Traveling from Venice to Sarasota or vice versa is one of the best ways to see some iconic places along the coast and see what a marvelous view of the ocean exists in just a short trip. Within less than an hour, visitors and locals can travel this beautiful distance that includes parks, recreational spots, dining options, sightseeing detours, and more. Find out why the trip from Venice to Sarasota is a great way to experience the Suncoast.
Sarasota Legacy Trail
Not a fan of four wheels? Why not try two? The 12.5-mile-long Legacy Trail opened in January 2006. Paved in 2008, this trail originally started at Venice Historic Train Depot. This trail also links to the Venetian Waterway Trail, a 9.3-mile trail that covers both banks of the Intracoastal Waterway. The trail is limited to cyclists, runners, and walkers. History and wildlife tours are available and many people love the pedal-powered Surrey Ride available from late January to mid-April for tours.
Making the Drive
Nothing says a road trip like a coastal drive from Venice to Sarasota. The drive is about 23.6 miles (38 km) with just about 34 mins of actual road time, not including stops along the way. Some great stops along the way make this a beautiful experience for visitors to the Sunshine Coast.
Located off the coast of Sarasota, Siesta Key is a beautiful barrier island known for crystal-like sands and a wide expanse of beaches perfect for a visit or a longer stay (if that’s your thing). Stopping along the journey to Sarasota, Siesta Beach offers shops and cafes in Siesta Key Village, a playground, tennis courts, and beautiful backdrops. Located just a few minutes off the route on the way to Sarasota.
Punta Gorda offers a bit of a respite from the hectic hustle of other beach towns. For fewer crowds and accessible entertainment of the natural world, stop by and enjoy dolphins, sea turtles, birds, and more at this great stop on the journey to Sarasota. One of the most popular spots is Englewood Beach. White sand beaches and gentle waves from the Gulf of Mexico will entice you to stay longer than planned, but isn’t that the point?
Restaurants within walking distance offer variable fares from surf and turf to more luxurious dining for a romantic meal. Relax and enjoy the calm of paradise. Include Stump Pass Beach State Park for a quiet walk and sandy treasure hunting. Want to go even more remote? Take a trip to Don Pedro Island State Park, accessible by boat only. Don Pedro features a sandy beach, hiking trails, restrooms, swimming, and snorkeling in crystal clear waters.
Located on the Manatee River, south of Tampa, this beautiful location is home to many exciting stops on the way to Sarasota. The South Florida Museum boasts natural and cultural history exhibits. Enjoy some intergalactic fun at Bishop Planetarium or stop at Parker Manatee Aquarium for up-close-and-personal experiences with the world’s friendliest creatures. Need to stretch those legs after a drive? Jump out at Riverwalk Park and stroll along the water, popping into galleries, studios, shops, and places to eat. It is located just a few minutes off the main route to Sarasota.
There are many ways to get from Venice to Sarasota. Whether it is by car or bike or some other way, many can’t-miss opportunities exist to explore the beautiful coastline. Take time to enjoy the sights and sounds of this beautiful coastal area while enjoying all the natural beauty and wonders that await.