Staycation in Venice FL

My family and I enjoyed a quick staycation in Venice (Southwest Florida), and I’m excited to share a bit of our adventures with you. It was our first visit to the city, and I’m already looking forward to another visit soon!

Day 1 – Venice Beach

If you’ve never been to this area, you may find Venice Beach (and others like it) surprising. The landscape is not your every day Florida beach — it’s undeveloped, rocky and there are shells everywhere. This is also a great beach to visit in the colder months when you just want to walk the beach and do some shelling.

Venice is touted as the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World,” but we didn’t score any shark teeth on our visit — maybe next time!

Overall, Venice Beach is a very clean beach and the water was as expected for around that time of year (late winter).

Good Eats

Captain Eddies Nokomis

Our hotel was situated right between Venice and Nokomis (a city that borders Venice), so we had dinner at Captain Eddies, a seafood place, in Nokomis. Their tacos were great (we ordered the fish and the chicken). If not for the rain, we would have dined outside on their tiki patio. If you are an adventurous eater, you might like the grouper cheeks, hog fish or the frog legs, which are all on the menu.

Day 2 – Venice Fishing Pier, Affordable and Easy Family Fun

Papas bait shop venice fl

My dad loves to fish so we planned a day for him to go fishing at the Venice Fishing Pier. This was the first time my kids had gone fishing, and I didn’t know if they would like it, but they did.

It’s convenient that you do not need a fishing license to fish on the pier (the City of Venice covers the tab when fishing on the pier). Just show up and cast your line!

You can rent poles and purchase bait all at the pier. The bait shop is called Papa’s Bait Shop. The folks there are so nice and helpful. At one point we realized we needed a smaller hook on the pole we rented, and the gentleman working there kindly switched our hook for us.

Costs: At the time of our trip it was $15 per pole for an all day rental, $25 refundable deposit or you can leave your drivers license. It’s $4 for a bag of shrimp bait, which was enough for us to catch a bait fish.

Not just catch and release: The pier offers plenty of fish cleaning stations with fresh water to prepare your fish to take home for dinner.

Our total fish count for the day: five!

Good Eats

The Pavilion Grill – I’ve got to admit at first I was a bit thrown off as it’s a steakhouse and seafood restaurant in addition to a Thai restaurant. But the Thai food was great, and my dad loved his sea bass. The atmosphere is like a high end streak house, but the prices were reasonable. I dined on the ginger chicken delight which was delicious!

Looked great and tasted even better! This was the chicken ginger delight.

Bob’s Twist-N-Shake Ice Cream we made this our dessert spot. They make their own Italian ice, which was amazing.

Day 3 – Siesta Key & a Sunset Cruise

This beach is absolutely amazing.

If you’re in the Venice area for more than a day, I highly recommend checking out Siesta Key one of Florida’s best beaches and a favorite of mine. It’s only about twenty to thirty minutes north of Venice. Arrive early for good parking options.

We headed back midday to rest up and get ready for our sunset cruise which we reserved through Lebarge Tropical Cruises in Sarasota.

Our cruise took off at 7:00pm and was about two-hours out in the Gulf of Mexico. Not only were the homes along the coast stunning and the sunset magnificent, the entertainer on board was wonderful!

Cost: $28 per person. The ship offers its own small bites menu and signature beverages for purchase.

Although we made great use of our time, we barely scratched the surface of “things to do” in Venice and its surrounding areas.

7 Things I Plan “To Do” When I Visit the Venice Area Again

  1. Spend the day in downtown Venice – as we drove to and from Venice Beach we passed a charming downtown area with beautiful architecture, shops and restaurants. I’m looking forward to exploring the downtown scene.
  2. Head to the farmers and flea market.
  3. Throughout Venice there are beautiful large murals painted on buildings. I’d like to use one as a backdrop for a photo shoot and put my photography skills to the test.
  4. Bike the trails at Waterway Park. From what locals told me, biking in Venice is pretty easy and fun since it’s mostly flat land. I can do that!
  5. Eat at Sharky’s on the Pier. Make your reservations ahead of time, this is a popular place!
  6. Visit Caspersen beach. I might have better luck finding shark teeth here.
  7. Visit Nokomis beach. It’s so close to Venice I can’t help but want to check it out.

Things to do in Venice

There’s so much going on in Venice. If you’re planning a trip there give the Visit Venice website a try.

Are you a resident of Venice or a frequent visitor? What else do you think I must check out on a future trip to Venice? Leave your comment below.

Call Venice, FL home!

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Lifestyle Blogger & Contributor for | Originally from New Jersey, Natashia enjoys discovering Florida by way of road trips and staycations. She’d pick the Florida sun over the winters of up north any day. A great weekend for her typically involves a farmers’ market, gardening, or anything outdoors with her kids. She thinks rainy Florida days are invitations to visit a library for a couple hours or sit on the patio with a cup of mint tea.
  • Donna says:

    Natasha, wow, gorgeous place! I’m adding it to one of my "Places to go…" I like your suggestions and will definitely file this article away to whip it out whenever that time comes, or even suggest it to anyone who might be headed that way.

  • Natashia Ford says:

    Hi Donna! Thanks for commenting and glad you liked the post. I will certainly visit Venice again. I’m happy it made your "Places to go" list!

  • Linda says:

    If you head to Nokomis Beach before you get to the beach road – right before you cross the bridge turn left and go to "Pops" which is just a block down that road. Great atmosphere and good food and they have live entertainment on the weekends. Also right at that same area is a place called Pelican Alley – also great food and great place to hang out. In Venice – you need to eat at Mi Pueblo – right on US 41 at the Brickyard Plaza – great mexican food, excellent Margarita’s and unbelievalbe fast service. Don’t worry if there looks like alot of people waiting. We also joke that we can go in there, get a table eat, pay and leave faster than McDonalds. I live in Venice. Sharkeys is a great atmosphere but the prices are high – you pay for the beach location.

    • Natashia Ford says:

      Oh my goodness Linda thanks for the great insider info. I’m jotting this all down for our next trip to Venice. Did you say Mexican food? That’s my all time favorite food. I love the cultural aspects of Venice. Thanks again for all the recommendations!

  • Papa's Bait Shop says:

    What a great article!! I am so happy to hear that your experience on the fishing pier was pleasant! We hope you come back and visit us again! I love the photo you have taken of our Bait Shop and I was wondering if we could use it on our website for the Venice Fishing Pier?

    Happy Fishing!

    • Natashia Ford says:

      Hi there good folks at Papa’s Bait Shop! I’m so glad you enjoyed the article and yes you can certainly use the photo on your website. I’ll email a copy over to you!

      • Papa's Bait Shop says:

        Wonderful! Thank you so much!

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