Vacationers in Venice do not have to stroll far to find the nearest beach. Just take a 15 minute walk from Downtown, and you will reach Venice Beach with its turquoise water, excellent cleanliness and relaxed atmosphere.
WHAT MAKES VENICE BEACH SO SPECIAL?
Venice Beach, also known as Venice Municipal Beach, can comfortably be reached via Venice Avenue. Large sand dunes separate the beach from the main street.
Granted, there are beaches in Florida where the sand is more powdery-soft and white. What draws visitors to Venice Beach, however, is its excellent cleanliness and infrastructure. Parking is free, and life guards have a watchful eye on the little guests. There are picnic areas and volleyball nets, as well as toilets and showers. The clientele is a bit older, so you do not have to worry about parties and loud music.
The crystal-clear water gets deep quite fast – perfect for swimmers, but also for snorkelers who want to see colorful fish. And while sea turtles are a rare sight in the water, their nests are often found on the beach. Shelling is a favorite pastime in South Florida, and Venice Beach is no exception. In addition to colorful sea shells, visitors can collect real shark teeth in the surf. If you are lucky, you might even find the teeth of prehistoric species – a perfect souvenir for your loved ones at home.
During the summer months, the weather at Venice Beach is mostly warm and rainy while the winters are cool and windy. February to May and October to early December is widely considered the best time to swim here. Then, guests can enjoy pleasantly warm temperatures with little precipitation. However, if you want to have the beach for yourself and do not mind the afternoon showers, you should visit Venice Beach in the summer.
Restaurants and Shops at Venice Beach
A popular dining spot at Venice Beach is the Pilot House with its classic American cuisine and fresh seafood. This restaurant serves fast food such as burgers, hotdogs, grilled cheese and French Fries, as well as fried shrimps, salads and fresh smoothies. If you want, you can order takeaway and enjoy your food in the picnic area. Looking for more variety? Then take a 10 minute walk to Downtown Venice with its Italian trattorias, bakeries, cafés and cocktail bars.
Forgot your sunscreen at home? No problem. The Beachside Food Mart is only a 5 minute walk away from Venice Beach. Here, you can also buy snacks and drinks. On Saturdays, the Farmers Market in the parking lot of Venice City Hall offers fresh vegetables, fruits and baked goods, as well as handcrafted jewelry. The market is located only half a mile away from the beach, so you should definitely stop by and get some food for your picnic.
Accommodation Options at Venice Beach
The area around Venice Beach has no shortage of accommodation options for every budget. Just 100 yards away lies the top-rated Inn at the Beach. This quaint, little hotel features spacious rooms with kitchen units and has its own swimming pool. If you want to save money, the Island Breeze Inn is perfect for you. This clean motel with pool and barbecue area is located just 1.5 miles away from the beach.
Vacation houses near Venice Beach combine the amenities of a hotel with the privacy of your own home. Situated only 6 miles away is The Place, a villa with indoor pool, 3 spacious bedrooms, flat-screen TVs and a fully furnished kitchen. Another highly recommended place is the Villa Happy Gator 15 minutes from historic Downtown. Looking for more family-friendly vacation homes? Then you should check out South Venice, a laid-back small town of 14.000 people.
Directions to Venice Beach
You can walk to the beach from Downtown Venice in 20 minutes. Guests based in Cape Coral and Tampa will need approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes to get there by car.
One of the best places for sun worshippers in Venice is the barrier island Casey Key in Nokomis. This island is home to North Jetty Beach, a paradise for swimmers, fishing fans, surfers, families with children and all those who want to soak up the rays in the South Florida.
REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT NORTH JETTY BEACH
Thanks to its secluded location and excellent cleanliness, North Jetty Beach is the perfect spot to relax in the sand and watch the boats off-shore. Swimming in the turquoise water is no problem, either. A shallow drop makes this beach ideal for little children, and the water is free of harmful bacteria 95 % of the time. Or how about a romantic walk on the beach? Colorful seashells are washed ashore in abundance, so you can fill your pockets with souvenirs for your loved ones. Visitors even have a good chance of finding shark teeth, especially after storms.
Picnic tables and barbecue grills are available, as well as volleyball nets and a playground for little guests. There are also toilets and showers. If you want to explore the coast, you can rent a kayak. This is a perfect choice for nature lovers, as the beach is fairly undeveloped despite its central location. On a kayak ride, you can observe countless waterbirds like pelicans and herons, as well as turtles. With a bit of luck, you will even spot dolphins and manatees. And if you are looking for some high-speed fun, you can rent a jet-ski at the pier.
The beach is widely known as a hotspot for surfers. If you want to ride the waves, you can check the daily conditions on the website www.surfline.com. Here, you will also find the North Jetty Webcam broadcasting a live-stream of the beach. Thanks to the rich waters, fishing is another popular pastime, and you can even buy the right equipment at a local bait shop. Next door, the North Jetty Tap & Grill serves hearty burgers, French Fries and fish sandwiches, as well as Cuban Sandwiches, a true Floridian specialty.
No matter what you want to do in the daytime – you should not miss the sunset at North Jetty Beach. The colorful display is another reason why so may visitors keep coming back to this hidden gem in Sarasota County.
DIRECTIONS TO NORTH JETTY BEACH
North Jetty Beach is located 4 miles from Venice and can be reached via the Albee Rd W bridge. The car ride only takes about 10 minutes.
In the south of Sanibel Island lies a beach that amazes visitors with its crystal-clear water, white sand and unspoiled surroundings. Here, you can go walking, swimming and sunbathing to your heart’s content. What is more, Sanibel’s Lighthouse Beach is also a perfect place for shelling, surfing and fishing.
LIGHTHOUSE BEACH IN A NUTSHELL
The first thing that catches the eye at Lighthouse Beach Park is the Lighthouse from the 19th century. You may not be allowed to climb it, but the historical building offers an interesting photo op against the backdrop of the turquoise ocean.
Arriving at the beach, you are greeted by fine sand and lush palm trees. The level of cleanliness can only be described as excellent, and the water is warm enough to swim from March to December. Thanks to moderate currents and a shallow drop off, even small children can safely play in the water. At the northern section of the beach, the waves are stronger, making this part a haven for wind surfers and sailors.
Lighthouse Beach is also an ideal place for nature lovers. Not only seagulls and pelicans hunt for fish here. Dolphins can be spotted off the coast, while starfish are often found in the shallows. Turtles that feed on the dune grass are another common sight.
By the way: Do not be confused if you meet beach-goers armed with buckets and shovels. Sanibel Island is known for its many seashells, and Lighthouse Beach is no exception. The best shells can be collected in the morning, before most visitors hit the beach.
No trip to Lighthouse Beach would be complete without the Sanibel Fishing Pier, where you can catch redfish, sheepshead and snappers. A fishing license can easily be obtained at Walmart, and bait is available at the Bait Box Shop 2 miles away. Of course, the pier is also perfect for a walk, with wooden roofs providing some shade. Info panels tell you all about Sanibel’s bird life. In addition, the pier offers beautiful views of the Sanibel Causeway. The sunsets here are legendary.
AMENITIES, DIRECTIONS AND PARKING AT LIGHTHOUSE BEACH
At Lighthouse Beach, clean toilets and showers are available. Restaurant, however, are non existent, so you should pack some snacks. An umbrella is also a good idea as natural shade is only found at the section around the Lighthouse. The beach is located in a nature preserve, so dogs have to walk on the leash.
Coming by car, you will reach the Beach Park via Periwinkle Way, a road that you follow up to the Lighthouse. There, parking spots are available for 5 USD per hour. Unfortunately, there are no free alternatives for motorists. However, Sanibel Island is small enough, so you can easily get to the beach by bicycle.
Las Olas Beach is located just a stone’s throw away from Fort Lauderdale International Airport and Port Everglades. Here you can pass the time sunbathing and swimming in a relaxed atmosphere before heading for a shopping trip on the Las Olas Boulevard. A multitude of restaurants and the exciting nightlife make Las Olas Beach even more popular with locals and vacationers.
WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT LAS OLAS BEACH?
Many visitors rub their eyes when they see the immaculate white sand of Las Olas Beach for the first time. With its tropical palm trees and shining, turquoise waters, Las Olas could easily pass as a Caribbean beach. Cleanliness can only be described as excellent, life guards are on duty around the clock, beach chairs are readily available, and the sand amazes with powdery softness.
Walks on the beach provide the perfect opportunity to collect colorful shells. But maybe you are more of an action lover. In this case, just rent a Jet Ski and turn the blue ocean into your race course. Other popular water sports include kayaking, paddleboarding and snorkeling. Swimmers will be happy to hear that water temperatures range around pleasant 25 to 31° C the whole year round.
Showers are located at all entrances, and families with children can enjoy picnic areas and playgrounds in the shade. Of course, all this happy beach life attracts a fair amount of visitors. However, Las Olas is rarely overrun. During Spring Break many college students flock to Las Olas, but the wild days are long gone. Alcohol and loud music are prohibited on the beach, and police have an eye out for party-goers.
RESTAURANTS AND SHOPPING AT LAS OLAS BEACH
relaxed yet glamorous vibes Florida is known for. The culinary choices leave nothing to be desired, as American, Indian, Mexican, Middle Eastern and many other types of restaurants are waiting for guests. Whether you are looking for fast food or fine dining, vegan place or steakhouse, breakfast or dinner – Las Olas Boulevard has you covered. Not hungry? Then simply come and enjoy yourself at the many cafés, charming pubs, cocktail bars and wineries. The BSquare Restaurant is famous for its skillfully prepared desserts and homemade ice-cream. And if you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, there is no better place than Hoffman’s Chocolate. Even the decoration looks mouthwateringly delicious.
If you want to push your credit card to the limit, you will love the variety of shops on Las Olas Boulevard. More than 65 boutiques sell everything from casual clothing and swimsuits to children’s apparel. They are complemented by a multitude of shoe stores, jewelers, luxury watches, stylish sunglasses, massage parlors, book stores, gift shops, drug stores and pharmacies. Art connoisseurs are advised to stop by at Sienna Fine Arts, a gallery that displays many contemporary paintings and sculptures. And for those interested in nature photography, the National Geographics Fine Art Gallery is just the right place.
If you want to know more about the rich history of Las Olas Boulevard, you can always join a tour. The Ghost Tour lets you in on stories about celebrity scandals, infamous gangsters and paranormal phenomena in this part of Fort Lauderdale. Gourmets should go on the Food Tour and taste the less well known specialties Las Olas has to offer.
ACCOMMODATION AT LAS OLAS BEACH
Las Olas Beach has a lot of attractions in store – why not stay longer, then? Thanks to a wide range of accommodation options, everybody will find a place that suits them.
If you wish to reside in style, the Riverside Hotel might be just the place for you. This Fort Lauderdale original has been in business for 75 years and lets you choose between 220 rooms. Its swimming pool is perfect for cooling off, and at the sun deck you can spot the ocean liners on their way to distant shores. 4 restaurants and bars offer many culinary options.
Another prime luxury accommodation is the Marriott´s BeachPlace Towers. Its spacious rooms come with a balcony, the villas have their own kitchen, and the beach is just 2 minutes away. If you want to stay in Fort Lauderdale even longer, you can book your holiday apartment at the stylish Las Olas Beach Club, known for its big infinity-pool, spa, fitness center, billiard room and many other amenities.
With its fine sand and colorful seashells, Captiva Island is one of the most popular attractions near Cape Coral. Whether you want to take romantic walks, explore the coast by boat or collect Sand Dollars in the surf – Captiva Beach has something to offer for everybody. It only takes one hour to drive here from Cape Coral. But of course, you can always rent your private boat and moor directly at the beach. And if you want to stay longer, why not treat yourself to a stay at one of the island’s luxurious beach resorts?
CAPTIVA BEACH IN A NUTSHELL
Captiva Beach makes up almost the entire west coast of Captiva Island – 5 miles of pristine beauty, perfect for taking endless walks on the white sand and splashing around in the crystal-clear water. High-rises and big hotels are non existent, just like noise pollution and party guests. Captiva Island is still one of the lesser-known vacation spots in Florida, so you will have to share the beach with only a handful of visitors.
Swimming fans will love to hear that water temperatures range around pleasant 24 degrees Celsius all year round. If you want to explore the coast, you can rent banana boats and kayaks, thrill-seekers view the island from above while parasailing, and on guided jet-ski tours you can watch playful dolphins off-shore. Yolo Watersports and Sunny Island Adventures should be your first choice for all water-based activities and tours. Surfing is another popular pastime at Captiva Beach. You can even check the waves online via webcam before grabbing your board and heading for the beach.
Captiva Beach would not be the same without its countless seashells. And guests who think that “Sand Dollars” are some sort of island currency will be surprised. Instead, Sand Dollars are little crustaceans who got their name from their shiny coin-like shell. If the shell is empty, you can take it with you – a perfect souvenir for your loved ones at home.
In addition to its private resort beaches, Captiva Island features two public entrances to the beach: North End Beach, also known as Alison Hagerup Beach Park, is located next to the South Seas Resort. Here, public toilets and showers are available, as well as picnic tables. Lush palms and pine trees provide the perfect backdrop for swimming and sunbathing.
Turner Beach stretches on the island’s southern end, where Captiva is connected with Sanibel Island by bridge. Toilets and showers are available, and the beach is very popular with shell collectors: Nowhere on Captiva do you find more colorful ocean treasures than here. Children will love to climb on the rocks, while fishing fans can cast their rod near the bridge where the water is teeming with bass and snappers. The beautiful sunset is another reason to come here. If you want to swim, please note that the currents become stronger the farther you get from Blind Pass.
PARKING AT CAPTIVA BEACH
Arriving by car can be a bit tricky, as parking spots are in short supply on Captiva Island. The best option for motorists who did not book a hotel or condo is Turner Beach and North End / Alison Hagerup Beach. At Turner Beach, you can park your car for 2 USD per hour, while parking spots at North End Beach start at 5 USD per hour. It is a good idea to come here before 11 am. If there is no parking available, you can try your luck at McCarthy´s Marina, 437 yards away from Captiva Beach.
RESTAURANTS NEAR CAPTIVA BEACH
Spending the whole day outdoors might make you hungry. Luckily, Captiva Island features many restaurants in walking distance to the beach.
The Mucky Duck is not only known for its cutlets, steaks and seafood specialties. The restaurant also has a huge parking lot directly at the beach – perfect if you want to go for a swim after your meal.
330 yards inland the Keylime Bistro attracts guests with its delicious desserts – most popular, of course, Florida’s Key Lime Pie. Hearty dishes like burgers and fried fish are on the menu as well. Next door, fans of Italian food can get their fill at Captiva Island Pizza.
For fine dining on Captiva´s east coast, you should have a seat at the Green Flash. Here, fresh, seasonal seafood dishes are accompanied by tender steaks and a wine menu that leaves nothing to be desired.
Mexican specialties are available at the Cantina Captiva, and for your daily dose of caffeine you can visit the Starbucks at North End Beach. However, no restaurant on Captiva can compare with the Bubble Room – an aesthetic mix between American Diner and festive Christmas Village.
Feeling too lazy to leave your sun bed? No problem. Joey´s Snack Boat sells hot dogs and ice-cream directly from the shore.
ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS NEAR CAPTIVA BEACH
Captiva´s public beaches are a good choice for nature lovers. But if amenities like sun beds and umbrellas rank high on your wish list, you should check out the following accommodation options:
The South Seas Island Resort to the north is Captiva´s biggest resort and features 6 restaurants, 3 pools, 7 tennis courts, and a private beach. On-site childcare is available, and guests can unwind at the extensive wellness center with its saunas and massages.
Looking for a more budget-friendly option? Then you should check out the Captiva Island Inn near the beach. Here, you can choose between colorful one and two bedroom cottages. Miles of unspoilt sand await you at the Tween Waters Inn – once a favorite vacation spot of Theodore Roosevelt. The hotel has its own marina, as well as a spa, a pool bar, 2 restaurants, a water sports rental and many other amenities.
Guests looking for maximum privacy will find a wide range of vacation houses and luxurious villas near Captiva Beach. Here, you can enjoy magnificent ocean views and splash around in your own private pool.
Vacationers are not the only ones who love Florida’s coast. Dogs enjoy some watery fun, too. And while most beaches are off-limits for canine companions, there is one place in Venice where dogs and their owners can splash around to their hearts content. In this article, you will learn what makes Brohard Paw Park the perfect place for dogs and their owners.
Brohard Paw Park & Beach is the only dog beach in Sarasota County where the animals can run around without a leash. The extensive beach is located just a 3 minute car ride north of Venice Airport and 5 minutes from historic Downtown. Here, guests enjoy a perfect view of the Venice Fishing Pier. Two separate entrances for big and small dogs are available, and the beach is big enough for all dogs and dog-owners to find a quiet spot. This is important in case your dog does not get along well with others. For misbehaving dogs there is a fenced „Time Out“ area.
The sand is coarse and pleasantly cool, so you do not have to worry about burnt feet or paws. Dog owners who expect to be fobbed off with a second-class beach will be surprised: The water is just as crystal-clear and clean as you would expect from a beach in Venice – no wonder that even non-dog owners love to visit Brohard Paw Park. In addition to its beautiful looks, the beach also features a true highlight: shark teeth are washed ashore and can be collected as souvenirs.
Brohard Paw Park is often praised for its excellent cleanliness. Of course, this depends on the conduct of visitors. There are enough trashcans, so cleaning up after your pet should not be a problem. More amenities include benches, picnic tables, showers and water dispensers. There is even a dog shower with free shampoo, so you can wash your companion before putting him in your car. On the downside, natural shade is in short supply, so guests should bring an umbrella.
If you have had enough of the beach, you can visit the fenced-in playground for dogs. Hungry visitors should take a walk to nearby Venice Pier with its excellent seafood restaurant – a perfect place to watch the sunset after your day of swimming.
BROHARD PAW PARK OPENING HOURS AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION
Brohard Paw Park is open daily from 7 am to sundown. Free parking is available.
Please note: Like other beaches in the Sunshine State, Brohard Paw Park sometimes sees outbreaks of the Red Tide, a concentration of algae that causes respiratory problems in humans and dogs. Before you visit the beach, you should check the website of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission: http://myfwc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=87162eec3eb846218cec711d16462a72. Here, you will find a live map showing the recent risk of Red Tide in Florida.
BROHARD PAW PARK DIRECTIONS
Find the directions to Brohard Paw Park below.
Scenic nature, warm water and colorful seashells galore – Bowman’s Beach in the west of Sanibel is a top destination if you want to soak up the sun in a relaxed atmosphere.
WHAT MAKES BOWMAN’S BEACH SO SPECIAL?
The most striking feature of Bowman’s Beach is its secluded location. Unlike at Lighthouse Beach, you will not find any hotels or vacation homes. This already becomes apparent on the path to the beach, where info panels shed light on the regional flora and fauna. Bowman’s Beach stretches behind unspoiled natural dunes. Here, fine sand, clear water and excellent cleanliness await you. And the best thing is: Most visitors frequent the area closest to the entrance. Therefore, if you walk a bit, you will always find a quiet spot, even on the weekend.
With all this natural beauty, it comes as no surprise that Bowman’s Beach is teeming with wildlife: Pelicans hunt for fish off the shore, little rabbits feed on the dune grass, and in the water you can see stingrays and dolphins. If you are lucky, you might even spot Florida’s manatees in the river behind the beach.
Shelling is a popular pastime at Bowman’s Beach. The colorful seashells are washed ashore in abundance, especially after storms. Tip: The best shells are found in waist-deep water. However, remember to wear sandals, so you do not cut your feet.
Thanks to the clean water and warm temperatures all year round, swimming is no problem here. The beach has a shallow drop off, so it is perfectly suited for families with small children. Those who bring their canoe or kayak can explore a river that is teeming with fish. And of course, no day at the beach would be perfect without enjoying the amazing sunset.
Despite its natural flair, Bowman’s Beach features some amenities for visitors: e.g. toilets, showers, water dispensers, change rooms, vending machines, a playground, picnic tables and barbecue areas. However, you have to bring your own food, as there are no restaurants at the beach. You should also pack some insect repellent if you want to relax near the dunes. Natural shade is in short supply, so it pays to bring an umbrella. Dogs are welcome at the beach, as long as they walk on the leash.
DIRECTIONS AND PARKING SPOTS
Bowman’s Beach is the most secluded beach on Sanibel Island. To get here, follow the Sanibel Captiva Road and make a left turn to Bowman’s Beach Road after the fire department.
On-site parking costs 5 USD per hour from 7 am to 7 pm, but is free at all other times. It takes about 10 minutes to walk from the parking lot to the beach. Please note: On the weekend and holidays, even Bowman’s Beach sees its fair share of visitors. Therefore, you should arrive early to get a parking spot.