Note: As of Oct. 1 2009 we moved our Florida facilities from the Venice VNC Airport to the Sarasota - Bradenton SRQ Airport. We will redo this page as soon as our workload permits.

Local Gulf Front Venice FL. Attractions

Also, Our Favorite Nearby & Florida Keys Accommodations

Venice Beach

Dear Fellow Mooniac,

When you visit us here in our tropical fliers paradise, you will soon see why I (and most of my family), moved here! Picturesque Gulf Front Venice is a quaint, alluring, semi-tropical fliers paradise in a crime free portion of Southwest Florida. Venice and/or Venice Beach (as it is sometimes called) is about ½ the way between Tampa and Ft. Myers and is one of the few cities on Florida's entire West Coast that is not separated from the Gulf by a barrier island or key. It (and our airport), is literally, right on the shimmering turquoise Gulf of Mexico. While the full time population is growing beyond anyone's imagination just a few years ago, Venice has been commonly known for its Mediterranean Architecture and ambiance. It is close to, and thus nearly a suburb of bay front Sarasota which itself is about a hours drive South of the Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater metropolitan areas. Both Sarasota and especially Tampa, are served by numerous major airlines.

Shark Teeth

Venice isle itself boasts of over 3 miles of gorgeous beaches where collecting (sometimes huge) pre-historic fossilized sharks teeth has made Venice Beach famous the world over as; The Sharks Tooth Capitol of The World. Few visitors leave untouched by its enchanting charm and the readily discernible superior Quality of Life the area offers. In fact, most knowledgeable lifestyle experts and various sophisticated where to live studies have termed this as one of the best places to live in all of Florida!

Boating and fishing are superior and not unlike many such retirement/vacation areas in coastal Florida, the region has more than its share of magnificent World Class Golf Courses, gulf, bay and tropically scenic river front parks, and organized outdoor activities such as the numerous well attended festivals and outdoor orientated community feasts as well as numerous fully costumed parades; both via land and on water via colorfully decorated boats. There are various salt and fresh water boating vacation excursions available, and several of the areas tropical crystal clear spring fed rivers have served as backdrops for various movie/TV sets such as Tarzan, Flipper, and Sea Hunt. In fact, movie making has recently become a major local industry and it is not uncommon for several major motion picture production companies to be filming at one time in the general area.

The Weather

First off, the weather really is just about as good as; they say it is! While (depending on the time of the year) we can have a day or so of less than perfect flying/boating/beaching weather, for the most part, the locals have been conditioned to complain about weather which would make most Northerners to die for ... Winter flying (up North winter, that is) is usually nearly perfect and the occasional front is usually fast moving. Our usual winter low is in the 50's at night with a daytime high well in the sunny 70's. Spring and Fall are actually South Sea Island Perfect (w/no heat or AC required) day and night, with the summer semi-tropical mid day heat being usually broken daily around 3-6 PM by our localized 15 minute tropical showers. Frankly, since I was born and raised in the Midwest, I feel the Midwest summers are far more intense (heat and T- storm wise) than ours here in SW Florida. It is a rare visitor who stays a few days or longer who doesn't remark about the ideal flying or boating weather!

Things To Do

Besides our first class Mooney facility being one of the best places in the world for your Mooney to visit, this is also one of the most sought after, repeat fly-in destinations in all of North America!  Our area of semi-tropical SW. Florida is well known to be virtually ideal for all brands of vacationing pilots as well.

When visiting our area, we encourage our Mooney clients to linger a while, wiggle your toes in the sand, sample our tropical Margaritas and scrumptious local seafood, go deep sea fishing or take in a round of golf, (Click Here for a partial list of local courses) and in general, enjoy this corner of our tropical pilots paradise. Besides the natural and semi-natural attractions mentioned earlier (beaches, fishing, golfing, tropical vista viewing & relaxing), many Mooniacs visit our famous local area attractions such as the John Ringling Art Museum & Mansions (of Ringling circus fame), Selby Botanical Gardens, Mote Marine Aquarium, and nearby Bocca Grand Island.

We also recommend you extend your stay to enjoy the nearby world renown (easily accessible) man-made attractions such as Kermit Week's marvelous Fantasy of Flight Museum (w/real fighter simulators) about an hour up the road close by Lakeland, or the Orlando based Disney, Sea World, MGM, Universal Studios, and Tampa's Busch Gardens. Keep in mind, Tampa is but a hours drive North, the EAA's Lakeland Sun N Fun Museum about a 90 minute drive away, with Orlando only being a mere two hour Interstate drive or about a 35 minute (modified) Mooney ride away.

No visit to our area would be complete without mentioning the well known attractions just down the coast to the South.  Besides the exclusive island keys of Sanibel, Captiva, North Captiva (w/its own sod airstrip), and exclusive Boca Grand, the nearby Ft. Myers area also boasts several nationally prominent attractions like the Estates/Museums of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. Click Here for accommodations in these areas.

Mooney owners also have the distinct advantage when visiting SW Florida in that while the fabulous tropical Keys are a full 6-7+ hr. drive away, a fast modified Mooney* can make the gorgeous shore hugging flight in about an hour or less.

The last 10 minutes descent into the Keys or Jimmy Buffett's very own Margaritaville (Key West; EYW), is truly as tropical site you will never forget: The visiting boats at anchorage seem to float above the water while casting distinct shadows on the multi-colored coral reef sea bottom below. (I still look forward to it and have seen it hundreds of times ... take your camera - cj) There is no place quite like Key West, it is without doubt, laid back different to the max while truly being our Last Resort.

Click Here for more information on where to stay while in the Florida Keys.
*Note: Usually, we can arrange Mooney transportation to and from the Keys even if your favorite Mooney is undergoing our doting attention.

All in all, it is a rare Venice area visitor who doesn't volunteer the phrases; "Gee, I wish I had scheduled more time to stay longer", and "I'll be back next time no problem, and bring my family to stay longer". Many in fact, leave with Venice Real Estate brochures in hand. Just like I did the first time I visited!

Venice Airport (VNC)

VNC Airport

(Click On photo for larger aerial view)
One of the very few Florida airports which is uniquely located right downtown! It is literally on the isle of Venice and within walking distance of great waterfront restaurants, excellent fishing, several fantastic beaches, several motels (See our Accommodations Section), and a quaint shopping district.

You couldn't ask for a better airport as it boasts large 24 hr. security and daylight hours attended IFR runways of some 5,000' in length some of which, nearly always find themselves pointed into a prevailing breeze. The approaches are nearly perfect but VFR is the norm with a truly IFR approach reserved for just a few minutes at a time (usually during a shower) or just a few days a year. The runway and VASI lights are usually on dim if there is no traffic and are controllable via unicom 122.7. After hours visitors who need fuel and/or rental cars should make arrangements with us prior, but the airport and it's surrounding areas are well lit and easy to find.

Tampa approach (119.65) is most helpful providing vectors and traffic advisories. Ft. Myers approach governs from the South and is equally helpful. Click Here to see our Fly-In and Drive-In maps for more details.

Note: Be mindful when making low light, night, or low viability approaches from the West or beach side, as there are (naturally) no lights in the water and tired pilots can get disorientated or temporarily loose the horizon.  As with many beach side airports, we caution you to keep your eye on land based visual clues when performing night time approaches and while in the pattern.

Our facility is easy to find located on the West side of the main ramp which lies to the North of the two active X shaped 5,000' runways (Click On the aerial map above for more details). Or, just look for the usual gaggle of beautiful Mooneys!

Local Accommodations:

Local accommodations generally run in two styles or classes; smaller motel/hotels on the beach and generally downtown and within walking distance to shopping and restaurants, and clean (but more economical) motelish rooms (such as; Hampton & Holiday Inn's, and several Best Westerns) both in town and also about a ½ mile out of downtown along bi-pass U.S. 41. Rates are what you would expect, but vary dramatically according to our high season which usually runs from Thanksgiving to Easter with the off season being summer at about ½ price or less. A few quaint downtown B&B's exist and numerous gorgeous waterfront condo's are available for a week or longer with prior reservations.

Click Here for a listing of Venice Area Accommodations.

We also offer a FAX/mailer description sheet for more local details and our secretary will be happy to make reservations for you with adequate notice.

Sarasota (naturally) being nearly 3 times as large as Venice, has far more accommodation choices featuring many major hotel/motel chains, with several being bayfront. The drive from Venice is usually under 30 minutes and therefore it is more than practical to make your accommodations there as well.

Also, the exclusive Boca Grande Island (featuring The Boca Grand Club/Resort) is but a 20-30 minute drive to the South and is well known as a favorite Presidential Retreat and trophy fishing capitol as well as home of countless up-scale winter retreat homes and vacation condo's.

Click Here for additional information on great places to stay nearby in SW Florida.

Feel free to check with our staff for recommendations and assistance. Rental Cars, Bicycles etc.: Executive, Budget, and Rent A Wreck are all local and our secretary will be happy to have a car waiting in our parking lot when you arrive. Several Taxis operate in Venice and if you arrive in the wee hours, our 24 hr. local airport security guards have been known to take you the few blocks to most local accommodations just for the pleasure of your conversation. During regular hours we also provide complementary transportation to local accommodations, restaurants, shopping, and the beach. Actually, since we are right downtown anyway on an island merely 1 mile by 3 miles, many folks walk or use bikes to get around Venice from the airport.

Besides the fact we are (perhaps) THE most experienced and best known Mooney shop in the World, why take your Mooney to someplace boring for you to visit? While you are having fun, why not let your Mooney smile too.

Always Remember: When you only do one thing ... do it well!