Venice, Florida is a charming coastal town located in Sarasota County along the Gulf of Mexico. Most known for its beautiful beaches, large green parks, and historic downtown area, Venice boasts over 14 miles of white sandy beaches and the nickname “The Shark Tooth Capital of the World.”
In Venice you’ll find plenty of outdoor activities, beaches, boating and kayaking, amazing trails at Myakka River State Park, watersports, and a downtown area full of independently-owned shops, restaurants, and art galleries.
No matter what you love to do, you’ll find Venice, Florida to be the perfect escape from reality! Lounge away your worries in the sunshine and head back home feeling relaxed, rejuvenated, and fulfilled from your adventures.
Here are 13 things to do in Venice FL that you don’t want to miss!
LOUNGE AWAY YOUR WORRIES ON VENICE BEACH
Venice Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Venice. Here you’ll find soft white sands to relax on, and amazing views of the famous Venice Fishing Pier.
Spend the morning catching waves in the water or fishing off the pier. Then, spend the afternoon relaxing in the sand and collecting shark teeth, before taking a short walk downtown for dinner.
Venice Beach is the perfect place to lounge around, release any stress, and just enjoy the sunshine and the ocean.
STROLL CENTENNIAL PARK
When you see photos of Venice, Florida, chances are you’ll see the iconic gazebo at Centennial Park. This charming, ADA-friendly gazebo is the centerpiece of the park, and one of the most iconic structures in Venice.
In addition to concerts and events taking place here, it’s also a great place to take family photos or admire the view. There is plenty of greenspace surrounding the gazebo, making it the perfect place to read a book and relax. Bring lunch or dinner along with you — the picnic tables here make it easy to spend the day.
If you have little ones with you, they’re going to love the splash pad found here!
Centennial Park is located right next to the historical downtown area, so it’s an easy stop that you can’t miss while you’re downtown.
BRING FIDO TO BROHARD PARK
If you travel with a dog like I do, you have to bring them to Brohard Park! This park is just north of popular destinations, such as the Venice Fishing Pier and Sharky’s On The Pier restaurant. But most importantly, it is the ultimate dog-friendly destination in Florida!
Brohard Beach is the only dog-friendly beach in Venice where you can bring your furry companion out in the sun to go swimming and play in the white sands with you.
Within the park is Brohard Paw Park, which features two separate fenced in areas for small dogs and large dogs to socialize and get their energy out. The entrance to the dog beach is through the large dog area.
OSCAR SCHERER STATE PARK
Oscar Scherer State Park is a hidden gem located just outside of Venice with more outdoor activities to enjoy than you can imagine! Lake Osprey and the campground are the main draws to this park.
There are over 15 miles worth of hiking trails within the park and plenty of bike trails too. If you’re looking to cool off, be sure to head to Lake Osprey. This is an excellent destination for fishing, kayaking, snorkeling, swimming, and canoeing.
Booking a campsite here is a great way to extend your visit to the state park. You’ll find 104 equipped campsites, complete with electric and water hookups for tents or RVs.
DRINKS AND DINNER AT SHARKY’S ON THE PIER
There are many great bars and restaurants to try in Venice, but the best is Sharky’s On The Pier! This delicious seafood restaurant is located right on the water and features live music, fresh seafood, a casual ambiance, and a beautiful view. It is the best spot to visit after a day on the beach.
Stop by to dance your heart out and enjoy a cocktail while overlooking the ocean.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE AREA AT VENICE MUSEUM
My first stop in any town I’m visiting is to a museum where I can learn about local history. In my opinion, it’s the best way to learn more about the area that you are visiting and what you should keep an eye out for while you explore the town.
To learn more about Venice, stop by the Venice Museum and Archives. It houses over 30,000 photographs and artifacts related to the town of Venice, within a historic inn from 1927. You can view the permanent exhibits, take a tour of the Triangle Inn, and visit the gift shop to grab some souvenirs.
RELAX ON CASPERSEN BEACH
Caspersen Beach is not only one of the best beaches in Venice, but in all of Florida. At one and a half miles long, it is the longest beach in Venice, so you’ll have plenty of room. Caspersen Beach offers some of the best shelling opportunities in the state and is an excellent spot to find fossilized shark teeth. Take a stroll through the luscious palm trees to enjoy an off-the-beaten-path beach along the pristine waters of the Gulf Coast.
Leading down to Caspersen Beach is the Venetian Waterway Park, which is the perfect way to escape from the bustling city and explore the city’s waterways. This path follows all the major waterways in Venice, from downtown all the way to Caspersen Beach on the south end. Along the way, you’ll be immersed in nature, get to see beautiful views of the water, and spot wildlife.
RIDE THE FLAT BOTTOM BOAT AT MYAKKA RIVER STATE PARK
Myakka River State Park is one of Florida’s oldest and largest parks, and one of the best places to visit in Sarasota County! This park contains over 37,000 acres of nature to explore, and beauty at every single turn.
The first time you visit Myakka River State Park, I recommend parking at the north end, renting a bike from the concessions area, and exploring the park on two wheels. This allows you to experience the beautiful treetop canopies and listen to the sounds of nature in a much more immersive way than if you were in a car. It also allows you to pull off easier to explore all the attractions along the way.
Some of the best sights to see in the park are the Canopy Walk, Birdwalk Boardwalk, Log Pavilion, and the Crowley Museum and Nature Center. Pack a lunch to eat at the picnic area along Clay Gully Creek, or grab concessions from the Pink Gator Cafe.
Myakka River State Park contains over 39 miles of hiking trails, and is a popular spot for backpackers and kayakers.
One of the most unique experiences at Myakka River State Park is tour on a flat-bottomed boat around the Upper Myakka Lake. Tours take place several times throughout the day, and are 45-60 minutes long. During the tour, you’ll have a chance to see wildlife up close, and learn more about the state park. Tickets are first-come, first-serve.
There is so much to do in Myakka River State Park, plenty of wildlife to see, and nature to be explored, so be sure to plan a day to visit during your trip to Venice, Florida!
RELAX ON THE NORTH JETTY
North Jetty Beach Park is one of the best spots to visit in Venice for many reasons. It has a popular fishing pier where you can catch your lunch and eat it in one of the shaded picnic areas. You can relax on the beach while watching for unique birds and other wildlife, and also watch boats pass between the Intracoastal Waterway into the Gulf of Mexico.
If you have kids, they’ll enjoy the playground and volleyball courts. You’ll also find concessions here, lifeguards on duty, and paddleboard and kayak rentals.
SEE THE SUNSET ON SOUTH JETTY
The South Jetty is a long rock jetty located in Humphris Park, known for being the best sunset spot in Venice. It’s also a great place to surf, fish, and watch for wildlife, such as dolphins and manatees.
The sunsets in Florida are truly out of this world, and it is absolutely worth making a visit here every night you can to watch it. Enjoy the view of bright cotton candy colored skies while you watch boats entering and leaving the Gulf. Bring a blanket and some food to enjoy a picnic with the whole family at the end of a relaxing vacation.
EXPLORE DOWNTOWN VENICE
One of the best things to do in Venice FL is explore the historic downtown area. This charming neighborhood is full of moss-covered oak trees, lines of tall palm trees, and historic buildings dating back to the 1920s.
Taking a stroll along Venice’s Main Street brings you back to the old Florida that locals first fell in love with many years ago. There are over 100 independently-owned businesses lining the streets, including boutique shops, delicious restaurants, art galleries, and more.
Downtown Venice is only a mile inland from the popular Venice Beach, so it’s the perfect place to stop for dinner after a long day on the beach, or go shopping before heading to the coast for sunset.
RENT A KAYAK AT SNOOK HAVEN PARK
One of the best places to spend a day in Venice is at Snook Haven Park. This small local park is located along the Myakka River, and is a popular place for fishing, boating, and kayaking.
Rent a kayak or take a river boat tour during the day, and be sure to head to the Snook Haven restaurant in the evening. This legendary eatery was the filming site of the first Tarzan movie, and is well known for its fresh catches, live musical entertainment, and fun atmosphere. Stop by for a drink and some gator bites, river tour, or just a casual and fun evening on the water.
VISIT THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN AT VENICE AUDUBON SOCIETY
The mission of the Venice Area Audubon Society is to showcase the variety of wildlife (particularly birds) of the area, the environment they live in, and educate its visitors on the importance of conservation. The center hosts environmental programs throughout the year, and opens its doors to visitors during certain times of the year.
From September to May, bring your camera to the Butterfly Garden to view more than 22 species of butterflies and over 35 types of plants where they get their nectar.
From November to May, visit the internationally renowned Venice Area Audubon Rookery, where you can view many different species of birds during their nesting season. Every evening at sunset, you can watch the birds flock to safety on the island to rest for the night. It’s a beautiful place to watch birds and butterflies in their natural habitat, enjoy the sunset, and snap some beautiful pictures.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO FLORIDA
- YOUR FLORIDA VACATION
- TAMPA: 41 Amazingly Fun Things To Do In Tampa, Florida
- NAPLES: 14 Things To Do In Naples, Florida You Can’t Miss
- FL WEST COAST: 23+ Memorable Stops On Florida’s West Coast
- FORT WALTON BEACH: 17 Phenomenal Things To Do In Fort Walton Beach
WHERE TO STAY IN VENICE FL
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