VIBE: Relaxed, Free Spirit
4100 Harbor Dr, Venice, FL 34285
This is a small beach park perfect for finding shells, shark's teeth and interesting rocks. It is a rustic beach with darker sand than other Gulf of Mexico beaches. If you enjoy natural beaches, this one is a beauty.
If you love shelling at Sanibel Beach, then Caspersen Beach in Venice should be on your list! Not a typical Gulf beach, it still provides clear, turquoise water and breathtaking views. We visited in the fall and were pleasantly surprised. If you are coming here for a Florida vacation, it's easy to fly into Tampa and rent a car.
Caspersen Beach Sand
This Gulf beach has thick, fluffy sand but is quite rocky. Water shoes are recommended, especially for kids. This is great sand for building sandcastles. It reminds us of the sand on Melbourne Beach and Cocoa Beach. This beach is small and not very wide so it can get crowded on weekends and holidays. It is nice to have a natural environment unspoiled by hotels or condos. If you want to visit a white sugar sand beach next, head up to Siesta Key Beach about 40 minutes north via S. Tamiami Trail/US Hwy 41 N.
Caspersen Beach Water
The water clarify here is perfect. Snorkeling close to shore, you can find some goodies. The Gulf of Mexico is as beautiful here as Sand Key Beach or Clearwater Beach. The only issue is the rocks close to shore, so be careful when swimming. We are not sure if the rocks are natural (they look natural) or were placed there to preserve the beach. There is a small slope into the water. There can be waves and rip currents here so swim with caution. NOTE: there are no lifeguards here. It's still a wonderful place to take photos and for exploring. Walking to the beach provides a special experience with palm trees and staying for the sunset is spectacular.
Caspersen Beach Parking and Amenities
As mentioned above there are great walkways that are wheelchair accessible. You can shower as soon as you walk off the beach so that you don't get sand in your vehicle. If you want to have lunch in the shade there are covered picnic tables. Benches for seating and public bathrooms are on site. A covered playground is located in the park too.There are no lifeguards here but up the coastline they have guarded beaches including South Brohard Park, 199 Harbor Dr S., Venice, FL. South Brohard Park also has a paw park dog beach there.
Go early because there is not a lot of parking, so get ready to drive in a circle to find a spot. The beaches were crowded by the parking lot so you may want to walk for a bit to find a more secluded area of the beach. Parking is free but it took us awhile to find a spot. There are a couple of lots to choose from but only one has shade for your vehicle. Like many other Florida Gulf beaches, we had to wait for someone to leave in order to park. But how can anyone complain when it's free!
Caspersen Beach Activities
This beach is famous for shells, sand dollars and shark's teeth, but you're going to have to work for it! If you’re willing to walk a mile or more down the beach, the shelling will be much better. As a couple who goes beach shelling regularly (back to Sanibel Island soon) we recommend a couple of things:
There's more to do at Caspersen Beach than just shelling. You can take a walk along trails that will take about 20-30 minutes. You will see mangroves, secluded marshes and wildlife. Dolphins, herons, pelicans and more can be seen. You might even see a bride and groom having a Florida beach wedding in this natural Florida paradise
This beach park has grills so you can bring your own food and drink or head out to nearby Sharky's On The Pier. It is famous for live music and has been voted "Best Beach Bar" in the past few years. It's only a 5 minute drive or 25 minute walk to the pier. There are tons of dining options on U.S. 41 including Carrabba's Italian Grill.
Look Out! This Could Happen...
As you can see, Caspersen Beach in Venice, FL is rocky. Water shoes are a must, especially for kids.They are a good thing to have on hand because quite a few Florida beaches have sharp shells or rocks. Florida Keys beaches can be rocky and Juno Beach is covered in shells. Easy to pack, water shoes will make your Florida visit easier and more fun. The beach by the second parking lot has less rocks, is wider and might be better for a family swim. Walking the other way, you will find a protected lagoon that is perfect.
One final note is that Caspersen Beach, in the past, has had a reputation as a nude beach. We didn't see anything so if it is there it is well hidden. It is not legal and we suspect that police have put a stop to it in recent years. Besides, most Florida beaches are too busy. However, if a nude beach is what you want, head over to Canaveral National Seashore near Cocoa Beach where nudity is allowed!
What We Really Think About Caspersen Beach
We enjoy beautiful, natural beaches in Florida. If there's natural rock formations, mangroves, shells, or even branches on the beach we love it. This unspoiled beach in Venice, Florida ticks all the boxes for us. If you like well-groomed beaches with white sand, you might not like Caspersen Beach. But we suggest you give it a try, especially if you are taking a Sarasota vacation. Everyone likes a treasure hunt, and this beach can send you home like a pirate!
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Susan and Bruno are travel bloggers specializing in Florida beaches on every coast. Take a road trip or plan a Florida vacation.