With average high temperatures in the 70s most of the year and reaching the 90s for the summer months, it’s no surprise that Venice, Florida, is a favorite destination for snowbirds. Voted in the top 10 list of “Happiest Seaside Towns” by Coastal Living, Venice offers something for everyone, from museums and theaters to 14 miles of picturesque beaches and exciting cultural events, including the annual Shark’s Tooth Festival. Located in Sarasota County, Florida, along with the Gulf Coast, Venice is an ideal vacation spot for sun-loving, adventure-seeking families. Explore 12 of the best Venice vacation rental locations before planning your next trip.
Stay right in the heart of it all with a vacation rental in Downtown Venice. Hit the sand early to look for shells and fossilized shark’s teeth with the kids, and appreciate the stunning Italian architecture when you walk the city streets. Adventurers in the family can find plenty of opportunities for fishing and boating in the area.
Located just 12 miles down the coast from Venice, Englewood offers quiet, uncrowded beaches, plenty of vacation rentals, and lots of opportunities for the adventure enthusiasts in your family. Golf is a favorite pastime here, fishing is big, and it’s the perfect location for birdwatchers. Take the kids to Stump Pass Beach State Park to look for seashells and enjoy a fun-filled day on the sand.
3. Siesta Key
Siesta Key, located 16 miles up the coast from Venice, is known for its public beaches. The 8-mile-long island getaway boasts sparkling water, white sand, and incredible sunset views. Vacation rentals in Siesta Key are never far from beaches or bays. Visit the Big Water Fish Market for a delicious seafood lunch.
A short 23-mile drive from Venice, Sarasota is packed with exciting eateries, shopping destinations, and cultural experiences. Ca’ d’Zan Mansion, former home of the Ringlings, the famous circus family, is a must-see, as well as the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Spend the day exploring the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary, and visit the petting zoo. Grab some slices from Palermo Pizza, and take the kids to Abel’s Ice Cream for sundaes before retiring to your vacation rental.
5. Boca Grande
A short, 30-mile jaunt from Venice, Boca Grande is an upscale community with plenty of resorts and vacation rentals. The area is packed with picture-worthy sights. Start at the Boca Grande Lighthouse Museum, or take a boat ride to Cayo Costa State Park for some outdoor adventures. Try The Outlet at the Innlet Restaurant for an unforgettable dinner with the family.
There’s always something to do when you book a vacation rental in Bradenton, just 35 miles from Venice. The Pittsburgh Pirates train here at McKechnie Field, so it’s the perfect destination for baseball fans. Downtown Bradenton boasts the RiverWalk, ideal for evening strolls. Bradenton Beach is only a short drive away, and the Anna Maria Oyster Bar is your go-to destination for seafood. If you’re looking for a thrill, try zip lining at Treeumph Adventure Course.
7. Port Charlotte
Just 25 miles up the coast from Venice, Port Charlotte is the perfect destination for the family seeking adventure in the great outdoors. Golf courses abound in this coastal community, and the 165 miles of waterways let you partake in any water sport you choose, from windsurfing to jet skiing. Catch the Tampa Bay Rays during spring training at the Charlotte Sports Park, and don’t miss out on an entertaining evening at Visani Restaurant and Theater.
One of Florida’s hidden gems, Arcadia brings Old West charm to the Gulf Coast thanks to the area’s cattle raising history. Find a vacation rental in Arcadia to catch rodeos, and visit in May for the Watermelon Festival. This farming town has its fair share of fine eateries, including Slim’s Deep South Bar B Q and Mary Margaret’s Tea and Biscuit.
9. Longboat Key
Longboat Key is known for its upscale restaurants and luxurious resorts. Find a vacation rental here for some true relaxation. Find a spot in the sun among the 12 miles of beaches, or head to the greens for golf along the water. There are plenty of places to shop, and water activities include kayaking and fishing. Search for seashells along Coquina Beach, and grab dinner at the Lazy Lobster of Longboat.
10. Cape Coral
With an average temperature that reaches 90 degrees, Cape Coral is a family friendly community that’s perfect for those seeking excitement. Sun Splash Family Waterpark is a great place to spend the day with the kids. Work up an appetite with a hike at Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park, then head to dinner at La Corte Bistro. If you prefer cooking at your vacation rental, stop by the Cape Coral Farmers Market for fresh ingredients.
11. Fort Myers
Fort Myers is a popular vacation destination for deep-sea fishermen and avid golfers, but the downtown waterfront provides plenty to entertain families, from restaurants and shops to galleries and museums. Gorgeous white sand beaches await in the City of Palms, which is also home to the winter estates of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. Be sure to stop by Mina’s Bistro for some fine Italian eats, and grab dessert from Love Boat Homemade Ice Cream.
12. St. Petersburg
A vacation rental in St. Petersburg leaves nothing to be desired, as museums, restaurants, shops, and award-winning beaches lie right outside your front door. Known as The Sunshine City, St. Petersburg is home to The Dali Museum. Take the kids to Great Explorations Children’s Museum for a fun-filled afternoon, and be sure to try the Caribbean cuisine at Bodega Comida Cantina Cafe.