Things to do in Florida: Venice Shark Spotting Public Art

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Love an adventure? Fascinated with sharks? Appreciate art? Head to the Shark Tooth Capital of the World to enjoy the Venice Shark Spotting public art display.

The Shark Tooth Capital of the World is Venice, Fla., just up the road from me. Ten small, brass shark sculptures are throughout the adorable, historic downtown. To find them, follow the clues online or perhaps, if you’re observant, you’ll stumble upon one while window shopping.

This Megalodon Shark Was Easy to Spot in Downtown Venice, Fla.
This Megalodon Shark Was Easy to Spot in Downtown Venice, Fla.

How Many Sharks Have I Spotted?

I’ve spent about two hours on two separate occasions searching for these sharks. Admittedly, I have not cracked the code to find them all.

This clue, “Look for me beside a structure in Centennial Park where you might expect to see a concert band performing – Megalodon Shark,” was easy. It’s the gazebo in the park.

This Blacktip Shark is Hiding in Plain Sight in Downtown Venice, Fla.
This Blacktip Shark is Hiding in Plain Sight in Downtown Venice, Fla.

The next clue, “I’m thinking about buying a swimsuit just so the sun won’t bug me – Blacktip Shark,” was another easy one. Sun Bug shop.

I won’t giveaway all the locations but I found the bonnethead shark easily. The clue is, “Sitting on top of a red brick wall, I can see from Nokomis to Miami.”

I Spotted These Sharks in Downtown Venice, Fla., Will You?
I Spotted These Sharks in Downtown Venice, Fla., Will You?

I’m Stumped!

If you’re not familiar with downtown Venice, like me, it may be difficult finding some of the shark statues. For instance, I thought I’d find the tiger shark on Harbor Drive between Tampa and Venice avenues. Nope.

I thought for sure I knew where the lemon shark is. The clue, “Look in front of the building that housed the historic institute for the Bluegrass State’s training academy,” For sure it is in front of an assisted living facility in downtown Venice, right? Nope. Last summer I took ghost walking tour and was told that’s the former home of the Kentucky Military Institute. I circled the building at least three times and didn’t see it. Maybe it is up on the porch but that is encroaching on private property.

"Homeless Jesus" by Canadian Sculptor Timothy P. Schmalz is Outside Epiphany Cathedral in Venice.
“Homeless Jesus” by Canadian Sculptor Timothy P. Schmalz is Outside Epiphany Cathedral in Venice.

Appreciating Downtown Venice’s Public Art

While shark spotting in downtown Venice, it’s an opportunity to admire some of the other public art. The sculpture “Homeless Jesus” outside Epiphany Cathedral in Venice is worth a stop. It is the work of Canadian Timothy P. Schmalz and the original was installed at Regis College, University of Toronto in 2013. The Venice replica was commissioned in 2017 and dedicated and blessed in 2018. It’s a representation of Matthew 25 and a reminder to treat everyone with dignity and respect.

Downtown Venice, Fla., May 2020.
Downtown Venice, Fla., May 2020.

Enjoy Downtown Venice While Shark Spotting

Downtown Venice is full of shops, galleries, eateries, history, and public areas. Grab an ice cream and sit and enjoy it on a sidewalk bench or sit at one of the eateries with outdoor seating to enjoy lunch or a glass of wine or sit in Centennial Park and enjoy live performances in the gazebo. Or simply, live in the moment and you be you.

Find the clues for the Venice Shark Spotting public art display here.

If You're Lucky, Catch a Musical Performance in the Gazebo in Centenniel Park in Downtown Venice, Fla.
If You’re Lucky, Catch a Musical Performance in the Gazebo in Centenniel Park in Downtown Venice, Fla.

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Author: Solo Travel Girl

Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

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