Q: Where is your favorite place to take visitors?

“I like to take family, friends and visitors to Venice Avenue for shopping, to the jetties for sunset, to Luna Ristorante for dinner and to the performing arts center for a Venice Symphony performance.

It’s easy to entertain out-of-town visitors when you live in paradise.”—BOB ANDERSON, RETIRED VENICE ATTORNEY

“Visitors are impressed when I take them through Heritage Park and its canopy of trees on our way to the beach and South Jetty. I also show them the historic train depot and Venetian Waterway Park. When they want to experience the water, we take them by boat along the Intracoastal Waterway. Snake Island gets their attention with the number of boats and people enjoying time together.”—PHIL ELLIS, PRESIDENT, VENICE AREA BEAUTIFICATION INC.

“My favorite place [to take visitors] is downtown. I love browsing through the quaint shops and eating in all the great restaurants. There is such a warm, friendly feeling when you walk down the streets. Venice is such a down-to-earth place.” —MARLENE MERKLE, CEO, VENICE BOARD OF REALTORS

“When friends and family visit, they always want to go to the beach. We usually have breakfast or watch sunsets at Service Club Park. Everyone loves going to the South Jetty to watch dolphins while having a hot dog at Anita’s Sandcastle. Then we go for ice cream at Ciao Gelato. Shopping ‘the Avenues’ is a big draw for my girlfriends. One always goes to Deborah’s Quilt Basket; another wouldn’t miss the Tabletop and Venice Stationers.”—TRACY IVEY, PRESIDENT, VENICE MAINSTREET BOARD

“The airport. When we cross Circus Bridge I ask them to look to the west and enjoy the view of the Gulf of Mexico. We stop for a quick lunch at the Sun Coast Cafe and then an air tour of Venice. Venice from the air is simply spectacular.”—NICK CARLUCCI, PRIVATE PILOT

“We drive through the business district, with its historic architecture. Our ride always brings us to the Crow’s Nest for dinner and a view of boats and beautiful scenery. Sometimes we take our company to a symphony concert, which is even more of a treat in the new Venice Performing Arts Center.”—JIM RENZ, PRESIDENT, VENICE SYMPHONY BOARD

“Sharky’s on the Pier restaurant, yoga on the beach, and, of course, a stroll downtown. My friend from England shuns all that and goes to Walmart. Shameful.”—JANIS FAWN, GULF COAST COMMUNITY FOUNDATION BOARD MEMBER AND VOLUNTEER |||

Above: Sunset by the jetties Photo: Chad Spencer

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