Beyond Venice’s old district to the south lies the picturesque area of South Venice Beach, our favorite part of Venice. Development of the area began in 1952 (it was called then simply South Venice). The New York development firm of W&A Construction Company began building, and the first residents moved into their homes in October 1953. The area along Tamiami Trail is full of shopping; the friendly and useful AAA office is also here. But turn westbound towards the sea and you will find a beautiful residential area in a bird sanctuary amid lush subtropical vegetation. As a part of the deal, the developer guaranteed in writing to all South Venice residents direct access to the Gulf Coast (the area lies on the shores of Lemon Bay). Tall wooden bridges over the water were erected providing access to the private beach at Manasota Key. But in 1966, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredged the canal linking the Lemon Bay with the Roberts Bay, and downtown Venice became an island and South Venice switched to ferry service (residents and visitors alike use annual passes).
On the Lemon Bay near the Alligator Creek estuary, you will find 5 acres of public area with the ferry terminal, boat ramp, and crab dock. The ferry holds 18 passengers at a time and leaves the dock every half-hour between 9:30am and sunset every day (except Wednesdays) to carry you to your private beach on the Gulf of Mexico. The 4-minute ride to the pristine beach on the Gulf is unforgettable. The beach is unique in its privacy and provides an opportunity for swimming, sunning, shelling, and shark-tooth hunting. You may see manatees during the ride, and dolphins come to the beach almost every day. It is a perfect place for those looking for a vacation of low-key activities like boating, kayaking, or sailing. Shore fishing in Lemon Bay is another popular activity.
Florida is a paradise for golfers and draws more golfers than any other state. The South Venice Beach area alone offers three privately-owned golf courses (Bird Bay, Capri Isles, and Waterford), one public golf course (Lake Venice Golf Club), and another eight within a half-hour’s drive.
In the northwest part of South Venice Beach is Shamrock Park & Nature Center
(free). Here visitors can find tennis and basketball courts, children’s playgrounds, a nature trail (1 mile), an environmental center, and a sheltered picnic area. The Venetian Waterway Park links Shamrock Park with the Venice historic district. The Waterway Park is actually a 8-foot-wide picturesque trail running along the Intracoastal Waterway.