Located halfway between Cape Coral and Tampa Bay, Venice hugs the coast of Florida. As a small-sized city, Venice enjoys many benefits that go alongside that, such as many parks and a friendlier vibe.
But what if you’re looking to move to Venice? Is it a nice place to live or are there areas that you should avoid? In this article, we’ll give you 17 pros and cons of living in Venice Florida. After that, you’ll know everything you need to know about living in Venice.
The 10 Pros of Living in Venice, Florida
1. Beaches in Close Proximity
Can we even mention Florida without discussing its beaches? Around Venice, there are more than eight prominent beaches, from Caspersen in the south to Nokomis in the north. In total, Venice has 14 miles of beach on its coast, so you won’t have problems finding a spot to enjoy the sun.
Arguably the most famous beach in town, Venice Beach offers residents the chance to enjoy the water, the sun, and some natural history! Known as the “shark tooth capital of the world,” you can find shark teeth there ranging from the size of a quarter to as large as your hand!
Don’t worry about swimming in shark-infested waters, though. The currents from the Gulf of Mexico deposit shark teeth on the beach after they travel for hundreds of miles. So although you can find many shark teeth on Venice Beach, there aren’t many sharks roaming the shores.
2. More Than 40 Parks are in Venice
Although Venice is a suburban paradise, it’s also home to many parks for residents to enjoy. From small recreational parks to large parks with trails for walking or running, Venice has a diverse group of parks to choose from.
So whether you want to get out for an activity, such as running or kayaking, or you just want to get out for some fresh air, the parks of Venice will serve you well. No matter where you are in the city, you’ll always be within walking distance from a park where you can take a load off and enjoy the sights.
3. Many Recreational Fishing Spots
If you’re a recreational fisher, Venice is a prime place for you to live. There are opportunities for both inshore and nearshore fishing in Venice. Some of the most popular fish to catch in Venice include:
One of the best on-shore fishing spots in Venice is the Venice Fishing Pier. The pier is a popular spot for both fishermen and tourists alike. The dock extends over 700 feet into the Gulf of Mexico, giving not only amazing views but also a solid opportunity to catch some fish!
4. Outdoor Enthusiast’s Dream
Are you into trail biking? Or maybe you enjoy riding horses? In Venice, there’s no end to the number of outdoor activities you can enjoy. The relatively small size of the city means there are fewer people taking advantage of all that outdoor space.
That means it’s up to you to seize the day and find the most enjoyable outdoor activity. If you’re in need of a place both you and your dog can enjoy, there’s the Brohard Paw Park. At Brohard, you and your off-leash dog can play on the beach.
If you’re in need of some trails for running, look no further than the Venetian Waterway Park. The Waterway trails connect downtown Venice to Caspersen Beach. You can find numerous birds in the park and even some alligators.
5. Kayaks Everywhere
If you’re a kayaker, Venice is the place for you. Not only can you enjoy ocean kayaking in the Gulf of Mexico, but you can also kayak in Roberts Bay, Dona Bay, and through the rivers and waterways in the city.
There are numerous boat and kayak launches in Venice. The two most prominent are the Caspersen Canoe and Kayak Launch, located in the south, and the Higel Marine Park, located at the mouth of Roberts Bay near downtown.
6. Venice Street Feels Like a Small Town
With a population of only 25,000, Venice is a small city by any standard. But even that number feels large after visiting. Venice has a small-town feel, with life moving a little slower. People seem to always have a smile on their face, and a quick greeting when walking past a person isn’t out of the ordinary.
The suburban feel of the entire city also helps Venice seem like a small town. Once you get out of the small downtown core, the city turns into a flood of homes with large front and back yards. If you’re looking for a place with all the amenities of a city with a small-town vibe, Venice is the place for you.
7. Fresh Local Seafood
If you’re a fan of seafood, Venice is somewhere you need to be! You can visit the local fish markets, like Maggie’s, for all your at-home cooking needs. They have every type of local fish, including grouper, snapper, and swordfish.
If you’re looking for a seafood restaurant, the places in Venice have you covered. From Sharky’s on the Pier, which is a more family setting, to Crow’s Nest, which has a higher-end feel, you’ll always find a restaurant for whatever seafood you want.
Related: Florida vs California Living
8. Abundant Restaurants
Speaking of restaurants, there’s more than just seafood in Venice. Whether you’re in the mood for burgers or you want a fancy steak, the diverse restaurants in Venice have you covered.
Venice has numerous Indian restaurants, Italian eateries, American-style cafes, and even some more exotic types, such as Turkish and South American foods. Some of the best restaurants in the city include:
9. Birds Galore!
Any bird watcher knows how glorious the winters are in Florida. With all the migrating birds making their way down south, places like Venice experience an influx of many birds that don’t reside there year-round. The best place to experience all these birds is at the Venice Area Audubon Rookery.
The Rookery is one of the best places on earth to take pictures of birds. You can experience all types of birds, from the Great Blue Heron all the way to the tiny Northern Mockingbird. The Rookery also serves as a park, but you aren’t allowed to bring your dog or light a fire.
10. Take in Spring Training Baseball
Venice is home to an MLB team’s spring training program, so you can take in some great baseball at affordable prices. The Atlanta Braves train for the upcoming season at the facility in Venice. Rookies or players coming off the disabled list also practice in Venice until they’re good enough to play in the Majors again.
During spring training, the Braves play their pre-season games in Venice. That means you can go watch professional baseball for a fraction of the cost of a regular-season game in Miami or Tampa Bay.
The 7 Cons of Living in Venice, Florida
11. Venice is Home to an Older Crowd
Although Venice has all the basic amenities that come along with a city, such as a high school and sports parks, it has fewer of these than cities of comparable size. Venice has fewer of these because of its residents’ ages.
Venice is by no means a retirement town, but it does have a high median age. The median age in Venice is 69 years old, which is much higher than the national average. With residents of that age, it’s not surprising Venice lacks the bars and clubs that dot a city with vibrant nightlife.
12. Traffic Gets Congested
Even with as few people as they have, the traffic in Venice can be a nightmare. Highway 41, which begins in Michigan, cuts south straight through Venice. The highway isn’t a raised platform, so it disrupts the flow of traffic through the city.
With a disrupted flow of traffic, the second problem becomes worse. The road system in Venice was not designed for 25,000 people. Instead, it was designed for the city when the population was much lower. With these two problems combined, the traffic in Venice can get downright infuriating.
Related: Living in Cape Coral, Florida
13. Public Transport is Almost Non-Existent
If you don’t own a car, Venice isn’t the city for you. Venice doesn’t operate its own bus service; instead, it relies on Sarasota County for its resident’s transport needs. Even though Sarasota County has some bus routes, it’s not nearly enough.
The Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) operates just 17 bus routes in an area of about 700 square miles. That’s not nearly enough to serve the whole community. So, if you’re planning on taking a day trip to the beach, you can take a bus. But don’t expect to be able to run errands or visit friends without having to walk hundreds of yards.
Venice is home to various species of bugs, including mosquitos and German cockroaches. These critters are more than just a nuisance, they can also be dangerous. Mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus, while cockroaches are disgusting creatures that can ruin the value of your home.
Don’t be surprised if you see bugs in Venice since they’re everywhere. Use insect repellent when you go out and don’t linger around bodies of fresh water. To prevent bugs from living in your home, make sure you clean up all food scraps and crumbs as soon as possible.
Related: Fly-in Communities in Florida
15. Snowbirds During the Winter Months
The population of Venice increases substantially in the summer due to one group—snowbirds. Snowbirds are people who live in the northern states or Canada who come down to Florida to enjoy the warm winters. Some of the snowbirds fly down, while others drive RVs.
The snowbirds are both a blessing and a curse. They bring lots of money and benefit local businesses, but they also clog up the already congested roads. Snowbirds also park their RV’s in annoying places, like a beach’s parking lot. When they do that, they take a parking spot away from an actual beach-goer.
16. Temperatures Reach More Than 100 Degrees in the Summer
Perhaps scorching temperatures are in your wheelhouse, but 100ºF is too hot for me! Summer temperatures in Venice regularly reach over 100ºF, and humidity is almost always above 65%. With temperatures like this, heatstroke is a common occurrence in Venice.
Heatstroke occurs when someone has been exposed to a high temperature and (usually) high humidity environment. The heat warms up their body so much that they’re unable to cool down. Heatstroke is a serious condition and needs the attention of medical professionals.
17. Water Quality isn’t the Best
The tap water in Venice is below the national average in terms of quality. The City of Venice claims their water is safe to drink, but other groups have tested the water and don’t agree.
According to the Environmental Working Group, a research and activist group that targets outdated laws, there are three major contaminants in Venice waters. Haloacetic acids, radium, and trihalomethane were all found in high concentrations in Venice tap water. So, if you plan on moving to Venice, avoid tap water!
So, there are 17 pros and cons of living in Venice, Florida! The best part about living in Venice has to be the outdoor activities. Whether you enjoy bird watching or kayaking, there’s always something to do in the great outdoors.
If that’s not your thing, you could enjoy the many wonderful restaurants that dot the city. Maybe you could take in a spring training game too! Venice has many upsides, but it also has a few downsides that come along with it.
The high heat and humidity in the summer may turn you off from the city. Some people can’t handle the traffic or the influx of snowbirds every year. But if you can get through these inconveniences, Venice is an otherwise lovely place to live!