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, Venice Beach has been called the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World” for its impressive concentration of these prehistoric fossils. You can hunt for the teeth along the shore, or dive to a reef a quarter mile offshore. A short drive up the coast lies Siesta Key Beach. Boasting “the finest and whitest sand in the world,” it was named America’s Best Beach in 2011 by coastal researcher Dr. Beach for its ideal swimming waters and top-notch facilities.
- Nifty in-room amenities: Guest rooms feature stainless-steel refrigerators and microwaves, and 37-inch flat-screen TVs.
- Onsite dining: The Wave Grill serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Go swimming: Take a dip in the hotel’s heated outdoor pool or head to one the nearby public beaches.
- Recommended biking trail: Legacy Trail runs 12 miles past golf greens, farmlands, and wetlands from Venice to Sarasota.
- Best beach for lounging: Lie under a palm tree at Siesta Key Beach in nearby Sarasota. The beach won a TripAdvisor 2013 award for best beach.
- Distance to downtown Venice: 2 miles
- Bring Fido: The hotel is pet-friendly with a $25 fee per stay, and pooches can run off-leash at Brohard Paw Beach, 3 miles away.
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 seven 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 that 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 al fresco cafes, funky boutiques, and historical sites. Each Saturday, at the Venice Farmers’ Market, you can pick up fresh seafood, locally grown produce, and handmade knickknacks.