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3 Day Itinerary for Venice, Florida

Did you know there was a Venice Beach in Florida? Many people I spoke to about Venice had no clue there was a Venice Beach and for some, they didn't even know there was a Venice in Florida. "You are going to Venice, Italy?" or "Going all the way to California just for a beach?" These were some of the responses I heard the moment I said Venice and before I could finish with Florida. Like many others, this would be our first time to Venice and we were beyond thrilled to get out of the house since the start of COV19 in March.

The back story to this trip is that 4 years ago I had an idea to start a travel tradition with Leylah and Matt where we would visit this one place every year. Since 2016, we have been going to the Sarasota area so we could be close as possible to Siesta Keys Beach. Staying in Siesta Keys is always expensive especially if trying to find a place on the water. To save some serious money, I always look at the surrounding city when starting to plan this trip. This year we found an amazing Airbnb deal in Venice that we couldn’t pass up on and it was only minutes away from the beach.

Since this was going to be our first time visiting the Venice area, I did a few hours’ worth of research weeks before leaving to understand what beaches we should visit and the reviews on them. I learned that Venice Beach (which I found was only minutes from us) is known as the “shark capital of the world” which made me panic first reading this. In my head, we were going somewhere where there was a high volume of sharks in the area. (Even though I have never heard of Venice or this being a common area for shark sitings.) To give me peace of mind, I started to look more into this and learned that Florida has had fossilization occur since the Ice Age and use to be home to the largest shark, megalodon. The water in the Venice area had shallow sedimentary conditions which created a thick fossil bed for the shark teeth. Due to wave action and corrodes the layers, the teeth get deposited onto the beaches daily in this area.

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For anyone who hasn’t been to the Venice area or Venice Beach then I urge you to check them both out next time you come to Florida. (About 20 minutes driving distance to Sarasota and roughly 30 minutes from Siesta Keys.) I would even go as far as saying Venice Beach has been added to my top 3 beaches to visit when in this area of Florida. (Top 3 in order: Longboat Keys, Siesta Keys, Venice Beach)

Wondering where you would stay in the Venice area? Well, look no further for a place because I highly recommend staying at the Venice Garden Gem hosted by Greg and Carolyn. (Link to their listing is below) The service they provided only added to my new love for the Venice area and they provide everything you would expect and more from your host! I communicated with Greg the whole time and he went above and beyond making sure we knew what to do on arrival and things to do in the area. Even after arriving, he checked in with us to make sure everything was going smoothly for us.

If interested in staying here, use this link to access the Airbnb listing!

This link provided is an affiliate link and I may gain commission from you purchasing from these affiliate links. 

This Airbnb offers that home feeling and Greg and Carolyn pay attention to the small details which make it feel more like home. They provided beach accessories like beach chairs and seashell scoopers which just shows how much they care for their guest. And they welcome you as soon as you walk in (even though its self-check-in), they provided muffins, 2 boxes of mask, juice, and a sweet note saying we may be hungry after a long drive. It’s the small things that can mean the most when looking for the home feeling!

The house had 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms which came in handy when having two families share one house. The master room had one of the comfortableness Airbnb king size bed I have ever slept on. Seriously, it was one you could just sink in and sleep for days on the cloud of heaven it provided. The master room had plenty of room to have an air mattress for our daughter (8 years old) and plus some! (This is another way to save money when wanting to travel. More rooms typically cost more.) The bathroom was private for the master room which worked perfectly after a long day at the beach. The other two rooms had a queen and 2 single beds with their own bathroom to share.

My friend loved the modern kitchen and spent hours cooking her delicious vegan meals which make you water at the mouth when just smelling her creations. (Check her out at Trust Ur Tastebudz on Instagram) She brought her own seasonings, sauces, and everything she needed to make her masterpieces.

So if you love cooking and creating your own masterpieces, then this is definitely the place for you!

If interested in staying here, use this link to access the Airbnb listing!

Our 3-day itinerary:

Day 1: For the first day, we wanted to visit the nearest beach which was Venice Beach, of course. We found parking pretty easily and loved the fact we were near public bathrooms just in case the little one needed to take a little girl break.

From the second we could see the water, it was that breathtaking beautiful teal color with shades of lighter teal almost white in certain spots. We found out quickly those spots were the sand dunes by seeing people way out in the water, but the water only came to their belly buttons. We were able to walk farther than I have ever walked into the ocean which was a fun experience for our group.

This was my first time seeing the ocean in 2020 and we spent hours in the water. At one point I just felt my body drifting with the waves and knew this is exactly what I needed... what my family needed. As I was flowing with the water, I knew this was the moment my body was resetting and losing all thoughts. The ocean has a way of taking over my body, mind, and soul and leaves me feeling refreshed and recharged.

We stayed in the water for a good amount of time and when we weren't splashing around, we were looking for shark teeth. Now I read many blogs, articles, new reports on how to find the teeth which all made it seem like you just needed to brush the top layer of the sand with your hand and BOOM there would be shark teeth. I knew it seemed too easy.

We didn't find any teeth during our whole stay but learned what some of those blogs and articles were missing some key information. Just know you may spend hours looking for these teeth and you actually need to dig to find them. A ton of people were using scoopers to dig deep into the sand and easily be able to sort through what they picked up in the scooper.

This link provided is an affiliate link and I may gain commission from you purchasing from these affiliate links. 

Day 2: I wanted to go snorkeling with Matt and Leylah (happened to be the 4th) and visit a highly recommended beach in the area. I read a lot about Caspersen Beach and how it was the perfect spot to go snorkeling and was the place to be with kids…

We stayed less than 40 minutes if that gives you an idea of how much we liked that beach. I also understand certain factors influence water visibility and roughness of the water, but for us, this is not a beach I would advise someone to visit especially with little kids. When we got onto the beach, we started to walk to the left as I have learned over the years from experience, that people don’t like to walk down the beach to find an empty spot away from the crowd. We didn’t take anything with us besides our snorkeling gear and underwater camera since we played on only being here for a few hours.

Now, to get into the water, you must climb over some rough rocks which can be slippery from algae and seaweed, but also hard to see the rocks underneath the water. Out of our 40 minutes at the beach, I would say 30 minutes was used to walk down the beach and fighting to climb over the rocks.

Leylah struggled with getting over the rocks because they were extremely ridged and the water would come crashing in on her making her lose her balance quite a bit. (For this reason, I wouldn’t recommend to a family with little kids.) Thankfully a few people noticed our struggles and recommended we walk down a little more where there are fewer rocks to climb over. Best advice ever!! Once we got fully in the water, there was no visibility which makes snorkeling impossible.

When we were walking back to the beach entry, we saw lots of families with kids and even small babies. There were some areas with shallow water to where the kids could play, but as far as snorkeling with kids, not the place.

Once we left, we wanted to meet up with our group and check out Siesta Keys. Before we even got to Siesta Keys, I had a feeling it was going to be super packed with hundreds of people. (Even with COV19 going on right now.) When we went to Siesta Keys on the Fourth of July 2 years ago, there were thousands of people on the beach and packed in. Imagine going to a spring break where all the students from 10 colleges were going to meet up on this one day. Talk about insane!

We didn’t even get out of the car and just drove by Siesta Keys Beach where we sat in a little bit of traffic. Thankfully Matt knew the roads and knew there was an inner road he could take which was parallel to the busy street we were on. We quickly headed out of Siesta Keys and away from the craziness!

Our next beach stop was Turtle Beach and again it was overly packed and one we didn’t want to risk with COV19.

Next stop, Nokomis Beach which from the empty parking lot was going to be far less crowded than Siesta Keys and walking onto the beach, we could see an empty spot to our right. Nokomis Beach was beautiful, but not clear water and less of a turquoise color than the day before. The ocean had quite a bit of seaweed floating around which may bother some people who don’t like feeling something slimy touching you while in the ocean.

We learned that the name of Nokomis came about in 1917 when a man named Alfred F. Wrede established the first post office southwest of Venice and named it Nokomis. That same year a doctor bought 112 acres of land which created the Nokomis subdivision. Many of the local businesses in the area use the town name in their companies name which had us wondering the history of the name and where it came from.

Day 3: We visited Manasota Keys. This has been a beach I wanted to visit for years since it's considered to be part of “The Keys”. I have read a ton about this beach and how beautiful the scenery is which is something I am glad I got to see firsthand.

For day 3, I just wanted to relax and stare into the ocean while all thoughts left my mind. The moment you walk onto the beach, you are greeted by the stunning teal water and the sweet smell of saltwater. The sand consisted of black pebbles and tiny specs of sea glass which felt a little rough between my toes. Like the other beaches, there was a crowd of people as soon as you walked onto the beach from the public access point, but we walked to the right and found an empty, open spot within a few minutes of walking.

Our little setup spot

As you walk into the water, you are quickly met with larger seashells which leave you walking on what felt like broken eggshells for about 3 seconds until you reach the sand only bottom. The water was calmer than the other beaches which were nice to just float with the water and not struggle to relax with the waves crashing in on you.

Right before we left, I had the thought of using some of the bigger shells found on this beach to use for one of my indoor plants. Before leaving for this trip, I had added rocks on top of the soil for some of my other plants but ran out of rocks days before we left. So I thought I could use these shells to add on top of the soil instead of rocks. I started to quickly pick up the bigger shells and place them in one of Leylah's sand buckets. Another reason I love traveling is because of being able to take a small piece of this location back to our home.

And there you have it, folks! We didn't spend many days in Florida, but the time we did spend there was spent making memories that will last forever. I hope Leylah looks back on these trips and cherish them like I do and continue to do this tradition even after my time.

I hope this blog inspires you to visit the Venice area and see what all it offers! I know we plan on visiting again next year and maybe making this new city our new thing!

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Hello Everyone, my name is Sara Elizabeth and a full-time working mom and a full-time student!

Over the years I have fallen in love with  traveling and exploring the great states of the United States! This passion grew from understanding how to find good deals on airline flights which have been the reason for many of my travel adventures. This journey has led me to find "that travel deal" for domestic and international flights. These are those kinds of deals that have people asking "How did you find them so low?" ...Well, to those asking that question, follow along this adventure of mine to learn my methods for finding that perfect travel deal. 

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