Venice, Florida – The Shark Tooth Capital of the World – Florida Day Trip

Shark Tooth Capital of the World – Venice, Florida

Venice has been recognized as the shark tooth capital of the world for years. There is more than shark teeth that make this small Florida town a great road trip.

Not all small Florida towns are created equal. Some struggle to survive, lose population, find it difficult to remodel older structures and generally remain sleepy little villages. That is not Venice which makes this coastal town a perfect south Florida day trip.

On a recent visit, we couldn’t help but compare Venice to places like Lido Beach with St. Armand circle or Punta Gorda with a revived downtown district. These coastal areas have seen a population surge. Their upscale middle-of-town areas have flourished with new development. Of course, the Gulf coast beaches are a major attraction for new residents along with a wide range of marine activities.

Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

Shark Teeth found on the beach at Venice, Florida – The Shark Tooth Capital of the World.

Billing itself as “The Shark Tooth Capital of the World“, Venice has a big standard to uphold. The beaches, for reasons scientists haven’t figured out, seem to have more shark teeth washing up than many other similar coastal regions. The city even has an annual Shark’s Tooth Festival to celebrate the toothy predator.

The beaches may not be the pure white snowy sand of some others, but Caspersen Beach (the largest) is the constant source of fossils, relics and shark teeth. Venice inlet from the Gulf has a beach on either side to watch the constant barrage of vessels coming and going. The beaches closest to the inlet tend to be more like the white sandy beaches of their Gulf neighboring towns.

Beaches, Boating and Shopping

West Venice Avenue

The shopping district along West Venice Avenue is clean and tree-lined.

As you enter West Venice Avenue, you encounter refurbished buildings in the historic district that in a block or two become the shopping mecca of Venice. West-moving traffic is separated from easterly lanes by a well-manicured walking park. On both sides, you have small boutiques, a few chain stores, small cafes, and big restaurants serving everything from seafood to prime steaks. Your Florida day trip can easily turn into a shopping excursion limited only by your budget. 

While the town center is a must-visit, don’t be fooled. Venice is a boating city. Canals and waterways are throughout the city. Power boating, sailing, fishing and other marine recreation are a big part of life in Venice. In South Venice, the Venice Fishing Pier seems to be the place for people who love water sports to congregate. It is also a good place to relax on your Florida day trip by walking several hundred feet out into the Gulf on the pier.

Sharkys at Venice Pier

Standing on the Venice Pier looking at Sharky’s at the base of the pier.

At the base of the Venice Pier is one of the most popular waterfront restaurants on the Gulf coast called Sharky’s. The menu at Sharky’s is packed full of seafood and typical coastal favorites, but the real attraction is the view and the pier.

The Venice Pier in Florida

The beaches along the Venice Pier are one of the most popular spots in Venice, Florida.

Venice is a city of over 25,000 people located about 20 miles south of Sarasota off I-75. It is about 75 minutes from the Tampa/Clearwater area. From Orlando, the trip is about 21/4 hours and Naples is just an hour and a half away. A perfect Florida day trip would be to visit Venice for a half day and Punta Gorda about 45 minutes to the south, both just off I-75. You can also include one of our largest state parks, Myakka River State Park, just a few miles east.

Despite all the shopping, beaches, growth and prosperity, there are still people who visit because Venice remains the shark tooth capital of the world.

SPECIAL NOTE: This post was written just days before hurricane Ian passed through south Florida. While Venice did not suffer the total destruction that occurred in the Fort Myers area, the town did have some severe wind damage. As of this time, city officials are confident recovery will be quick. Your visit is part of their economic assistance and recovery.

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