On my recent Sunshine Johnny Tour of Florida, I discovered a few new areas that are certainly worthy of your consideration. After speaking with Sunshine followers, I had dialogue with quite a few friends asking about Venice, Florida. I did not know enough about the area, so I decided to make a visit. I’m glad I did! This area is one of the best kept secrets on the West Coast of Florida, and it’s near Sarasota, Punta Gorda, Cape Coral and other popular destinations.
Venice gives you that small beach town feeling that is close enough to the action of popular cultural hot spot Sarasota. One of the best things you can do here is to CHILL! That’s right, when I asked a bunch of locals what they like most about the area is that it allows New Yorkers to change gears and really slow down. New Yorkers are loving the slower pace and know that they are still close enough to the Arts, Theater and Cultural events in the region.
The restaurants are charming and are sure to please most sophisticated palates. “It’s the best of both worlds,” claims a New York transplant, ” you can find relaxing vibes at Sharky’s restaurant on the pier where you can enjoy wearing your flip flops and having cocktails while enjoying the magnificent DAILY SUNSET SHOW, or you can indulge in the many fine dining options in almost every flavor variation you can hope for. I enjoyed TJ Carneys Irish Pub where the pints of Guiness were properly served and the great Irish fare did not disappoint. The spirit in the pub made you feel like home.
The main shopping strip on Venice had a great collection of Mom and Pop type stores where you could expect to find some unique hand crafted items and souvenirs of your visit to this special place. The streets seemed to be crowded with visitors and tourists that were enjoying the great feel and hospitality. The sidewalks are lined with ART Exhibits and I particularly enjoyed the seahorse and mermaid sculptures as I walked down the vibrant street.
When you keep going, you can actually walk to the beach area. It’s about a half mile, but the tree-lined pathways were charming and made the trek interesting and worth it. Along the path you can stop and have a seat on a bench and people watch to your hearts content.
The beaches are not over-crowded and they offer the perfect chill vibe for your day of relaxation. If your goal is to retire to a new lifestyle, this place could be one that is not hard to take.
When you explore even further, you’ll find a few surrounding communities that are popping up and getting a lot of attention. One of the ones that attracted my eye is Edgewater! This place brings you back into an era of OLDE FLORIDA that you can’t find anywhere else. The architecture, the lifestyle and the new appreciation of the old world creates a most exciting vibe that reminds me of many of the areas of Brooklyn that were rediscovered by a newer generation. Art galleries and the art scene is popping up all over the place and although the prices in the area are very attractive right now, I would suspect that this will not be the case in a few years time. It makes sense…like Williamsburg Brooklyn, it’s close to it all and has been neglected over the years until it was discovered by the art community.
Other notable cities close by are Punta Gorda, Cape Coral, North Port and then Ft Myers is not really too far to go shopping and to venture out for some fun.
Venice Beach is a great coastal community that is in between Sarasota and Ft Myers areas. I’m certainly going to take another look at Venice Beach and Edgewater areas to see if this is a good choice for me.