1. Feel the Beat at the Nokomis Beach Drum Circle

At sunset, bring your lawn chair to Casey Key and enjoy the Nokomis Beach drum circle. It’s an improvisational gathering of eclectic musicians (and some belly dancers for good measure). Get there a little early to claim your spot every Wednesday and Saturday. www.nokomisbeachdrumcircle.com.

2. Watch the Sunset at the Venice Jetties

Grab a seat on a bench or one of the boulders that comprise the jetties, and watch the sun sink slowly on the Gulf of Mexico. Check sunset times at www.sunrisesunset.com.

3. Frolic in Two Fountains

Set your inner child free and take a romp in the Centennial Park interactive fountain, or just enjoy watching others getting wet. After, mosey over to the Soda Fountain on Venice Avenue for an old-fashioned malted milkshake or ice cream soda.

4. Visit the Rookery

Photographers and birders from near and far come to the Venice rookery, which is alive with all sorts of herons, egrets, storks and more. Nesting season is January-March. www.veniceaudubon.org.

5. Celebrate the Seasonat the Sun Fiesta

It’s one last chance to get together before “snowbirds” begin to migrate our way. Plenty of food, drinks, crafts and entertainment in Centennial Park from October 15-17. The parade takes place downtown on Saturday, October 16, 10 a.m. www.sunfiesta.net.

6. Join the Regulars for a Drink at Venice Wine and Coffee Co.

As if delicious coffee and one of the most diverse wine selections in the area weren’t enough to make Venice Wine and Coffee Co. a “must,” it’s also one of the best places in Venice to belly up to the bar and chat with the locals. 121 W. Venice Ave.

7. Attend a Fall Sports Event at Venice High School

Venice is a “Friday Night Lights” kind of place. Attend a home game this fall and catch some Venice Indian Spirit. www.sarasotacountyschools.net/schools/venicehigh.

8. Peruse the Work of Artisans on Miami Avenue

Venice has a national reputation for its art and craft festivals. A favorite of locals is the Miami Avenue Craft Fair where, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., funky antique and vintage stores, dozens of local artisans and food vendors fill the street. September 4-5.


9. Take a Spinning Class at the YMCA

For heart-pounding action (literally), try a spinning class at the South County YMCA on Center Road. It’s not for anyone new to exercise, but if you’re up to the challenge you can burn hundreds of calories in an hour. Non-members can use the Y’s facilities for $10 a day. www.veniceymca.com.

10. Volunteer at the Venice Theatre

Legions of volunteers make it one of the top community theatres in the country. You can join the fun in dozens of ways, from building sets to working in the box office or participating in children’s programs. Call or email Kim Kollar: 488-1115, ext. 239, or kimkollar@venicestage.com.

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