Hotel at a Glance: Ramada Venice Resort
Florida’s Gulf Coast is home to dozens of spectacular white-sand beaches. The Ramada Venice Resort, located in southern Sarasota County, is located near some of the best. Two miles west, you can hunt for shark teeth along Venice Beach or dive to a reef a quarter mile offshore. Siesta Key Beach lies a short drive up the coast. Boasting “the finest and whitest sand in the world,” it was named America’s Best Beach by coastal researcher Dr. Beach in 2011 and the No. 3 US beach by TripAdvisor in 2014.
- Nifty in-room amenities: Guest rooms feature stainless-steel refrigerators and microwaves and 37-inch flat-screen TVs.
- Onsite dining: Wave Grill serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Take a dip in the hotel’s heated outdoor pool.
- Bring Fido: The Ramada is pet friendly with a $25 fee per stay, and pooches can run off-leash at Brohard Paw Beach, 3 miles away.
- Recommended biking trail: Legacy Trail runs 12 miles past golf greens, farmlands, and wetlands from Venice to Sarasota.
- Distance to downtown Venice: 2 miles
Venice, Florida: Championship Golf Courses and Beaches Along the Gulf
Located on central Florida’s Sun Coast between St. Petersburg and Fort Myers, Venice boasts 7 miles of beachfront along the Gulf of Mexico. The town is affectionately called the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World”—at Venice Beach, divers comb the offshore reef for teeth, and the town hosts a festival every year to celebrate the abundance of the fascinating fossils. The coast is strewn with plenty of other treasures, as well. You can find a variety of shells on Caspersen Beach, including lightning whelk, lion’s paw, and junonia, which can only be found on the state’s west coast. Fishing is another popular pastime, and anglers line up along the 700-foot-long Venice Beach Pier in hopes of catching tarpon, flounder, or spanish mackerel.
There’s more to the city than its beaches. Venice also boasts a number of championship golf courses, some of which offer dazzling water views. Downtown Venice is a charming mix of alfresco cafés, funky boutiques, and historical sites. Each Saturday, at the Venice Farmers’ Market, you can pick up fresh seafood, locally grown produce, and handmade knickknacks.