Venice, Florida: The Gulf City With Old World Charm

May 30, 2018 • Fenny Peiffer

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Enveloped by balmy Mexican Gulf breezes, this Southwest Florida oasis combines Mediterranean ambiance with an island getaway to Bermuda. Voted one of the top cities to retire by Forbes, Venice is a pedestrian-friendly, warm weather paradise where everything from shopping the farmers market to surfing can be enjoyed all year long. Home to more than a dozen active adult communities including Island Walk at West Village, and Plantation Golf and Country Club, Venice offers retirees and empty nesters a wide range of beautiful homes, and an all-inclusive lifestyle that snowbirds will want to stick around for.

Located in Sarasota County about an hour south of Tampa, this “City on the Gulf” stretches along miles of pristine coastline, so whether or not a home has a waterfront view, glittering waves are just minutes from just about anywhere. With 30 miles of bike trails, public tennis courts, and beautiful parks including Centennial Park, and the Venetian Waterway Park which runs along the Intracoastal Waterway, it’s no wonder the majority of Venice’s sunblock toting fitness gurus are 55 or better. Thanks to temperatures that rarely dip below 70 degrees, Golf is played 365 days a year at some of the area’s top-rated courses also featured by Golf Advisor, from the Venetian Golf and River Club to the Lake Venice Public Golf Club.

Dating back to the early 1900’s, Venice is a historic, age-friendly community that captures the essence of a European town, and offers a slower-paced lifestyle that feels worlds away from Florida’s packed metros. Along Venice Avenue, one of the city’s main thoroughfares, a flourishing downtown area features Italian inspired architecture, palm-lined sidewalks, and locally owned one-of-a-kind boutiques, and dining. People find Venice to be affluent, and refined, yet low key, and welcoming, and it’s this kind of humble, hometown atmosphere that makes it such a desirable area for baby boomers.

Venice may not have the bright lights of Miami, but there’s no shortage of activity. Home to an array of entertainment venues from the Venice Performing Arts Center, and Jazz Club of Sarasota, to the concerts held at Centennial Park, active adults will find a city immersed in a global culture. Whether it’s fishing, boating, shark tooth hunting at Casperson Beach, or witnessing canine utopia at South Brohard, and Paw Park, life in Venice isn’t complete without leaving footprints in the sand. For those who feel that flip-flops and sun-hats should be worn year round, this seaside destination has plenty of perennial charm.

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