?

Tourists can begin a beautiful day in Venice with a visit to the gorgeous Venice Fishing Pier. If spending only a day in this city, this a must-visit spot. The pier offers incredible views of Sarasota Bay and guarantees a great fishing experience.

From there, head to Abacoa Park, and enjoy the various recreational opportunities, including volleyball courts, basketball courts, tennis courts, and playgrounds for children. Head to Venice Beach, home to some of the most impressive beaches on the Gulf Coast. Here, travelers can enjoy the spectacular ocean views and the nearness of the pier.

In the evening, stroll downtown and explore the multiple attractions, including restaurants and shops. Vacationers can use this opportunity to sample Venice’s great cuisine.