1. Take Your Buddy to the Beach

The best dog beach in the state, that is! Dog lovers from far and wide bring their furry friends to Brohard Paw Park at 1600 Harbor Drive, where dogs can roam and swim free, get a drink and even take a shower. venice-fla.com/pawparkmap.html.

2. Meander Down the Myakka

A canoe ride down scenic Myakka River in Myakka River State Park, is a must

if you really want to see Florida in its natural, unspoiled glory. Winter or spring is best, but be sure to check the water levels. myakkariver.org.

3. Enjoy the Best Voices in Venice

Choral music has a way of lifting your spirits, and few groups are as inspiring as Exsultate!, Venice's own chamber chorus. The group will perform April 15 and 17 at Grace United Methodist Church. exsultate.org.

4. Go on a Vintage Treasure Hunt

Vintage treasure lovers can follow a trail throughout the Venice area to find everything from fine estate antiques to pop culture memorabilia. Elderís Antiques in Nokomis (eldersantiques.com) and Nifty Nic Nacs on Venice Avenue (niftynicnacs.com) are great places to start or end the hunt.

5. Sink Your Teeth Into This Festival

There is only one Shark's Tooth Festival, and the 19th annual one will take place April 8-10 at the Venice Airport festival grounds. Food, entertainment, displays and, of course, shark teeth will be there in abundance. sharkstoothfest.com.

6. Take an Airplane Ride for Free

The Venice Aviation Society is offering free airplane rides with an experienced Buddy Ride Captain along with a tour of the airport and aircraft. Rides are about 20 minutes long, and allow a birdís eye view of the Venice area. E-mail vasiboard@gmail.com.

7. Sample the Work of BBQ Masters

The 2nd Annual Suncoast BBQ Bash will bring the finest barbecue chefs from around the country right to Venice, where they will test their skills in a $10,000 competition and you get to eat the results. April 17 at the Venice Airport festival grounds. Entry is free. suncoastbbqbash.com.

8. Slither Over to Snake Island

If you have access to a boat, mosey on over to the local gathering spot known as Snake Island, just east of the Venice Jetties and due north of Crowís Nest Marina. Throw out an anchor, open a frosty beverage and you'll make new friends in no time. The best news: nary a snake is actually there.

9. Battle Cancer at the Cattle Barons’ Ball

Give cancer the boot and have fun doing it in your boots, bustier or both at the Cattle Baronís Ball, March 26 at Plantation Golf & Country Club. You can buy tickets and whoop it up at the event or become a sponsor. Email patrick@hear2help.com or denise.cotler@cancer.org.

10. Catch a Wave, Dude

The Gulf Coast may not be known as the surfing capital of the world, but the Venice Inlet is known for the best surfing in Southwest Florida! According to wannasurf.com, on good days (primarily when storms are in the Gulf), the north jetty is one of the few places on the coast that will hold a big wave.

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