Sharky’s On the Pier now on Siesta Beach!


Come see Sharky’s not only at our Venice Pier, but also at world-famous white sand Siesta Beach!

What to expect

If you didn’t know, they now manage the food, beverage & retail offerings at this location. Dine at the downstairs Sand Pavilion or upstairs Sun Deck (pictured) – they have starters, salads, sandwiches, mains, sushi & more to keep you fueled up for a day full of fun in the sun. Famous frozens, refreshing cocktails, beer, wine & non-alcoholic options are available for you to sip in the sunshine!

More info

Stay in the loop with what’s happening at Siesta Beach! Have a look at their new Facebook page, Siesta Beach Eats – they post all about the fantastic things going on here. Or visit their website

Best Beaches of SW Florida: Siesta Key Beach

Siesta Key Beach

A beachlover’s dream – Siesta Key Beach

Siesta Key is one of the Barrier Islands in Southwest Florida and belongs to Sarasota County. The 7.5 mi long island with its unique subtropical flair and dream beaches is located between Roberts Bay/Little Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico and has an area of 2.4 sqm.

The three main beaches of the island are Siesta Key Public Beach, Crescent Beach and Turtle Beach. In recent years, Siesta Key Beach, with its especially fine white sand, has been named the most beautiful beach in the U.S. several times.

Beach Amenities

The long wide beach offers a playground, tennis and beach volleyball courts, picnic areas and restrooms. Parking is free, but be sure to be early as lots fill up soon.

By the way, Siesta Key reminds a bit of Key West with its colorful Siesta Key Village in the northern part of the island. Bars, restaurants and pubs with live music attract locals and tourists alike.

Getting there

In a good half hour you can reach Siesta Key from your vacation home Villa Happy Gator.

Info on how to get there and opening hours HERE.

Siesta Key Beach Air Siesta Key Beach Sunset

North Jetty in Venice

North Jetty Beach

North Jetty Beach Park is a great place in Venice to watch the boats pass through the channel from the Intracoastal Waterway to the Gulf of Mexico. With numorous seating spots available, it is very popular among locals to spend their lunchtime here – to meet others, have a bit of small talk or simply sit and enjoy the view.

The beautiful beach at the southern end of Casey Key is great for families. Large free parking lots with several beach accesses, restrooms, concession stands, picnic shelters and a playground area attract expecially on weekends.

More info see HERE.

North Jetty North Jetty playground

Best Beaches of SW Florida: Turtle Beach

Turtle Beach Sarasota

Turtle Beach is located at the southernmost end of Siesta Key Beach. Locals seem to love it because it is less crowded than Crescent Beach or Siesta Beach. The sand may not be as white and fine as on Siesta Beach, but with some of the tallest dunes in the area, this beach is a great place to visit. It is also great for snorkeling and digging for shells about 5-10 feet inward.

The nearby lagoon and the natural wetlands are perfect spots for kayakers. Please have a look HERE for rentals. By the way: Turtle Beach was named for its sea turtle nesting habitat.


Turtle Beach has a boat launch area and fishing is permitted in the adjacent Blind Pass Lagoon.

Beach Amenities

Newly improved facilities include pedestrian walkways, children’s playground, pavilion, handicap-access, boardwalk, enhanced restrooms and plentiful free parking, boat ramp, kayak launch, picnic shelters, horseshoe courts, volleyball and a popular campground. Please see the County’s website info HERE.

NO lifeguards on duty. Parking is free, please see Siesta Key beach parking info.

There is not a concession stand at Turtle Beach, but two restaurants directly across from the entrance.

Best Beaches of SW Florida: Nokomis Beach Park at Casey Key

Nokomis Beach

Nokomis Beach is the second public beach access on Casey Key and also the oldest in Sarasota County. This Beach is rather quiet and mainly visited by locals. It is definitely a real insider tip for shell gathering, as Nokomis Beach is famous for the best shells in the area. The modern Beach Plaza offers clean sanitary facilities and a meeting room for events.

Drum Circle on Nokomis Beach

A true highlight on this Beach is certainly the famous Drum Circle, which takes place twice a week. Every Wednesday and Saturday, about 2 hours before sunset, people meet to make music, sing and dance together. The motto is: celebrate life!

Drum Circle

For more info about the Drum Circle on this Casey Key Beach, go to their Facebook Page.

Shark Tooth Beach Concessions

Do not miss to visit Shark Tooth Beach Concessions. The small restaurant right on the beach has a great menu, which provides something for every taste. Add a cool drink – and enjoy a perfect day!

For more info please go to their website

Nokomis Beach



Nokomis Beach is less than 20 minutes away from your vacation home in South Venice:

100 Casey Key Road
Nokomis, FL 34275
Sarasota County Website


Best Beaches of SW Florida: North Jetty Beach Park at Casey Key

Best Beaches of SW Florida: North Jetty Beach Park at Casey Key

North Jetty Beach Park is on Casey Key, an approximately 8-mile barrier island stretching from Venice to Sarasota. The beautiful sandy beach is lined with numerous lovingly maintained houses. Since there are only 2 public beach accesses – another one is Nokomis Beach, it is never crowded, even in high season.

North Jetty Beach Park

The Park is situated at the southern end of Casey Key, on the northern side of the Venice Coastal Waterway that separates Venice from the mainland. Fishermen particularly love to meet at the North Jetty with its rocks, as it is a great place for catches.

The beautiful park has many old pine trees, that offer shade to several picnic tables as well as barbecues and a playground. At the weekends, this park is very popular among families with children. The restrooms are well maintained and of course parking is free.

Beach Bar and Bait Shop

North Jetty Fish Camp & Beach Park Concession offers baits and a nice variety of delicious snacks and drinks. Don’t miss their live music events! Location, food, drinks and music are a perfect combination.
Please see info on their Facebook Page

Several boardwalks lead over the dunes to the beautiful beach.

Kayak Rentals

If you like to be active, you may visit Jetty Rentals and get a kayak or paddle board. They also offer guided tours, that are very popular. There is indeed a good chance to spot dolphins and manatees.
More info on their homepage


1000 S. Casey Key Road
Nokomis, FL 34275
Sarasota County website:


Best Beaches of SW Florida: Englewood Beach

Best Beaches of SW Florida: Englewood Beach

Englewood Beach – locals call it also Middle Beach – is located in Chadwick Park and is a popular beach with beautiful white sand.

How to get there – Scenic Canopy Drive

From Englewood, take the Beach Road to Manasota Key. If you cross the bridge,be sure to stop and have a look! Very often you will enoy watching some Manatees and dolphins.

Alternatively choose the Manasota beach Road in South Venice and take the famous Canopy Drive on Manasota Key Road. You will love driving under the crowns of those old beautiful trees.


At Englewood Beach there are basketball courts, a beach volleyball court, shelters with picnic tables and barbecues, a nice playground and well kept sanitary facilities.

Larger pavilions are often rented for family gatherings. There is ample parking for which a small parking fee is due.

For more info go to

Beach Yoga on our Venice Beaches – You will LOVE it!

beach yoga in venice

Beach Yoga – Venice Beaches

Reconnect your mind, body and spirit with the beauty of nature. Disconnect from any stress and be soothed by the sounds of the ocean. Breathe in the fresh morning air while watching the sun rise and feel the power of yoga – beach yoga. Wouldn’t this be a perfect way to start your day?

Maybe you prefer to stretch and energize your body at the end of the day, surrounded by the stunning nature of our Venice Beaches? Join a Sunset Class and experience the fantastic atmosphere when the sun is going down slowly and enchanting everything with beautiful colors.

There are many great reasons to do Yoga. Yoga is relaxing, it lowers stress, strengthens, improves balance and posture, sharpens awareness and helps one breath better. Beach Yoga provides all of that plus a soft and forgiving surface, fresh air, beautiful views, a connection with nature, sunlight, vitamin D and the company of many like minded new and old friends.

Bring a blanket or a mat, a bottle of water and clothing that allows freedom of movement. The Yoga classes are designed for all abilities and ages. Locals and visitors are equally welcome.

Classes are supported by free will donations.

Join the team of certified yoga teachers:

Nokomis Beach

Meet Katja, Lois and Toby at the North Jetty on Casey Key. For schedule and more info go to northjettybeachyoga.

Venice Beach

Meet Elin at the Venice Beach Pavillon. For schedule and info go to yogawithelin.

Manasota Beach

Meet Katja, Louis and Toby at Manasota Beach. For schedule and info see yogamanasotabeach.




Best Beaches of SW Florida: Manasota Beach Venice

01_Manasota Beach Venice

The Manasota Beach Road bridge in the northern part of Manasota Key leads you directly to this quiet and pristine beach. Take the boardwalks over the sanddunes and enjoy the crystal clear, turquoise-blue waters and the bright, soft sand that are ideal for swimming and sunbathing. Manasota Beach is also a popular area for snorkeling.

As far as the eye can see, the beach stretches along the coast. On long, peaceable walks you can find many beautiful shells and fossil shark teeth. Even on high season, this beach is never crowded. With some luck, you can even see manatees and dolphins. At the northernmost end, Manasota Key is a quiet bird sanctuary. Many native birds, dolphins and sea turtles live on this stretch of coastline.

There are picnic tables in shady areas, BBQ areas, changing rooms, restrooms and showers. Manasota Beach is staffed with lifeguards all year round. Parking is free – as always on Sarasota County’s beaches.

South of the drawbridge there is a boat ramp that provides easy access to Lemon Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

Manasota Beach is located on 8570 Manasota Key Rd, Englewood, FL 34223 – only a short 10 minutes drive from our Villa Happy Gator in Venice.

Let us inspire you with some pictures and a beautiful video:





Best Beaches of SW Florida: Stump Pass Beach Englewood


You can fall in love with this beach. Stump Pass Beach State Park is located on Manasota Key, about 20 minutes south of your vacation home Villa Happy Gator. Plan a whole day, so that you can fully enjoy the beach and nature of this beautiful place.

The state park is very well maintained. Ample parking, restrooms, shower facilities and pavilions for barbecue are provided.

Best is to discover the park on foot. Numerous small paths and boardwalks lead to the end of the park at the southern tip of Manasota Key. The further you go from the parking lot, the less people you will meet. Pay attention to the numerous bays. You may be lucky and see manatees or a few dolphins playing offshore. From May to October, you will also find nests of sea turtles, which are always clearly marked by animal friends.

If you like, you can rent kayaks or explore the area with a stand-up paddleboard. For info go to

For information about the State Park, visit the official website.