Discover Osprey and Venice

By | September 9, 2013

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Osprey Welcome SignIf you’ve visited Sarasota Florida, you already know what a vibrant and exciting place it is to be.  But, if you haven’t ventured beyond the southern edge of Sarasota, just a bit further down the Tamiami Trail (U.S. Route41), you’ve not been introduced to the Sarasota’s two smaller, quieter neighboring towns of Osprey and Venice.

Osprey, Florida lies just south of Sarasota in what’s referred to as “unincorporated” SarasotaCounty. Osprey is a community with both multi-million dollar homes facing directly on Sarasota Bay or on deep-water canals with no bridges between your dock and open waters. There are also more modest homes still on those deep-water canals.

Boating enthusiasts will love SorrentoShores, a community of just over 230 homes, built during the 1960’s and ’70’s; with many of them on navigable canals with a few directly on SarasotaBay.  Home styles range from villas and cottages to large executive mansions.  Home prices in Sorrento Shores vary widely from just under $200,000 to $3 million or more for the most luxurious waterfront homes.

Golfers, on the other hand, may find The Oaks, one of the most exclusive golf communities in the Sarasota – Osprey – Venice area, more appealing.  The Oaks covers about 1,000 acres on both sides of the Tamiami Trail.  Residents of The Oaks may join the exclusive Oaks Club with its championship 36-hole golf course, 12 tennis courts, oversized pool, and croquet at a stunning 41,000 sq.ft. Georgian clubhouse.  The Oaks is comprised of three distinct neighborhoods, Bayside with homes directly on Little Sarasota Bay, Clubside with estate size homes surrounding the golf course, and The Preserve with homes in a nature preservation setting. The Oaks also includes Meridian at The Oaks Preserve, a huge bayfront luxury condo development.

In Osprey, you’ll also find Oscar Scherer State  Park, a nature preserve where you’ll come face to face with thousands of species including bald eagles, bobcats, river otters and alligators.  At historic Spanish Point, you’ll find a group of original homesteads depicting the pioneer life as it was when the area was first settled.  There are shopping areas at Osprey Village, Blackburn Point Plaza and the Southbay Fashion Center, restaurants of all kinds from casual places serving grouper sandwiches and pizza to fine dining spots like the Spanish Pointe Marina and the Bimini Bar & Grill.

Downtown VeniceJourney a bit further south and you’ll be in Venice, a quaint city built originally in the Mediterranean style.  Veniceis home to several golf course communities with homes and condos in every price range and style. Sawgrass, Jacaranda West, Pelican Pointe, Venetian Golf and Country Club and Venice Golf & Country Club each have golf courses as well as homes and condos in various settings from those facing the Gulf of Mexico or the scenic Myakka River to those set next to the certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary in the Venice Golf & Country Club community.

Venice includes “Venice Island,” a quaint downtown with wide sidewalks for strolling and window shopping.  In the historic district, surrounded by buildings in the Italian Renaissance style of the city’s original architecture, you’ll find a community theatre, fine dining and casual restaurants, boutique shops, a Saturday farmers market, and more.  In South Venice, you’ll find a shopping center, Manatee Community College’s South Campus, and the VeniceRegional MedicalCenter, a 312-bed facility with a comprehensive array of health care services .

Venice has 27 miles of walking and biking trails, 7 miles of beaches including Venice Beach, a “Certified Blue Wave Beach” and HumphrisPark (aka South JettyPark) with everything you need for a picnic, a chance to go fishing or snorkeling or just watching a sunset over the Gulf.   Veniceis known as the “Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World” for the millions-of-years-old shark’s teeth found on its beaches.

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