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More Things to Do in Venice, Florida

Updated on January 12, 2013
Downtown Venice has manicured palm-tree lined walkable streets.
Downtown Venice has manicured palm-tree lined walkable streets. | Source

Venice is a vacation and retirement community located directly on the Gulf of Mexico on the west coast of Florida. It is conveniently located 1 hour south of Tampa, 1 hour north of Ft. Myers, and 2 hours southwest of Orlando. It is a laid-back community without the hustle-and-bustle of the mega-metropolis of southeast Florida. It has white sand beaches, miles of hike & bike trails, and a gorgeous historic downtown with more than 100 shops, restaurants and coffee shops. Here are 10 fun things to do in Venice:

Venice is a charming small city on the west coast of Florida

A
venice, fl:
Venice, FL, USA

get directions

A
1600 Harbor Drive South Venice, FL 34285:
1600 Harbor Dr S, Venice, FL 34285, USA

get directions

Sharky's on the Pier is located directly on the beach.

1. Enjoy an Oceanfront Lunch or Dinner at Sharky’s on the Pier

Sharky's on the Pier restaurant is a Venice landmark located directly on the beach. The restaurant has sweeping beach views, a tiki bar, and is adjacent to the Venice Fishing Pier. It was selected one of Florida's Top Beach Bars. The lunch and dinner menus feature plenty of fresh Gulf seafood. Live musical entertainment is offered Wednesday through Sunday evenings.

2. Paddle an Inlet Waterway or the Gulf in a Kayak

Venice offers an abundance of waterways for kayaking. Paddlers can go for miles through interconnected waters including Roberts Bay, Dona Bay, Lyons Bay and the intracoastal waterway. Paddlers can also enjoy the wide-open views on the Gulf of Mexico. Paddlers can enjoy watching a variety of wild animals including dolphins, manatees, seabirds, and tropical birds.

Dogs can play off-leash at South Brohard Park

3. Play with Your Dog at the Dog Beach (South Brohard Park)

South Brohard Beach (aka: Dog Beach and Paws Park) is the perfect place to play with your dog. You and your best friend can frolick in the sand and waves, and your dog can run free with the many other dogs that visit this Dog Friendly Beaches Florida beach each day. There are also two fenced in areas for your dog, one for smaller dogs and one for larger dogs. The park also offers a dog-washing station so you can clean the sand from your dog's fur before you leave. Your dog will thank you for visiting!

The Sharks Tooth Festival is a Venice tradition

4. Attend the Shark's Tooth Festival

The Venice Shark's Tooth Festival is held each April to celebrate Venice's status as the Shark's Tooth Capital of the World. Venice holds this title due to the abundance of prehistoric sharks teeth that can be found on its white sand beaches. The Festival includes tents filled with genuine shark's teeth, marine fossils and seashells. You can also find artists selling their creations, live entertainment, and delicious food and drink.

There are free tennis, basketball and shuffle board courts downtown.

5. Play Tennis, Basketball or Shuffleboard Downtown

Venice maintains a glorious network of well-maintained public parks throughout the city. Some parks are best for quiet and passive activities, while others provide top-notch athletic facilities. Downtown's Hecksher Park offers tennis, basketball and shuffleboard courts. There are a number of ice cream eateries nearby to cool off after your game.

The Gazebo is the site of numerous outdoor concerts.

6. Enjoy a Free Outdoor Concert at the Gazebo

The Centennial Park Gazebo in downtown Venice is the site for outdoor musical performances throughout the year. There are parking and restroom facilities nearby. Concert goers can also get a bite to eat at one of the many nearby restaurants.

The intergenerational splash fountain is great fun for kids.

7. Splash Your Kids/Grandkids in the Intergenerational Splash Fountain

Your children or grandchildren will have a blast playing in the Intergenerational Splash Fountain at Centennial Park. Afterwards, treat them to an ice cream cone or candy from a downtown sweet shop. There are adjacent restrooms and nearby parking.

You can catch a live show in downtown Venice

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140 Tampa Avenue West Venice, FL 34285:
140 Tampa Ave W, Venice, FL 34285, USA

get directions

8. Catch a Live Show at Venice Theater

The Venice Theater at 140 West Tampa Avenue in downtown Venice is the third-largest community theater in the United States. It offers a constantly-changing schedule of live theatrical productions in various genre's that will suit nearly everyone's tastes.

The fishing pier is a great place to take in a sunset

9. Watch the Sunset from the Fishing Pier

The Venice Fishing Pier is arguably the best place to catch the elusive "green flash" that marks sunset. You can also see what fish are biting and, if you're lucky, watch a fisherman land a shark. Of course, just about anyplace along Venice's miles of beaches is also a good place to watch the sunset.

Nearby Siesta Key Beach was rated the Best Beach in America

10. Visit Siesta Key

Venice is only a short drive from Siesta Key Beach, which was recently voted America's Best Beach due to its blindingly-white sand. While visiting Siesta Key beach, take a stroll in Siesta Key Village where you can eat a delicious meal featuring fresh Gulf seafood or catch a live band.

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