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:


Typical for Florida – What you may hear only in Florida

Typical for Florida

What is typical for Florida? Each region has its own charm. Florida as a part of the South has many special features. Here is a collection of 10 terms that you may hear in Florida often:

1. “Literally”

“I’m literally sick of this humidity” is just one example of literally being used literally in every possible way. The phrase “like”, that is used so much elsewhere, is not so common here and has been “literally” replaced by the new “literally”. Pay attention! 😉

2. “It will pass”

This sentence refers to the rain showers, which can occur again and again in the summer months throughout the day. In Florida, the possibility of rain is always included when schedules are created. Doubts are suppressed with “It will pass”. It can rain in the garden while it is sunny and clear in front of the house. So do not cancel any plans just because there’s a dark cloud in the distance!

By the way: This is a great site for weather info:

3. “West Coast”

When you hear Floridians talking about the “West Coast,” they probably do not talk about California, but rather the Gulf Coast of Florida. This is common among locals, but it can easily be misunderstood by visitors. Also with “Venice Beach”, they mean of course not “Venice Beach” near Los Angeles, but our beautiful beach in Venice, Florida.

4. “Bobo”

“Bobo” is not a bird. In Florida, the word “Bobo” is often used to describe something that is either below average or mediocre. For example: “This place is Bobo.”

5. “Is it snowing?”

Many Floridians have never seen snow in their lives. Of course, if you are visiting a state north of Florida, you are naturally very interested in experiencing this natural phenomenon live. Even today, the cold winter of 1977 is a topic of conversation in which “Snow in Central Florida” made headlines.

6. “Where are my Uggs?”

When temperatures drop below 60 degrees, Floridians get out Ugg boots and winter jackets. They are also sometimes worn with shorts and T-shirts – visitors may be amused when noting this. 😉

7. “Pub-subs”

Publix is simply THE supermarket in Florida and known across the country for its chicken subs. “Pub subs,” as Floridians call them, are cooked to order at Publix-Deli. A successful trip usually does not start until everyone has picked up their pub subs – typical for Florida.

For info: “Sub” is the abbreviation of “Submarine Sandwich” and means a long, roll-shaped sandwich, which is longitudinally cut open and filled, usually with meat, vegetables, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, etc.

8. “I’ve never parked in parallel”

This sentence is more likely to be heard outside Florida, when Floridians are supposed to park longitudinally in another state.

You do not need parallel parking in Florida, because almost everywhere there are driveways and large parking lots. Moreover, it is also not part of the driver’s license test.

9, “Is that a roach or a palmetto?”

Palmetto bugs or American cockroaches can be found anywhere in Florida. In contrast to the more common German Cockroaches, which are smaller and more likely to be found in damp corners of the kitchen and bathrooms, Palmetto bugs can grow up to 2 inches (5 cm). They prefer to live outside, in mulch beds, drains or crawl spaces – and hide in the trunk area of palmetto palms.

Why is it good to know who you are facing? Palmetto bugs can fly!

10. “Yeah, no” and “No, yeah”

It is very helpful to know the difference between the two phrases. “Yeah, no” means “no” and “No, yeah” means “yes”. So ignore the starting “Yeah” and pay attention to the second word.


So enjoy, what is typical for Florida and have a great time!

National Doughnut Day – June 7 2019

National Doughnut Day

Do you like doughnuts? I do! These delicious treats have conquered the world. How wonderful that there is even a National Doughnut Day!

National Doughnut Day


On the first Friday in June each year, people in the US celebrate National Doughnut Day. It remembers The Salvation Army Lassies, the women who served donuts to soldiers during World War I at the front lines in Europe. With home made foods those brave volunteers brought a morale boost to the troops. The doughnuts were often baked in oil inside the metal helmets of the soldiers.

In 1938 National Doughnut Day was created by The Salvation Army to honor these women and to start a fund-raising for Chicago’s Salvation Army. The goal was to help the needy during the Great Depression. National Doughnut Day was born.

National Doughnut Day

About the Doughnut

A doughnut is a ring-shaped sweet snack that is made of fried dough. It can be rolled in sugar or topped or glazed with icing. There are also doughnuts filled with jam, custard, or cream.

Food historians believe, that the doughnut came to the US with Dutch immigrants in the 19th century.

In the late 20th century, the shortened form “donuts” became popular with a successful doughnut chain, but still “doughnut” remains the most common spelling.

National doughnut day


Let’s celebrate!

Take some friends and enjoy the sweet snacks at your local doughnut store. Many doughnut stores have special offers on this day, so be sure to check.

Maybe you love baking? Try a new recipe and treat you and your loved ones at home.

Or continue the spirit of charity and volunteer for the local Salvation Army chapter or another non-profit organization that works with the armed forces.

National Doughnut Day


Doughnuts in Venice Florida

You are in Venice at National Doughnut Day? Be sure to visit Yummies Donuts, they are amazing.

On Friday June 7th, they will give ONE FREE glazed doughnut to everyone!!! (Until running out, so hurry!)

For more info, visit their website

National Doughnut Day

Boat Rental in Florida – Pure Water Fun!

Boat Rental in Florida

A boat tour along the beautiful coastline of Florida is a great experience for vacationers. Discover Florida from the water and see a whole different world. Find idyllic, natural beaches, discover the diverse island world or take a trip on the Caloosahatchee River.

Enjoy dolphins or turtles swimming by and admire the many colorful birds. The boat trip on Florida’s southwest coast will certainly be a highlight on your vacation.

Incidentally, renting a boat is quite easy in Florida: you only need your valid car driver’s license and you should be at least 21 years old. If you were born on or after January 1, 1988, you would need to purchase a “Florida Boating Safety Identification Card” in advance. You can purchase this life-long card with an online course here: With each rental you will receive a detailed introduction.

Our Venice area is perfect for a boat trip, so there are plenty of good boat rentals for all kinds of watercraft.

Furthermore we have dear friends that own a boat anchoring in Gasparilla, about half an hour south of Villa Happy Gator, and that they rent out to travelers at a very special and low rate. We gladly provide the contact info to our guests. Of course a profound introduction and fully comprehensive insurance is included. Please ask us for more information.

Where to eat around Venice: Waterfront dining at Pop’s Sunset Grill

Pops Sunset Grill Nokomis

Pop’s Sunset Grill in Nokomis is THE place to take your friends and family for a taste of Old Florida. It has become one of Western Florida’s favorite landmark over the past 30 years. Guests love the casual atmosphere and fresh local fare.

Have a Cesar’s Salad or some bay scallops while enjoying the beautiful Intracoastal Waterway and the fabulous natural wildlife. Sip a delicious cocktail with the scenic view of boats and ships sailing by. Mostly at weekends, they offer some of the best live local entertainment in the Venice and Nokomis area. Be sure to check the calendar!

All of their items are prepared fresh in their kitchen daily. If you have any questions regarding ingredients and would like to modify your meal for dietary, allergy or some other reason, ask the friendly staff. They will do their best to accommodate your request or assist you with alternate menu suggestions.

Please visit the website for opening hours, events and menu.

Villa Happy Gator Venice Florida – Talking about Eco-Friendliness

Villa Happy Gator Venice

We love Florida and its wonderful nature – that’s why at Villa Happy Gator we want to do our utmost to ensure that our precious nature is as little affected as possible by our house and its care.

Our technical equipment is up to date and regularly maintained by specialist companies. Thus, the air conditioning works very economical and effective while maintaining high comfort. Our pool is a saltwater pool and therefore usually comes without any chlorine addition. The result is crystal clear water, which is good to the eyes and skin with a pleasant smell.

Pest Control is indispensable in the warm humid climate of Florida. But there are gentle methods that are good for the environment and for humans. We chose a system that even carries the USDA Organic label: “The Sentinel” – small, green containers that are placed around the house to form a protective barrier. Only in very rare situations, something stronger has to be used.

Our lawn is free from regular pesticide spraying. The lively vegetation attracts many colorful birds that we have here in South Venice.

Garden, walk- and driveways are kept clean by hand. In cooperation with our gardener we are in the process of testing an ecological weed killer to reduce the effort a bit.

Our cleaning team also is very sensitive. Vinegar and soda are common companions when cleaning.

Sarasota County is top in recycling. Paper and plastic are collected separately. Our guests will find sufficient containers as well as detailed instructions for the correct sorting.

The city of Venice and Sarasota County have recently adopted ambitious plans to reduce their impact on the environment, which we support.

In addition, we examine promising ecological projects in the area, whether we decide to sponsor them. We are always looking for new ideas to make Villa Happy Gator even greener. We thank our guests that have been very supportive and appreciate our efforts.

Caspersen Beach - Villa Happy Gator

Villa Happy Gator


Villa Happy Gator


South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve – Great for Nature Lovers

Lemon Bay Preserve

Here in South Venice we are fortunate to have a real gem for nature lovers right at our doorsteps: the South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve with its 222 acres of protected land along Lemon Bay.

The preserve is nestled in the densely packed suburb of South Venice, is a refuge for several protected animals and plants.

There are several miles of trails through coastal habitats including mangroves, tidal swamp, tidal marsh, coastal hammock and upland communities such as mesic and scrubby flatwoods. On your walk you will have the chance to meet a variety of wildlife such as gopher tortoise, Florida scrub-jay, bald eagle, river otter and an assortment of snakes, including the eastern coachwhip. Also bobcats have been seen there. Boardwalks afford visitors access across the recreated and restored wetland slough.

Be sure to wear sturdy shoes as sand spurs are very common. Also carry some water as you may walk longer parts of the trails in the open. With so much to discover, your walk could always take longer than planned. If you are lucky, a bunch of scrub jays will play their games with you.

The Preserve is divided in 2 parts. Each part has 2 entrances, all of them only minutes from your vacation home Villa Happy Gator:

Northern part:
5472 Kenisco Road + 1101/1199 Ocelot Road South Venice

Southern part:
1101/1199 Ocelot Road + 6200 Osprey Road South Venice

Detwiler’s in Venice – The Farmer’s Market Grocery Store!

Detwilers-1 Venice Florida

Detwiler’s on US 41 in Venice Florida is a one of a kind shopping experience. Immediately when stepping in you feel yourself on a large farmer’s market – only that it is inside. The policy of the store is to buy local whenever possible. They believe in supporting the community and local economy.

And they love Organic Produce! They say, there’s nothing better than fruits and veggies grown the way God intended. They hold their meat, seafood and deli procucts to the highest standard.

Each time I visit the store I am overwhelmed by the large produce selection. The colors, the scents, the absolute freshness – I buy always more than I intended.

You are looking for European cheese or bread? They carry delicious varieties.

The staff is super friendly and always helpful.

Detwiler’s is located at 1250 US Hwy 41 Bypass S, Venice, FL 34285. Feel free to visit their website for more info and for the weekly ad.