For the 4th beach in our series 17 Florida Beaches in 2017, we headed Venice Beach. Venice is a very ritzy but charming area. From local places to shop, to the Italian atmosphere, Venice is a little Italy.
Since this was our second time in the Sarasota area, we thought we knew what to expect. But, to my surprise, Venice Beach was very different from Lido Beach.
E Venice Ave/Center St.
There are two prime shopping spots in Venice. Right before hitting the beach, you can travel down E Venice Ave or Center St. to some local shopping. The town is absolutely adorable with a mixture of cobblestone sidewalks and Italian inspired architecture. But really, each building is a different color. It reminded me so much of Italy. Take a stroll down and enjoy a cappuccino and a cannoli!
Where to Eat
It might sound strange but the best place to actually eat in Venice was off the main ave, right next to Publix. I know what you are thinking, “why not eat on the beach?” Well, there is pretty much only one restaurant on the beach and I heard the burgers from this place are amazing. So, we had to try it. It is called BrewBurger and their burgers are fantastic! I got the Breakfast Burger, topped with bacon, cheese, and an egg on a GF bun (so excited about that). AND, they have a burger that is in between two grilled cheeses….Like seriously? the biggest burger I have ever seen. They also serve grouper, amazing coleslaw, loaded tatertots and more. I highly recommend coming here if you love food. Then, we have Sharkys on the Pier (the one restaurant on the beach). This place has such a fun atmosphere. It is directly on the beach, next to the fishing pier. Though we didn’t eat here, the locals kept telling us how amazing it was (and pricey so get ready to open your pocketbook). But the view is glamorous. They also line the outside of their restaurant with colorful lounge chairs!
Luckily, we were able to go to two different parts of the beach while we were here. For a more upbeat atmosphere, I recommend taking E Venice all the way down to the beach. Additionally, they have free parking and lots of different areas to park at. The sand is a mixture of gritty, shells, and fluff. Though the sand is not as great as Fort Lauderdale, it is still nice! Venice is known as the Shark Tooth Capital of the world. If you are lucky, you will be able to find a tooth or two along the coast. The best time to look is in the morning. We actually had more luck finding shark teeth and unique shells on the south side of the beach, near the Fishing Pier.
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For sunset, we headed over to the Fishing Pier, where you will find Sharkys. It is a fantastic view. You can stroll along the pier with a drink in your hand, or relax in the colorful beach chairs. We literally waited there for two and half hours for the sun to go down. The sunset was gorgeous, however, it did not beat the Lido Beach sunset. But having the pier in the pictures sure adds a nice touch.
Overall, Venice Beach was delightful. From the food to the atmosphere, Venice knows how to draw you in. I recommend taking a trip near spring time. The beach is less crowded and the weather is getting nicer. Though the wind can be a bugger, the sunshine keeps you warm. Moreover, the biggest difference between Venice and the other beaches is the amount of palm trees. Unfortunately, Venice Beach had little in that department, but it was still beautiful!
Have you been to Venice Beach in Florida? What are some of your favorite things?