Restaurants in Venice: Delicious Pizza at Mama Maria’s

Mama Maria's in Venice

You love Pizza? You also love Steak Subs and Pasta Alfredo with Shrimp? Be sure to step by at Mama Maria’s on S Tamiami Trail, my personal recommendation. Best is to bring a lot of appetite, as the portions are very large.

The culinary team offers a variety of homemade pizzas, subs, appetizers, calzones, salads and pasta entrees, everything with fresh ingredients.Try and be ready to be amazed!

Guests also love the relaxed atmosphere and the friendly and attentive staff. You may also order take out meals or use the delivery service. Simply have a look at the menu and call.

Mama Maria’s is located on 2067 S Tamiami Trail in Venice, just across the end of Alligator Drive. Phone number for contact is 941-408-9226.

Mama Maria’s on Facebook here.


Pasta at Mama Maria's   Subs at Mama Maria's Venice

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.

The Legacy Trail – Biking at its best in Sarasota County

Legacy Trail

How about combining nature and sports? Do a bike tour on The Legacy Trail! This trail is an 11 mile long bike path, that was built on a former railway. Away from the traffic you roll through wonderful landscape such as the Oscar Scherer State park.

It is so great to hear that Sarasota County is now planning to extend The Legacy Trail and its connections with adding nine miles north to Payne Park in downtown Sarasota. There are also discussions how to improve the connection from the city of North Port in the South. The Legacy Trail currently runs from the Historic Venice Train Depot to Culverhouse Nature Park in Sarasota.

Getting to the starting point at the Historic Train Depot in Venice by bike is easy from Villa Happy Gator. Just cross Shamrock Park and ride along the Venetian Waterway. It will take you only half an hour to the Train Depot. As our guest, you are welcome to use the bikes at Villa Happy Gator. For larger groups we can recommend a trustworthy bike rental.

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.


Mote – Marine Laboratory + Aquarium in Sarasota

Mote Aquarium Sarasota

„The Answers are in the Ocean“
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

If you are in the Venice area, be sure to visit this fantastic presentation of marine life in Sarasota!

Explore the secrets of the sea through touch pools, viewable-working labs and high-tech interactive exhibits that showcase the world-renowned research of Mote Marine Laboratory. See sharks, manatees and sea turtles, along with more than 100 other species of marine life.

They offer

  • Bay Walk and Talks
  • Birthday Parties
  • Breakfast Programs
  • Eco Boat Tours
  • Kayaking
  • Morning Rounds
  • Research Charters
  • Seahorse Lab Tours
  • Shark Encounters

You may also join one of Mote’s Science Cafés in a local restaurant and take part in lively discussions.


Especially families love interactive, hands-on eco-adventures on the Sea Life Encounter Cruise. Eco Boat Tours are ideal for kids and a fun and fascinating extension of any visit to The Aquarium. Meet our marine natives — dolphins, manatees, osprey, eagles and other marine birds in their natural settings — and learn more about Florida wildlife from the ship’s biologist.

How about a Full Moon Paddle? Take a break from the sun and join them for an evening paddle as they explore Florida’s coastal waters at dusk. Discover the animals that bring Sarasota Bay to life at night while taking a relaxing paddle on the moonlit water.

Mote – Marine Laboratory&Aquarium  started in 1955 with Dr. Eugenie Clark’s foundation of shark research and is now more than 200 employees strong, including more than 30 Ph.D. scientists. They conduct groundbreaking research with more than 20 diverse research programs focusing on today’s challenges as well as identifying and addressing future impacts. The advancement of this kind of research is vital to unlocking potential solutions to some of today’s most daunting global challenges.


Marine Laboratory&

1600 Ken Thompson Parkway
Sarasota, FL 34236
Ph: (941) 388-4441

Website for info, hours and prices:

Photos: credit to Mote Marine Lab

Yofresh – Delicious All Natural Yogurt in Venice FL

yofresh in venice

This will be your favorite spot if you love frozen yoghurt! Step into this bright and cheery place and you will feel immediately special. There is always a smile to greet and a great song on the speakers to welcome you.

Enjoy a large selection of delicious all natural frozen yogurts with a variety of tasty toppings, fresh yogurts and fruit smoothies.

They even provide almond milk flavors – vegan and dairy free – which are my personal choice. You will also find gluten and fat free options.

Do you know how “Hit Lucky 13” will create a “Yo Smile” on your face? Put exactly 13 ounces into your cup and you will enjoy it for free! Give it a try!

FroYo Your Way!

Yofresh Yogurt Café
4197 Tamiami Trl S
34293 Venice (Florida)
+1 941-244-0394

Meet them on Facebook!

Yoghurt in Venice  yogurt in Venice

yogurt in Venice  yogurt in Venice

Golf in Venice Florida – Capri Isles is one of the best Offers in Sarasota County

GolfinVenice Capri Isles

Capri Isles might become your favorite course while vacationing in our Venice area.

The semi-private Golf Club offers challenges that are guaranteed to capture the interest of the serious golfer as also of the casual player. The character and playability of the 18 hole course was enhanced with numerous expansions, including the additions of strategic water features, fairway and greenside bunkers, configurations of greens, rerouted layout, additional yardage and four sets of tees.

You are welcomed by a friendly staff personnel, even the gators on the back nine seem to smile at you when you go by. The Club does an excellent job with the many golf tournaments they host.

Given the superb condition and affordable pricing, Capri Isles offers one of the best values in Sarasota County.

The restaurant at the Club House is open for breakfast, lunch, and occasional dinners.

Capri Isles Golf Club Features are:

– Full driving range

– Over-sized putting green

– Electric carts

– Pull carts

– Rental clubs

– Full pro shop

Capri Isles Golf Club belongs to “Golf in Venice”, an association of 3 Golf Clubs that provide outstanding court conditions. Members can use all 3 clubs, what is a great advantage.

For more info like directions, booking Tee Times or reserving lessons please go to their website GolfinVenice.

Capri Isles Golf Club is only a short drive from your vacation home Villa Happy Gator. Read more about Golf in Venice on our page “This and That”.


GolfinVenice Capri Isles

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