What Makes Venice Happiest Seaside Town?


The strong sense of community that prospective home buyers typically include in their search criteria is very much alive in Venice, Florida, as shown in the recent accolade the city received as one of the “Happiest Seaside Town in America.” This rave review came as a result of a nationwide poll in early 2015 conducted by Coastal Living Magazine which tapped the social media for netizens to vote for their favorite seaside community.

To generate votes for Venice, local authorities mobilized an aggressive on-the-ground marketing campaign which in turn galvanized the community and its fans across the United States. As a result, Venice came out second nationwide and the No. 1 Florida destination in the magazine’s online “happiest town” survey.

Fundamentals of a happy community

What Makes Venice Happiest Seaside Town?

Venice indeed is an enchanting seaside town with plenty of attractions to offer to visitors and residents alike and, in the process, weave them into a sound and lasting esprit de corps that helps shape happier communities. Developed in the mold of a European city circa 1920s, Venice emerged from the drawing boards of John Nolen, a world-renowned urban planner from Boston.

Riding on the real estate boom of the roaring twenties, the town’s development incorporated spacious avenues lined with palm and banyan trees. The northern Italian renaissance architectural style dominates the town’s vintage buildings, many of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. At the outset, the town was developed as a walkable community with its commercial and cultural hubs, parks and housing built close to the downtown.

The town’s newer sections, with homes built from the 1960s to the 1990s, are well in synch with Nolen’s original street grid. The construction of the Intracoastal Waterway in 1963 turned Venice into an island with three bridges now providing mainland access.

Upscale but affordable

Some say the city is much like the upscale Naples except that Venice has lesser traffic and offers more affordable prices. Others sum up Venice as a resort city with a lively downtown full of quaint shops and restaurants plus an assortment of parks and recreational facilities.

Other city amenities include a municipal airport that can accommodate private aircraft, public tennis courts, an 18-hole public golf course, a regional medical center and superb public schools. There are two scenic public beaches, one of which is Caspersen with a nature preserve and 9,000 feet of beachfront, Sarasota’s longest and hub for the island’s unique shark’s tooth festival.

Rich mix of Sarasota homes for sale

Eclectic neighborhoods constitute Venice Island’s residential communities. For aspiring buyers of Venice homes for sale seeking developments with a contemporary Mediterranean theme, the upscale gated community of Bellagio is worth putting on the watch list. Located close to the island’s south bridge, this property hosts residences built in 2000-2004 with floor areas ranging from 1,700 to 2,300 square feet with either two or three bedrooms and price points in the $300s up to the $500s.

Those eying to live in Venice for the long-term can focus on Venezia Park and Gulf View, mostly the domain of permanent residents and professionals working in the island. The Golden Beach neighborhood would be the ideal choice for those in search of seasonal vacation homes. It consists of small single family homes, duplexes and condos, many of which have deeded beach access. Going high-end would logically veer towards the Bayshore district on Roberts Bay, flaunting million-dollar waterfront homes within large lots nestled amid lush, ancient trees which too surely helped mold Venice into one of the happiest U.S. communities.