Venice photo

Southern Coastal Watershed Excursion

Venice Area

The Venice area is rich in history and has important archeological sites. In fact, there are traces of settlements from over 10,000 years ago when the Florida peninsula was twice as wide as it is today. At that time it was an area with vast savannas, grasslands and open prairies. Here the ancient Paleo people hunted animals such as mammoth, cave bear, horse, mastodon, bison and even camel. Several thousand years later, the Calusa Indians, who dominated most of South Florida, thrived in the area as an important civilization for many generations. They left canal systems, impressive carvings and huge mounds that contribute to the area’s interesting history.

Venice is one of the few cities on Florida’s west coast that is not separated from the Gulf of Mexico by a barrier island. To the east of the city lies an intracoastal waterway where boats can travel with protection from the waves.

The system of public beaches provides many opportunities for collecting prehistoric shark teeth. In fact, because there are so many teeth that can be found along the shoreline, Venice is recognized as the shark tooth capital of the world. To protect the sand dunes and the natural vegetation, wooden walkovers leading from the parking areas to the sandy beach areas are found at most of the beaches. Venice Beach is located within walking distance from downtown Venice. Freshwater and saltwater marshes, mangrove areas and tidal flats can be found at the uncultivated, windswept Caspersen Beach.

Interested in fishing? A 740-foot public fishing pier may be used at Brohard Beach and Service Club Park.

Next stop: Lemon Bay