Named after the city in Italy when the post office was established in 1888, Venice is one of Florida’s first planned cities, its broad avenues, parks, and zoned districts designed by noted architect John Nolan in the 1920s as an Italian renaissance village. Thanks to the Intracoastal Waterway, it is on an island and has a broad beachfront right at the end of Venice Avenue. A very walkable city, Venice is also a favorite of cyclists thanks to the Legacy Trail, which stretches north to Sarasota following the route which the Ringling Brothers circus trains took to bring the circus south each winter.
Trails and Parks in Venice
- Caspersen Beach Park - At Caspersen Beach Park, meander the gentle nature trail through a tropical hammock or take a long stroll down a quiet beach where shark's teeth wash ashore
- Duisberg Nature Trail - On Manasota Key at Blind Pass, south of Venice, the Fred Duisberg Nature Trail is a gentle meander on boardwalks through a mangrove forest along Lemon Bay to a scenic overlook.
- Historic Spanish Point - At Spanish Point, scents hang heavy in the morning air: a moonflower in the act of closing for the day, the sweetness of citrus blossoms, the purple morning-glory clambering over mangroves, the brush of salt breezes.
- Jelks Preserve - Offering scenic views of the wilds of the Myakka River, the 3.3 mile loop at Jelks Preserve near Venice provides a nice immersion in upland and riverside habitats
- Lake Osprey Trail - Circling Lake Osprey, the wheelchair-accessible Lake Osprey Trail at Oscar Scherer State Park offers an exploration of the uplands surrounding the artesian-spring-fed waters.
- Lemon Bay Park - On nearly 3 miles of mostly-accessible trails, Lemon Bay Park and Environmental Center showcases pine flatwoods, freshwater marshes, and mangrove-lined shores in Englewood.
- Manasota Scrub Preserve - A Sarasota County preserve established for the Florida scrub-jay, Manasota Scrub Preserve has a 1.5 mile loop in 145 acres of scrubby flatwoods.
- Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park - An excellent spot for birding, Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in North Port follows the natural curves of the creek, with a 2.5-mile trail looping the creek basin and bluffs.
- Oscar Scherer State Park - Blurs of blue flash between the diminutive scrub oaks as a family of Florida scrub-jays settle in, curious as to your approach. These colorful birds are only found in Florida, and Oscar Scherer State Park is their biggest stronghold in Southwest Florida.
- Oyster Creek Environmental Park - With more than 4 miles of trails, Oyster Creek Environmental Park protects 250 acres of old growth slash pines, scrub, and pine flatwoods along the banks of mangrove-lined Oyster Creek.
- South Creek and Lester Finley Trails - The South Creek and Lester Finley Trails are part of the South Trail System at Oscar Scherer State Park, focusing on the flow of South Creek towards Little Sarasota Bay.
- T. Mabry Carlton Reserve - T. Mabry Carlton Reserve is less than a dozen miles from downtown Venice but wild enough that the Florida panther roams these woodlands along the Myakka River floodplain.
- Warm Mineral Springs - Warm Mineral Springs is a true hot spring, the only one in Florida open to the public. Located south of Venice, it is the largest natural mineral water spring in the world, covering 1.4 acres at depths up to 250 feet.