Venice, FL, was formerly known as Horse and Chaise because of a tree formation that served as a fishing spot for horse-drawn carriages.
The city was named after Frank Higel, the "Father of Venice," in 1888 because it resembled the canal city in Italy where he spent his childhood.
Cities close to Venice, FL include Sarasota, FL, Bradenton, FL, and Port Charlotte, FL.
Today, Venice, Florida, is known to be the largest airboat city in the world. Airboats are motorized boats that are propelled by fans pushing air down their long, flat bottom.
The city is also a popular spot for spring breakers and is the home of the Shark Shack, Venice Jaycees Haunted House, and several other tourist attractions.
Places to Visit
It has a vibrant downtown district, with unique shops, restaurants, and an area known as Centennial Park.
When you visit, don't forget to drop by these famous attractions :
The Venice Fishing Pier: Built-in 1963, the pier features a public fishing area and a popular restaurant with locals and tourists.
Eckerd's Drug Store Museum: This national landmark was opened in 1938 by Jules and Jack Eckerd. It includes an art gallery dedicated to showing local artists' work. The store also provides discounts of up to 20% for senior citizens, students, and veterans.
The Venice Train Depot: Built-in 1921 by the Seaboard Air Line Railroad Company, this historic building is now on the National Register of Historic Places. It has been completely restored and includes a museum with exhibits detailing the history of railroads in Venice.
The historic John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art: In 2007, this museum became part of the Ringling Estate Historic Landmark District. It is home to a world-renowned art collection with Rembrandt van Rijn, Peter Paul Rubens, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, and Vincent van Gogh.
Historic Spanish Point: Built-in 1927 by John and Mable Ringling, this mansion was used as a winter retreat. After being purchased by the State of Florida, it has been preserved as a historic landmark. It is also known for its gardens, inspired by the Italian Renaissance in the 14th and 15th centuries.
The Venice Gondolier: This landmark in downtown Venice is a great place to grab a sandwich and a cup of coffee. It features sidewalk seating and views of the Venice Beach Pavilion and the historic City Hall.
Food and Entertainment
You can get two restaurants with one stop on Venice Beach. Sharkey's On The Pier, a classic beach bar and restaurant is located on the lower level and has a beachside patio and walkway to the Venice Pier.
There are more than a dozen options for both savory and sweet. The menu includes rice bowls, fish of the day, pasta dishes, and steaks, among other things. After dinner on the pier, enjoy the sunset while seated on the deck for a fantastic dining experience.
Venice, Florida, is home to several seafood restaurants that are located on the Gulf of Mexico. A popular restaurant in Venice, FL is The Raw Bar & Restaurant, where you can find fast-casual seafood and more than 100 wines for sale by bottle or glass.
Many options change daily and include fresh oysters, shrimp, grouper, and tuna. Other Venetian seafood restaurants include the Venice Crab House, The Shell Bar & Grill, and Ruby's Dockside Cafe.
Coffee shops abound in Venice, including Java On The Beach, which offers homemade gelato daily made by its chefs. You can also spot vendors selling fresh Italian ices and old-fashioned ice cream on the Venice Beach boardwalk.
On Saturdays and Wednesdays, dozens of drummers descend on Nokomis Beach in Casey Key for the Nokomis Beach Drum Circle. The drums draw the attention of spectators and dancers. It frequently attracts a large number of people, depending on the weather.
Venice, FL, is also known for being the home of the Venice Area Arts Council's Art in Public Places collection maintained by volunteers from the community.
In Venice, FL, a popular event is the annual King Mango Strut Parade held on the first Saturday of December.
The annual parade, sponsored by the nonprofit Venice Area Chamber of Commerce, is a tongue-in-cheek celebration that pays homage to the city's founders and masquerades as an unsophisticated romp through prom night. It was started in 1978 by high school students inspired by the local King Orange Jamboree Parade.
Venice, Florida, is a popular tourist destination for both day-trippers and those looking to spend the night or week in one of its many beautiful beachside resorts. Whatever you're into—shopping, dining, sunbathing—you'll find it all in Venice.