1 Venice Public Beach
401 W. Venice Ave., Venice
Be on the lookout for shark teeth as you walk along Venice Beach. Beach dwellers can sift through the sand for prehistoric shark teeth at the shark-tooth capital of the world. Venice Beach boasts darker sand due to the mix of white sand and fossilized material. Scuba divers can explore the reef a quarter mile from shore, or beachgoers can soak up the sun next to the Gulf of Mexico. The large public beach provides free parking, lifeguards, restrooms, picnic tables and beach wheelchairs.
2 Venice Fishing Pier
1600 Harbor Drive S., Venice
Grab your rod and reel and head to one of the coolest fishing spots in Sarasota County. The 700-foot fishing pier is the perfect spot to catch snook, ladyfish and even sharks in the cooler months. Papa’s Bait Shop at the Venice Pier sells live and frozen shrimp, squid and sardines to be used as bait. The shop also rents rods and reels if you do not have your own. There is no fee to access the pier, and avid and amateur fishermen alike can fish from it without a fishing license. The pier is open from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
3 Sharky’s On The Pier
1600 Harbor Drive S., Venice
Bite into a flaky sea bass fillet on a bed of sautéed artisan kale and farro pilaf at Sharky’s on the Pier. A burst of citrus instantly captivates the taste buds because the sea bass is topped with an aioli made from blood oranges, olive oil from Venice Olive Oil Co., Cara Cara oranges and balsamic vinegar. Detroit natives Mike and Donna Pachota opened the restaurant in 1987. It seated 87 people then and now seats 299. The restaurant is on the beach and only a few feet from the fishing pier. If you are seeking a meal in paradise, look no further.
4 Venice TheatrE Summer Cabaret Festival
140 Tampa Ave. W., Venice
Grab dinner and see a Summer Cabaret Festival show this summer at Venice Theatre. Allan Kollar, Venice Theatre’s producing director, recruited 13 local artists to perform a variety of comedy, music and theatrical shows in a nightclub setting. Grab a cocktail at the bar and watch local artists perform acts, from folk songs to adult sing-a-longs. Tickets are $15 for a single show; $56 for four shows; or $100 for eight shows. The acts start at 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The last show is Sunday, Aug. 25.
Old Venice Pub
100 W. Venice Ave., Venice
Step inside Old Venice Pub and grab a cold beer. Tom Elliot and Richie Kunziel opened the pub in March 2006. This bar has a cozy, neighborhood feel and a jukebox to play all of your favorite jams. Enjoy one of many craft beers on the menu or sip a glass of wine. Television screens throughout the bar show anything from baseball, to college football and basketball games. The friendly staff will assist you in a comfortable and relaxed setting.
Bike to Historic Venice Train Station
200 N. Tamiami Trail, Venice
Start your bike ride at the Venetian Waterway Park and bike five miles among towering palm trees alongside the Intracoastal Waterway. Your next stop: Historic Venice Train Station. If you want to continue your ride, the trail connects to the Legacy Trail at the station, creating an additional 30 miles of uninterrupted walking and bike trails.
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22 Creative Kids Winter Break Camp
23 Cine Selby
23 PMP Sarasota Winter Residency: Student Recital
24 PMP Sarasota Winter Residency: Orchestra Rehearsal
Sound of hope
The holiday season hasn’t officially started until our favorite bell ringers return to their posts.
Shoppers and residents were treated to some holiday harmonies by the Senior Friendship Centers’ group, the Second Wind Harmonica Players, in Downtown Sarasota.
Stepping up to the plate
The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County teamed up to bring the anti-bullying event Rachel’s Challenge to Sarasota Dec. 3.