Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: The End

*This week it's Nifty Gianna's turn to share her favorite things to do in Venice*

When I moved to Venice I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of things there are to do for free or cheap in the area. Lucky for me, my husband grew up here, and knows about all sorts of things to do. Here are the things that we love to do in Venice.

Nifty Gianna's Top Ten Things To Do In Venice (other than shopping at Nifty Nic Nacs, of course!)

#10. Take my dogs to the dog beach: One great thing about Venice in general is how dog-friendly it is. There are 2 dog parks, a dog beach, and most of the stores on the Island are dog-friendly, and there is plenty of outdoor seating at restaurants for you and your furry friends. The beach is our favorite spot in the summer because my pooches get their exercise and stay cool by playing in the water. It's very clean, and everyone is always super friendly!

#9. Taking kids to the Intergenerational Fountain in Centennial park: Many of our friends and family have kids and sometimes it's hard to think of things to entertain them that don't cost a bundle! One of our favorite things to do is to take them to the fountains to cool off and play in the water! There are benches and tables for adults, public restrooms right next door, and the water shooting out of the ground is a great way to tucker out some toddlers!

#8. The Triangle Inn: The Triangle Inn is one of the many historic buildings in Venice. It also hosts the archives so there is a ton of information on Venice to learn here!

#7. Venice Train Depot: This is another cool museum, which is in the old train depot. It is also, conveniently, the Sarasota County Area Transit bus depot, so if you need to get to Sarasota for cheap, this is where you go! The train depot also runs along the Intracoastal Waterway and is very pretty. There are a few weddings here, among other events, every year.

#6. Old Venice Pub: This is a quaint little pub, where locals can be found on any given evening, enjoying the breeze on the balcony, with a nice cold beer.

#5. The Venice Pier: On the beach by Sharky's, is a long pier over the water. There are usually sunset-watchers, photographers, and a few fishermen here. A visit to Venice simply is not complete without a stop on the beautiful pier for sunset.

#4. Sharky's on the Pier: Once the sun sets, or perhaps before, stop at Sharky's for a basket of beach fries (ask for extra dip!) and a frozen rum drink or a margarita. It's the perfect way to end a long warm day. There is often live music too, so call ahead!

#3. Upper Crust Cafe and Bakery: This is one of my favorite restaurants in Venice. They have decadent and healthy options, breakfast and lunch, and bake pies, cakes and other pastries to order. My favorites: Queen Anne Wrap, Loaded Turkey Sandwich, and a Hot White Chocolate with whipped cream.

#2. Venice Farmer's Market: Every Saturday morning on Tampa Avenue you will see lines of tents, with people selling produce, plants, baked goods, oils, fresh fish, crafts, jewelry, pickles, jellies and olives, and  more. Some of the local animal rescues bring animals who need homes, or you can donate to them right on the spot. It's a great way to spend a morning or even pick up some fresh apples and carrots before heading to the beach.

#1. Venice Theatre: My husband and I love to see the extremely well done shows at Venice Theatre. They do a good mix of something for everyone and the prices can't be beat! You can get two tickets to a fantastic play for the same as a movie and popcorn!

While the city limits of Venice have a plethora of things to do, remember that there is even more going on right on the outskirts! Oscar Scherer State Park is a few miles north, and the State College Of Florida, with their cultural and civic events, speakers, and student-led events, is a few miles south.

-Nifty Gianna

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