Downtown

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Downtown Venice is called one of Florida's greatest treasures. Nestled between Sarasota and Fort Myers, directly on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, Venice is a friendly and vibrant city, always alive with activity, serving as the focal point of the entire community.
True to its name, Venice is completely surrounded by waterways. Three bridges provide access to the downtown area, which has come to be known as "The Island of Venice."

Crossing one of Venice's bridges to the Island instantly transports you to a place of unparalleled charm where palm tree lined avenues host an endless array of exciting things to do and see. It is an experience you'll never quite forget. Whether fashion is your passion or antiquing is your favorite pastime, you'll find a shop or boutique to satisfy your sense of style and taste; altogether, more than 100 unique shops, salons and other businesses make their homes along the Island Avenues of Venice.

If dining is your idea of excitement, your palate will be especially pleased. One has the opportunity to choose from American, French, Italian, English, Japanese or Irish cuisine in either formal or casual settings in the downtown area. With many sidewalk cafes and several picturesque waterfront restaurants, Venice offers a total dining experience that is truly second to none.

After a stroll along the Island Avenues, it is an easy walk down tree lined Venice Avenue to incredible Venice Beach! As one of the few cities on Florida's west coast with no barrier islands, Venice enjoys direct proximity to the Gulf of Mexico.

While you're there; be sure to scour the sand for fossilized shark's teeth - one of Venice's many claims to fame. In fact, Venice is known as the Sharks Tooth Capital of the World and hosts an annual Shark's Tooth Festival.

On another day, take a historic tour of the area. The Venice Area Archives and Historical Society conducts tours that tell the story of Venice's fascinating past and highlight the area's unique, northern Italian Renaissance architecture. Along the way, you will see the well-reputed Venice Art Center and the distinctive Venice Little Theatre, a delightful community theatre whose quality is clearly demonstrated by the numerous state and national awards bestowed upon it. Also not to be missed, is the historic Venice Train Depot***Venetian Waterway Trailhead with tours available every Wednesday.

Always alive with excitement, downtown Venice hosts or sponsors an extensive schedule of events throughout the year. Venice's fall and spring outdoor art shows are its signature events, showcasing art created by talented local artists as well as some of the nation's most recognized and respected painters, jewelers, sculptors, artisans and more. Outdoor music performances in the Centennial Park Gazebo, holiday gatherings, winter and summer craft fairs and old fashioned MainStreet parades are also regular events.

Venice is easily accessible from Tampa, Orlando and Naples, all of which are less than two hours away by car. It is also just a half hour from Sarasota and an hour from Fort Myers. Not surprisingly, many visitors travel from these areas to get away to Venice for the day - or take in a meal, shop along the Island Avenues, attend an outdoor festival or just pedal along tree-lined trails.

However, more and more travelers are making Venice their vacation destination, designating it as a "base" from which they can travel to larger metropolitan areas, yet stay in a relaxing and less populated beachside paradise. Lodging options for such visitors are numerous, from ocean view hotels to executive suites, condominiums and charming Bed & Breakfast Inns.

Minimum Time Needed

Half Day

Hours

All day

Admission Fee

Free

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URL

http://www.venicemainstreet.com

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