Venice named top escape destination for snowbirds by national self-storage company
VENICE – The city of Venice was named the best destination for snowbirds by national self-storage company STORAGECafe in a recent survey of almost 1,000 places around the country.
The survey looked at 11 factors, including temperature between October and March, availability of seasonal housing, the median cost to rent or buy a second home, safety, health, park space per capita, proximity to beaches and golf courses, and internet speed.
Venice earned its top rank because there are 14 miles of beaches within a 10-mile radius, an average temperature of 69 degrees Fahrenheit between October and March, and – not surprisingly – the cost of renting a self-storage unit.
Venice was joined in the top five by Naples and Dunedin in Florida; Mission, Texas and Apache Junction, Arizona.
According to the study, smaller communities such as Apache Junction and Dunedin got the nod over larger destinations like Phoenix and Tampa, in part because of lower costs and the subjective factor of charm.
Venice Mayor Ron Feinsod pointed to the downtown area on the island of Venice as a major factor.
“Throughout all the years we have largely maintained the original John Nolen plan, which makes the city unique,” Feinsod said. “The size and the scale of our city is unique. We haven’t become another Sarasota or another Naples in terms of the massive size of buildings, the height, the densities.
“It’s the same basic appeal that brings people here as a retirement destination.”
A recent survey released by U.S. News & World Report ranked Sarasota as the top retirement destination in the country, followed by Naples.
For its rankings, U.S. News & World Report gleans data from a variety of sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Labor that defines Sarasota as including Manatee and Sarasota counties, as well as the municipalities of Sarasota, Bradenton, North Port, Venice, Palmetto and Longboat Key.
Six of the top 10 cities in the STORGAECafe list and 47 of the top 100 cities are in Florida.
The other Florida cities in the top 10 include Jupiter, Oviedo, and Lynn Haven. They were followed closely by Rockledge at 11 and North Port at 12.
Other regional cities in the top 100 include Cape Coral at 26, Fort Myers at 29, and Sarasota at 57.
According to the survey, 28% of the housing stock in Venice is available for seasonal use, there are 5.7 health facilities for every 1,000 people and at least 12 golf courses in the area.
Naples was noted for having 70 golf courses in close proximity, which was more than any other snowbird destination.
Venice’s high marks in the study are no surprise to Feinsod, rather part of a recurring theme.
Earle Kimel primarily covers south Sarasota County for the Herald-Tribune and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Support local journalism with a digital subscription to the Herald-Tribune.