Venice, Florida, is a popular vacation spot on the state’s west coast. The city is known for its gorgeous beaches and fantastic fishing. However, like any area, Venice has both pros and cons.
Looking through some of them can help you decide if Venice is the right place for you.
- The weather in Venice is beautiful for most of the year, but summers can be hot and sticky, and hurricane season can be challenging.
- Venice offers gorgeous scenery, easy access to beaches, and many options for outdoor activities.
- Venice has a small-town feel but is located not far from several major cities.
- Most residents of Venice are retirees.
- During snowbird season, Venice can become overcrowded.
- Venice and the surrounding area have a high cost of living, but residents won’t pay state taxes.
- The education system in Venice is highly rated.
- The crime rate is low in Venice.
- There are many options for fine dining and fresh seafood but quicker food options, such as takeout, are limited.
Venice sees clear, warm weather for most of the year. Temperatures rarely drop below 50 degrees, and winter temperatures usually hover in the low 70s. Rain is also infrequent from October through May.
However, the humidity in Venice is generally quite high. During the summer, when temperatures are often in the high 80s or low 90s, this high humidity can make being outside feel sticky and oppressive.
Venice and the surrounding area are also prone to hurricanes. These strong tropical storms can cause a great deal of damage, including flooding, and they can also be dangerous from a safety perspective.
People who live away from the water won’t need to worry about hurricanes as much, but because Venice is right on the coast, hurricanes can have a big impact.
Venice is located on the coast, so there are dozens of beaches to explore, including several private or secluded beaches.
Although the water off the coast of Florida can be chilly, the water off of Venice is usually a bit warmer, thanks to the city’s location on the Gulf of Mexico.
Venice’s beaches also tend to be less crowded than beaches in other Florida cities. Venice is also home to the only off-leash dog beach in the county.
Aside from the beach, anyone living in Venice will have access to several beautiful parks and golf courses. If you get tired of spending time on the beach, there are many options for walking, running, golfing, biking, or getting together a game of tennis or pickleball.
There are also many options for boating and fishing.
Proximity to Large Cities
Venice isn’t a large city, but if you want the wider range of shopping, dining, and entertainment options that a larger city offers, you can head to nearby Sarasota, which is only about 15 miles away.
Another large city, St. Petersburg, is only about an hour from Venice.
Venice is actually an island, and because it’s on the water, anyone who wants to get in or out of the city will need to use a bridge. There are only three bridges that connect Venice to the mainland.
Because of this, traffic on and off the island can sometimes become very heavy.
The bridges that connect Venice to Florida are also drawbridges that allow larger boats to pass. You may get stuck if a drawbridge needs to be raised, so it’s a good idea to always add extra driving time whenever you need to leave the island.
Venice is also popular with snowbirds. Snowbirds are people who live elsewhere during the summer but move to a warmer area during the winter to escape the snow and cold weather.
Between snowbirds and tourists, Venice can become quite congested during the winter months. Traffic is much heavier, and you’ll probably encounter crowds if you want to walk through the downtown area or eat at a restaurant.
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Venice is home to about 26,000 people, and this population can swell during the winter. However, although it’s a decent size, Venice retains a welcoming small-town feel.
You’ll get to know your neighbors quickly, and if you walk your dog or decide to take a stroll to the beach, you’ll often find that people are happy to stop and chat.
Many permanent residents of Venice are retirees, so the average age is higher than you might find in other areas. This can sometimes make younger people feel a bit out of place.
Although this small-town atmosphere is friendly, it also means that there aren’t as many options for entertainment, especially during the evening.
If you enjoy going out for a show or concert, you may need to travel to one of the nearby cities.
Cost of Living
Like anywhere on the Florida coast, the cost of living in Venice is relatively high. Utility prices are about 3% higher than the national average, and gas prices are about 7% higher.
Housing can also be expensive. The median price for a home in Venice is about $320,000, and homes closer to the water can be much pricier.
Most people will spend at least $1,000 per month on rent if they choose not to purchase a home. A two-bedroom apartment costs about $1,300 per month.
Although Venice’s home prices seem quite expensive, rent and home costs are actually lower than in many other parts of Florida, especially along the coast.
However, costs for utilities, groceries, gas, and housing continue to rise.
No state income tax is collected in Florida, so if you live in Venice, you can save money that way.
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Venice is located within the Sarasota school district, which is highly rated. Venice High School is one of the most highly-rated schools in the state, and it’s relatively large, as many people choose to attend that school instead of a school in their own district.
This means that kids will have plenty of options for socializing and furthering their education.
Venice has a low crime rate. The violent crime rate is 9.4, whereas the national average is 22.7. The property crime rate is 27.6, compared to the national average of 35.4.
Most people feel safe in Venice, even if they’re out after dark or exploring the city by themselves. However, Venice is not free of crime, so it’s always a good idea to stick to safe areas and walk together after dark.
Because fishing is so good in Venice, residents can expect to eat fresh, delicious seafood all year long. The city is also known for its amazing restaurants, which cater to a variety of tastes.
Although the city has many fantastic upscale restaurants, it is somewhat lacking in quicker or more casual dining options. You might struggle to find a place for quick takeout, for example.