Venice Florida Tips
Downtown Venice is filled with boutiques and antique stores. Make sure you get a chance to visit the streets south of Venice Blvd. Also, Miami Avenue - one block south of Venice Blvd - has a lot of wonderful shops and eateries.
We like shopping at the Target which is 7 miles north on Tamiami Trail heading towards Sarasota. ( There is also one 8 miles south towards North Port across from the Super Walmart.)
When you get the time, try driving up 41 north to Sarasota. You will find quite a few stores at Sarasota Square Mall at US 41 and Beneva Rd.
There is also a brand new movie theatre/ shopping complex at 41 north and Main street in Sarasota.
In our opinion, the best grocery store we found was the Walmart Superstore. It is at 4150 South Tamiami trail. It is about 6 miles south on Rt. 41/Tamiami Trail (near Englewood).
The best local grocery store we found here was Publix. There are Publix stores almost every 2 miles. There is one on the island on the 41 business road and one at the corner of Laurel and Tamiami trail.
Exercise & Fun
We go to Venice for jogging in the morning. They constructed a walked path along the intercoastal that is about 4 miles – although it is a work in progress and the path just ends near the airport.
Our favorite jogging path is along the sidewalk south down Harbor Drive past the airport. This is probably 3 miles long from downtown Venice now that they have added sidewalks to the 27 hole Venice Public Golf Course.
Our favorite beach is still the Nokomis Beach at the end of Albee Road.
Although, another great beach is at the southern end of Venice past the airport - Casperson Beach. Both of these beaches have bathroom, parking and shower facilities.
For a great sunset, go to Albee Road and follow it to Nokomis Beach and walk south to the North Jetty. You can watch the boats and the sunset at the same time. It is quite beautiful.
Another place to watch the sunset is at the Venice Pier at Sharky’s at Harbor Drive near the airport. But, this can get crowded if you don’t get their early.
You can rent jet skis and kayaks at several locations. The closest is Wind and Ware Watersports at 504 Tamiami Trail 486-8111 ( it is RIGHT before Dona Bay – literally. You can miss the entrance if you are traveling too fast. )
There are so many restaurants, we are just going to indicate the ones we have tried.
Pelican Alley on Albee road. We enjoy the lunch there. Dinner can be a little pricey, but you can’t beat the location. The cooking is a notch above Pops.
Pops Sunset Grill – 112 Circuit road (literally on the other side of the Boat Warehouse from Pelican Alley). You can’t beat the drink prices. Beer on tap for $1.25. Also, the views from the outdoor bar are great. We like the salads with fresh fish and their Buffalo Shrimp.
Saltwater Grill right at Laurel Road and Rt 41. Open late. Good seafood. A large selection. Prices are reasonable.
Sharkys at Venice Pier – 1600 Harbor View Drive South – south and west of the small Venice airport. It can be a zoo here and the food is okay. But, the views of sunset are fantastic. They also have some extremely strong frozen drinks plus live entertainment.
Aerosquadron Restaurant in the Venice Airport. My dad swears by this place and says the food is good. It’s a little restaurant filled with locals in the Venice airport.
Bogey’s Sports Bar – 652 E. Venice Blvd. - owned by the family who owns the crows nest. A great place to watch sports. Very cheap beer by the pitcher. Good chicken wings.
Patches – across from Bogeys on Venice Blvd. They have decent Greek food, plus lots of other salads and selections. Strange clown décor.
Crows Nest – the best restaurant on Venice island. A little hard to find as it is near the South jetty on the Venice side. 1968 Tarapoon Road. Try the Grouper Key West.
Bonefish – 3971 Tamiami Trail. 924-9090 It is 10 miles north on 41. This is our new favorite restaurant. Call in advance to get reservations. The newest concept by Outback and maybe the best. A tremendous selection of reasonably priced fish and seafood dish. They will literally mix and match any sauce with any fish. Try the BamBam shrimp appetizer. Sara loves the Ahi Tuna with the Asian Pacific sauce.
Carrabbas and Outback are also about 8 miles on Tamiami Trail. Carrabbas is a little difficult to find. Take a left at Stickney Point Road.
For ethnic restaurants, go on 41 north and then take a right at Gulf Drive (about 10 miles up the road from Venice and before Stickney Point Road). Then, take a left at Gateway Ave. You will find Thai, French, Chinese, a middle eastern food store and a lot more.