Living the Venice Lifestyle
Where to go, what to do, where to eat, shop and more. Discover all there is to love about living in Venice, Florida.
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Loving Living in Venice!
Located just a short drive south of Sarasota sits a little-known slice of paradise. A historic downtown with perfect landscaping, charming architecture, local shops and restaurants with al fresco dining.
While the historic downtown Venice offers much to be enjoyed, from the shopping and dining to the evening concerts in the parks, weekly farmers markets and local events, it’s the beaches that are the crown jewel of the area. There’s even a dog beach, one of the ONLY in Sarasota County (and a rarity in Florida!).
And don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled on the shores for fossilized shark teeth – as Venice is known as the Shark Tooth Capital of the World!
Outdoor enthusiasts love spending their time outdoors in Venice, with miles of walking and biking paths, including the Venetian Waterway and the Legacy Trail which goes all the way north to Sarasota. Parks such as Shamrock park offer a nature center and plenty of leisurely pathways as well, or head just north of Venice a couple miles to Oscar Shearer State Park for kayaking and camping.
The number of golf courses and country clubs in and around Venice is a golfer’s dream. And the brand new Cool Today Park is home to the Atlanta Braves Spring training facility! Head out there for food, drinks, games, and even outdoor concerts and a weekly farmer’s market!
It’s no wonder Venice is consistently voted as one of the top beach towns to live in the USA.
There’s So Much to Love About the Venice Lifestyle!
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VIDEOS About Living in Venice
Browse all of our YouTube videos about living in Venice. We’ve gathered our entire playlist here so you can easily watch them all!
Fun Things to Do in Venice
Even though Venice may seem like a laid-back beach town (which it is) there are plenty of activities for those who want to get out and have some fun! And even though there is a significant older population here, there’s something for everyone and every activity level, including families.
Downtown Venice always seems to have something going on, depending on the time of year. In addition to exploring the shops and restaurants, you’ll find frequent events around holidays including parades, markets, and evening concerts in Centennial Park. You may even notice local groups getting together for activities in the park such as “laughter yoga” – yeah that’s a thing! But outside of downtown and all around town you’ll find people out and about living #ThatFloridaLife to the fullest!
Some of the fun things to do in Venice include:
- Go Shark Tooth Hunting at any of the beaches! (LEARN HOW-TO HERE)
- Dine al fresco at one of the many restaurants all around town
- Enjoy the view from the Venice Jetty and spot dolphins and manatees offshore in the blue waters
- Do a bit of paddle boarding in the bay or out in the ocean
- If the waves are up, check out the surfers along Venice Beach or try out surfing yourself!
- Take a short drive outside of town to soak in the natural Warm Mineral Springs near North Port
- Have a sunset drink overlooking the water and listen to live music
- Rent some Jet skis for a thrilling time!
- Go on a scavenger hunt in downtown Venice to find all the hidden shark statues & learn about each species
- Do a bit of hiking and exploring at Oscar Shearer State park
- Discover treasures at the local antique markets and thrift stores
- Chat with friends over a cup of coffee or a wine flight and some snacks at a local wine / coffee bar downtown.
- Rent a boat / sailboat or book a boat tour, especially beautiful at sunset!
- Go kayaking along the bays and mangroves
- Catch an Atlanta Braves Spring training game just outside town at the new Cool Today Park!
- Oh…and of course there’s always just relaxing at the beach!
READ MORE: Things to do in Venice
Beaches in Venice and Water Fun!
While many beaches in Florida are primarily accessible out on barrier islands and over a causeway or bridge (causing traffic jams during peak times), Venice is unique in that it’s one of the few cities in Florida without a barrier island just off of downtown. People who live on “the island” as we say are able to walk, ride their bikes, or take a golf cart to multiple beaches up and down the shore. And if you hop in the car, you can access multiple other beaches within 5-10 minutes! Having lived in and visited many other parts of Florida, we have to say that Venice probably has some of the of the easiest access to some of the most pristine beaches in all of Florida!
Boating is a way of life for many around Venice, as the Intracoastal Waterway cuts around Venice Island connecting various bays. There’s some great fishing to be had along the Jetty as well as the Venice Fishing Pier. And while you’re out at the Pier, don’t forget to grab a bite out at the famous Sharky’s on the Pier with magnificent views of the ocean (and spectacular sunsets!).
Dining & Restaurants in Venice
There are many fantastic options for dining out in Venice and a variety of restaurants to suit different tastes and budgets. From the iconic Sharky’s out on the pier to upscale dining at Italian restaurants al fresco along the downtown main streets.
You’ll also find classic seafood restaurants overlooking marinas and quick service dining options all around town, even snack shacks at some of the beaches. There are also some great happy hour deals at many establishments and even a couple charming tiki bars!
Venice Wine and Coffee Company is a fabulous place to grab a coffee or have a wine sampling with some friends. They have indoor and outdoor spaces as well as light meals and snacks.
Don’t forget to grab yourself some gelato (Italian ice cream) at one of the few gelato shops around downtown! Or just outside of town is the famous Scoops where you’ll find an overwhelming menu of ice cream treats and other sweet desserts with a fun and funky vibe!
READ MORE: The Best Restaurants in Venice – From Locals! (bookmark this massive list, below is a summary)
Downtown Venice Restaurants
Historic Downtown Venice is lined with restaurants, many of which have outdoor seating options as well. But it’s not just Venice Avenue. Venture off to the side streets such as Tampa and Miami for even more restaurant options. There are a number of amazing Italian restaurants, but you’ll also find French Bistros, an Irish Pub, Turkish and Greek food and more!
Other Popular Restaurants in Venice We Love!
Beyond downtown Venice, there are dining options and restaurants near popular areas for visitors as well as for locals in many of the shopping centers around town. There are some chain restaurants in Venice, such as Bonefish Grill or fast food such as Culvers, but overall Venice has a lot less of these chains than most large cities.
Shopping and Markets in Venice
Historic Downtown Venice is where most visitors and even locals in Venice will go for a bit of browsing and shopping. There are some wonderful locally-owned stores where you can find some really great gifts and souvenirs…as well as some touristy gear too!
Every Saturday is the Venice Farmer’s Market – held in the morning until the early afternoon at the west end of Venice Avenue. The Farmer’s Market is great for finding some local fruits, veggies, artwork, crafts and snack foods. Grab something to eat and have a seat to enjoy the live music as well!
Venice has your typical shopping centers around town as well. But there are a few stores in particular that locals and visitors seem to enjoy most.
- Detweiler’s Farmers Market – open daily, this grocery store also includes a fresh deli, seafood, homemade ice cream, and an Amish bakery that is dangerously good! Many locals consider this the go-to place for meats and produce.
- Shark Frenzy – popular for visitors especially, this is a great place to get your shark tooth sifting gear and other fun stuff for the beach and souvenirs.
- Downtown Englewood – if you want to explore shopping and antiques outside of Venice then take a short trip south to Englewood and explore Dearborn street.
Outdoors, Parks and Recreation in Venice
One of the best things about living in Venice is being able to enjoy great year-round weather. All year long you can enjoy not just the water, but local parks, State Parks and more. No matter if you enjoy a more relaxed outdoor experience doing some birdwatching or sunbathing, or a more active lifestyle. There is so much to do in Venice for people of all ages, including families!
Popular Outdoor Activities in Venice Include:
- Enjoying the local Venice beaches!
- Going for a paddle on a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard
- Taking a motor boat ride
- Do some fishing! Casting your line out to catch some of the local fresh water or salt water is is a popular activity.
- Wildlife viewing! There are an abundance of exotic birds, manatees, dolphins, alligators, and so much more. We’ve even seen wild otters!
- Oscar Scherer State Park has a wonderful campground and plenty of lakes and trails
- Enjoy the Legacy Trail – a paved biking / walking / rollerblading path that goes all the way up to Sarasota!
- Have some fun at the local parks in Venice, like Shamrock Park with its nature center, ball courts, and walking / nature trails along the Intracoastal Waterway.
- Take your pup to the dog park or dog beach! There are actually a couple great dog parks in Venice, such as Woodmere Paw Park, but there is also Brohard Dog Beach where you can take your pet (unleashed is ok) to enjoy the water south of the pier!
- The Venice YMCA is a great facility that has huge pools that are great for lap-swimming. But they also offer classes (virtual classes too) as well as all sorts of activities for families!
- There are more than 50+ golf courses in Sarasota County alone! And Venice is home to a large number of public, private, and semi-private golf courses and country clubs.
Venice Festivals, Events and Music
Venice may be a relatively small town, but it’s big on festivals, events and live music. There’s live music being played all over town at many of the different restaurants any day of the week. During events downtown there are often musicians playing outside shops and restaurants and even concerts in the gazebo at Centennial Park downtown.
The Venice airport area just outside of downtown is home of the “festival grounds” where there are many festivals and events held throughout the year.
Some of the most popular events in Venice each year include:
- Shark Tooth Festival
- Italian Feast
- Suncoast BBQ and Bluegrass Festival
- Christmas in July
- Venice Beach Oktoberfest
- Venice Christmas Boat Parade
- The Chalk Festival
But it’s not just annual festivals. There are many local community events that happen regularly in and around Venice. For example, you may want to join Elin for FREE yoga on the beach during the week. There are also walking tours of different neighborhoods, and each Wednesday evening dog owners meet at the gazebo for a free doggie obedience training and walk around town!
From pancake feeds, and yes…laughter yoga! There’s always something fun going on in Venice for locals and visitors alike.
For more up-to-date information about specific events, festivals and live music in Venice, check out the Venice Main Street event calendar.
Arts & Culture in Venice
For being a relatively small town, Venice is big when it comes to arts and culture. While Sarasota is considered the heart of the arts and culture scene in all of Florida, Venice (which is just south of Sarasota) also maintains a similar distinction.
In fact, the Venice Community Theater is one of the largest and most active community theaters in all of the United States! The arts are also very much integrated into the school system and a part of the experience for many children in the area.
You’ll also find the Venice Performing Arts Center right next to Venice High School, where they regularly hold various productions and performances including the Venice symphony.
If you are interested in the history of the area and learning more about the local culture, check out the Venice Museum and Archives and the historic Venice Train Depot.
Real Estate in Venice
Check out some of the current homes on the market here in Venice. Feel free to browse around and even customize your search. You can also save your search for later and receive notifications for homes that come on the market that fit your criteria – so you don’t miss out on the perfect spot!
And if you are thinking of moving to Venice, don’t forget to check out our complete Venice Relocation Guide.