Best Beaches In Venice Florida
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Venice is located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the city of Sarasota but still within Sarasota County. What was once a quiet little town, Venice has grown into a charming little city on the coast of Florida and has some of the best beaches in the area.
The city itself extends inland from the shoreline, but along the coast to the north and south are some fine stretches of beach ideal for capitalizing on Florida’s year-round sunshine.
Characterized by powdery white sand and turquoise water, it’s a glorious part of the state and one that doesn’t disappoint. These Venice area beaches are a short drive from the popular destination of Siesta Key Beach but offer the same experience with less of a crowd.
What’s the deal with the shark teeth connection?
You’ll hear Venice referred to as the “shark tooth capital of the world”. That’s because if you travel back in time, this area would have been very different. The landscape we now call Florida was covered with shark-infested water.
Each of these marine creatures produced somewhere in the region of 20,000 to 25,000 teeth in their lifetime, so it’s no wonder so many wash up on the beach today.
Sea level fell and now, all that remains of the sharks are their fossilized teeth. Just off the coast of Venice is a layer of them many feet deep. In stormy weather, they’re lifted off the sea bed and eventually they are washed onto the beach by wave action.
Technically, all you need to do to find one is stroll along the shore, but serious shark tooth hunters kit themselves out with what’s known as a Venice Snow Shovel. This is a screened basket attached to a handle which makes easy work of filtering the sand.
You can pick one up for hire or as a souvenir on the pier. Armed with your new purchase, wade out into the sea and where you see the breakers you’ll notice a ledge. Just offshore of the ledge is a good place to find these prehistoric, shiny black souvenirs.
Some of the best places to find these shark’s teeth are at any of the beaches south of the Venice Jetty.
Be warned though: it’s an addictive pursuit. You could soon end up with a small collection belonging to some of the various species of sharks that once swam here: bull, mako and whitetip for starters.
To find some of the bigger shark teeth, you can even take a boat ride out further. These dive boats can be found at any local Venice dive shops.
Which Venice Beach Should You Choose?
Venice beaches have their fans, but how do you know which one is right for you? If you’re on vacation in the area, here’s a summary of the characteristics of each to help you plan your perfect trip, though of course we’d recommend you try them all so you can make up your own mind.
Falling within the city limits of Venice, this is the stretch of sand which overlooks Venice Public Fishing Pier and is considered the main beach.
Both are good places to take advantage of the extraordinary view both along the coast and out into the Gulf of Mexico.
Turtles nest in the area between May and October, while dolphins are commonly spotted in the water. As well there are a plethora of seabirds, among them egrets, gulls and herons.
The beach is managed to ensure the facilities remain in good shape for those who need them. For instance, the sand is monitored as part of an ongoing beach nourishment program, while amenities such as a free parking lot, lifeguards, beach volleyball courts and picnic tables make this a great family choice.
The beach’s most important landmark is its 1960s pavilion, featuring an iconic sail structure which provides some all-important shade.
Venice Beach is also a certified Blue Wave Beach which means they are striving to keep the beach clean and the water clear and beautiful with white soft sand.
If you’ve come to the area with the idea of shelling, then Caspersen Beach is a great place for that.
The optimal time to come is after a high tide, when the waves have thrown new shells onto the shore. As well as myriad shells, you’ll also often find prehistoric sharks’ teeth on the beach.
Broadly speaking, though there are facilities such as picnic tables, restrooms, a playground, fishing pier and canoe launch, the southern end of beach is in a more natural state.
Behind the beach, a short nature trail winds through the coastal hammock – allow around 20 minutes to stroll along it. Dune restoration has taken place and you’ll encounter a range of habitats such as marsh and mangroves.
North and South Jetty
These beaches flank the entrance to a channel that was dredged in 1937 when the two jetties were constructed.
Strictly speaking, North Jetty Beach falls under the jurisdiction of Sarasota County as it is in Nokomis, while its southern counterpart is overseen by the City of Venice. Most locals will tell you they have a favorite but both have their merits.
Visitors to South Jetty Beach can take advantage of Humphris Park, which gets its name in memory of one of the city’s former mayors. Amenities such as picnic areas, restrooms, showers and food concession encourage people to hang out all day.
With activities such as fishing and surfing popular pursuits, there’s plenty of options if you don’t plan to laze around all day doing nothing. That said, of course, there’s no harm in simply planning to relax and enjoy those wonderful sunsets.
Technically, Nokomis Beach is another Venice area beach that’s in Sarasota County rather than falling under the jurisdiction of the city, but it’s so convenient for Venice that we’re choosing to include it here.
Architecture fans should come here just for the beach pavilion. Designed by Jack West in the early 1950s, it is an example of the Sarasota School of Architecture and is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
The structure was sleek, minimalist and modern, as much a statement now as it was when it was first unveiled.
Brohard Paw Park
If you are travelling with your pet, then you’ll soon become aware that most of the beaches in Sarasota County don’t permit dogs.
Though it’s fun to take your pooch to the water, it’s understandable that the authorities are keen to ensure the beaches are kept in pristine condition.
However, there is one beach that forms the exception to the rule and that’s Brohard Paw Park. A fenced dog play yard leads to this designated dog beach but pay attention to the signs which clearly mark where such provision ends.
Don’t stray into South Brohard Beach Park, for instance, where your four-legged friends aren’t as welcome.