Lucky you if you’re going to the Rev3 Florida race this time of year; especially all of you east coast and midwest triathletes and families. TheTriWives would love to give you some ideas for things to do and places to eat that should give you a feel for the city of Venice – we assume you already have your place to stay and travel plans made. The area is a small island surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico on one side and the Intercostal Waterway (ICW) on the other side. We are very fortunate to have a good friend actually live there. So, we are able to let you in on where the locals eat and play. She’s a volunteer at the race, too. I think you’ll find her out on a kayak. Yell, Bobbie and see if anyone responds!!!
We’re starting out with Part 1, Things to Do, and will follow-up with Part 2, Places to Eat. Since Venice is located on the water, many of the activities are located there and a lot are FREE. We’ve provided many links so you can check ahead and make sure of hours and make any reservations if needed. Especially for first time racers, be sure to check out our tips in, The Sport of Spectating – What To Pack For Race Day and The Sport of Spectating- Family Fun Style.
THINGS TO DO:
- You can start or end your day with yoga on Venice beach with Elin. She has a free class every morning and evening at sunset and also gives lessons and rents stand up paddles (SUP) for those either very adventurous or practiced yogis.
- Venice is also “the shark tooth capital of the world” so a lot of people just spend the day at the beach searching for shark teeth. Try Venice Municipal Beach or Caspersen Beach.
- Venice Fishing Pier is at the end of Venice Avenue where you can fish, watch surfers, watch the sunset, or just enjoy the sand & surf. For a more quiet, family-oriented spot where you can do a little fishing, try Nokomis Beach.
- The downtown area provides plenty of places to eat & shop for yourself, family, or friends. The main street is Venice Avenue. It is lined with pink, Mediterranean style shops & palm trees. On Saturday, there is a Farmer’s Market downtown.
- Water sports abound in Venice. Among the activities you can choose from – kayak, jet ski, parasail, or charter boat fishing. Rentals are easy to come by.
- For a great biking, running/walking trail, try the Legacy Trail. This is a 10 mile paved trail that goes from Venice to Sarasota.
- The Venetian Waterway Trail is 5 miles of biking and walking trails that runs along both sides of the Intercoastal Highway. It connects to the Legacy Trail and downtown Venice.
- On Friday night, Nov. 9, there will be the Friday Night Live Concert by Red Kid in Centennial Park at 7 pm. It is free. The park also has great interactive fountains that are fun for the kids – bring towels…..
- Every Wednesday and Saturday at Nokomis Beach, a group of local people gather in the evening to “drum down the sun”. Bring some appetizers, libations, and a chair for an evening of people watching.
- If anyone needs to get in a round or two of golf, there’s Sarasota National Golf Club on the island.
- We have to mention Brohard Paw Park on Harbor Drive, which is the dog beach, for anyone who misses their pet or has brought them along for the race.
- For a bit of local history, check out the Venice Train Station. You can take a tour and learn about Venice’s history, along with the significance the depot played, including literally bringing the circus to town!!!
- Check out the Venice Arboretum for all things regional trees and plants.
- As you walk around town, you may see these six foot statues of dolphins and sea turtles – how can you miss? They are part of an art project of the Venice Art Center, called Sea Venice Dolphins & Sea Turtles. The Center is also hosting a Seafood Festival on Thursday, Nov. 7, with food and music. There are also many other exhibits you can check out for a bit of culture.
- The Venice Theater is currently showing “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”. It has been recognized as one of the best small theaters in the country.
- Most of the festivities for the weekend will be held at Sharky’s and Maxine Barritt Park, which is adjacent to Sharky’s on the beach.
- If you are going to be around town a bit before or after the race, you can always venture out of the area. Sarasota is 1/2 hour away and offers multiple activities for the family. They have the G Wiz Science Museum, the Mote Marine Aquarium, the Big Cat Habitat, and the Ringling Circus Museum. If your Rev3 schedule permits, on Saturday, there is the Sarasota Medieval Fair at the fairgrounds from 9:45 am – 6pm. You’ll encounter tournaments, feasts, & tons of family fun. Also, Tampa is just 1 1/2 hours away and Orlando/Disney World 2 1/2 hours – it should be quieter with it being off season.
There you have it. Plenty to do while you’re relaxing before and maybe after the Rev3 race. So, we hope all the triathletes and their families & friends enjoy their stay in Venice. Check back with us for updates on any other great ideas we hear of and be sure to follow us on facebook and twitter @triwivesclub. For more detailed information on Venice and the surrounding areas, try the Venice Travel Planner or Venice Information Center. Have a great race and enjoy Florida!!!