We loved Brohard Beach & Paw Park the designated doggy beach in Venice, Florida but there's a lot more to love in this town. I mentioned the fishing pier at Venice Beach in our previous blog post. You can see the pier from the doggy beach. Venice Beach is an awesome spot to visit for the day but your four legged furry friends will have to stay home. No dogs allowed.
Free Fishing Pier at Venice Beach!
The Venice Municipal Fishing Pier is a 700 foot pier that offers "Free Fishing" to all Florida residents & guests. No fishing licenses are required to fish from this pier but Florida Fish & Game Laws do still apply. Anyone can walk out onto the pier. It's free & the view is amazing! Want to fish but lack equipment? No problem. There are poles available to rent & bait for sale on the pier. There's even a t-shirt shack!
The Venice Municipal Fishing Pier is located on Venice Beach in front of Sharky's on the Pier. Sharky's offers food, drinks & a view of the beach from a tiki lounge setting. There's a second restaurant for fine dining on property named Fins & a really nice gift shop too. You can find a lot of interesting information on the Venice Municipal Fishing Pier on Sharky's website including rules & regulations for fishing.
The doggy beach is just down the road from Sharky's & the Venice Fishing Pier and just beyond that is Casperson Beach. We really like Casperson Beach too. It's rocky but so beautiful. Helpful Hint - Be sure to poke around in the sand between the rocks. It's a great place to find trapped shark's teeth, corals & shells!
The Venice area has a long history. It was originally home to Indigenous People that inhabited this area 12,000 years ago! The Spanish occupied Florida beginning in the 1500's. However, the southwestern coast of Florida largely remained uninhabited wilderness. Then came American settlers in the late 1800's. They named the area "Horse and Chase" because the tree formations marking their fishing area resembled carriages. It was renamed Venice in 1888 by a settler named Frank Higel. He named the town after Venice, Italy because it reminded him of the canals there. There are many examples of Italian-style architecture here today.
I have never been to Italy so I have no frame of reference. Maybe that's why Venice reminds me of Charlevoix, Michigan. The drawbridges, shopping the downtown area, observing the action from a sidewalk cafe, it all felt like a beautiful summer day in Charlevoix to me. Even the street art is familiar. Venice just swaps out polar bears for mermaids. Can't say I blame them there!
LOL I found my doppelgänger in Venice, Florida! LOL
Here's a fun fact about Venice. From 1960 to 1992, Venice was the winter home for the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. (That explains the drawbridge to Venice named Circus Bridge.) The circus left town when the railway went out but you can still find a few remnants here & there. One being Tito Gaona's Flying Trapeze Academy, where you can learn to "float through the air with the greatest of ease."
Earth Treasures is our favorite shop to visit in Venice & it's perfectly named. Inside you'll find all sorts of treasures from the earth. Ancient fossils, crystals & mineral specimens, jewelry, nature art, shark teeth of all types & sizes, preserved 'gators & cane toads too! Most items are for sale but they do have fascinating display pieces as well. We highly recommend visiting if you're in the area. You can also visit Earth Treasure's Facebook Page online!
Ancient Hippopotamus Teeth (Fossilized)
Megalodon Tooth Compared to Great White Shark Jaw
Mammoth Tooth - Molar
Australian Cane Toad Leather
Need a few extra teeth to round out your collection? Earth Treasures has them at a great price. We picked up one of each for the kids on our list. Then grabbed one more set for the biggest kid of all - Jason!
Sea Pleasures & Treasures of Venice
Another shop we can't pass up is Sea Pleasures & Treasures of Venice. This shop has all of your vacation needs covered. T-shirts, hats, flip-flops, beach towels, postcards, beach toys & every type of souvenir imaginable. Sea Pleasures & Treasures is a great source for seashells, corals & shark's teeth too. But, what makes this shop one of our favorites is the incredible wall of fossils on display.
We were amazed at the age & beauty of Sea Pleasures & Treasures' extensive fossil collection. Not everything behind glass is for sale but they do offer a wide selection of fossils in a variety of price ranges. Of course, we would love to own the fossils with the heftiest price tags but we were happy with our purchases. And so were the kids on on our Christmas list!
We're home now & it's a balmy 6 degrees Fahrenheit on Valentine's Day.
I'll be spending my day snuggling on the couch with a box of chocolates.
Watching Live Cam Video Feeds of our favorite beaches on Manasota Key.
I hope your day is just as sweet.
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!