Most people, when spending time in Venice, flock to the downtown area. But for those interested in exploring some of the less traveled areas of the city, check out the east side of Venice Avenue in the historic district.
East Venice Avenue and its surrounding area are home to:
– One of the most important historical sites in Venice, the Train Depot. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Venice train depot was constructed in 1927 by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. It was the last stop on the line of the Seaboard Air Line Railway that extended south from Tampa through Sarasota. It now serves as the southern trailhead of the Legacy Trail, which runs along the railroad’s former right of way. Free docent-led tours are provided by the Venice Area Historical Society. Check the Society’s website veniceareahistoricalsociety.org for dates and times.
– Three green spaces—Legacy Park, Ruscelletto Park, and the Venice Urban Forest. Legacy Park is located across from the Historic Train Depot and has a walking trail that connects to the Venetian Waterway Park and Legacy Trails. It has a shaded train-themed playground with a climbing apparatus and swings. Ruscelletto Park, tucked away off North Grove Street, has a sidewalk for walking and biking around a stormwater pond that is home to numerous water birds and other wildlife. The Urban Forest, a green space between the Seaboard Industrial District and the Intracoastal Waterway, will stretch from the Venice Historic Train Depot to Center Road when completed. The first phase is now finished with the planting of hundreds of trees and the creation of several butterfly gardens.
– Several food and beverage establishments, including bike and sports pubs, offering a variety of cuisine—Thai, European, and American.
– More than a half dozen shops catering to your outdoor pursuits, including charter boats; golf carts; electric bikes; fishing, camping and hiking equipment; and beach supplies.
– Pet-related businesses offering grooming to boarding to fish and aquarium supplies.
– Cultural art enthusiasts providing music instrument rentals and lessons, as well as Clyde Butcher fine art photography, books, and gifts (located just off E. Venice Ave. at 237 Warfield Avenue).
And if that is not enough, the area abuts Seaboard—the beginning of the Industrial District. This area, running parallel to the old railroad tracks, was designated for industrial uses by the town’s first planner John Nolen and has been used for such purposes since the 1920s. Today, it serves as an economic engine, supporting city residents and other businesses. More than 100 businesses operate in this zone, providing an endless array of services—automotive; plumbing; painting; swimming pools; storage; remodeling; water conditioning; window installation; embroidering; personal chef, just to name a few.