Our Annual Thanksgiving Trip to Venice Florida! + Video

Happy Sunday to you all! What a busy couple of days it has been but in all the good ways. I have the recap post going live tomorrow, so I wanted to hurry up and get my Florida recap live on the blog, especially since the video from the trip is already up on my YouTube Channel. I can’t believe it’s already been a week since we left Florida. Seriously, where does the time go!?!? If you have already read my Thanksgiving blog, then you already knew that we headed to Venice Florida for the third year in a row. I think it’s safe to say that this is officially a tradition. I’m excited to share my photos from the trip with you all! 🌴
Last year, Kyle’s mom set us up with a lesson from her coach Dalton. Well, since then I’ve been playing almost weekly, so it was cool to play against her again since I’ve gotten so much better. She still whoops our butt, but it’s finally fun now that we can keep up. 
After Friday tennis, we got cleaned up and headed to Island Organics in downtown Venice. This place was certainly my cup of tea! As always, I started with my afternoon cappuccino. 
I ordered the avocado toast and an acai bowl. I’m not sure if it gets better than that…
You’ll only find an alleyway this beautiful in Venice.
Kyle’s mom showed us some of her favorite markets and stores that she likes to visit. Every time I visit, I just want to pack up and move there! 
Just getting those Black Friday deals! 😉 
We all headed down to Venice beach so we could catch the sunset, and of course, we had some fun goofing around. 
Make sure to watch the video to see this jump come to life. I’m not the most graceful leaper.
We were up bright and early on Saturday morning! We wanted to walk the Sarasota Farmers Market. I bought so many excellent products and baked goods to take with us. I was so impressed by this farmers market! What a fun time.
After walking around in the heat for a while, those coconuts were looking suuuuuper appetizing. When I heard Kyle’s mom say she’s never tried coconut water, I had to get one. It’s usually an acquired taste, but she loved it right off the bat.
We stopped at Ionie’s Raw Vegan Organic Cafe. I picked up a ginger beet juice and a vegetable collard green wrap for lunch. Everything was fantastic!!!
Later in the evening, we headed to Cafe Venice for dinner before heading to the parade. The parade is our favorite tradition! 
When we got home, we had a raw vegan pumpkin spiced treat from Ionies! It was really tasty! We tried to watch an episode of Dateline, but we all fell asleep.
On Sunday morning, Kyle and I headed to the gym to fit in a workout. I did a quick ride on the bike and then sat in the sauna for twenty minutes to relax. There’s nothing like sitting alone in a dark hot box by yourself.

Kyle’s mom had another fun activity planned for us in the afternoon! She was taking us to Snook Haven to take a pontoon ride on the Myakka River! 
I saw my very first alligator in the wild! It took me almost 28 years, but I did it!!!

Later in the evening, we had dinner at Finn’s at Sharky’s! This is one of our favorite spots. I had their salmon with quinoa, arugula, and a carrot ginger puree.
We had a few hours to spare on Monday before heading to the airport, so we decided to grab smoothies at Island Organics and walk the shops a bit.

How about that for a cookie?!
We “attempted” to have dinner at the airport before taking off. I ordered chicken and french fries, but it was cold and soggy, and so I just ate the fries and called it a night. We were sat to leave Florida but happy to be home with the pups!

Questions for you!

  1. Do you have a Thanksgiving travel tradition?
  2. Have you ever seen an alligator?



  • Katie Meshko

    Looks like SO much fun! What a great place to travel to annually! 😉
    This Thanksgiving we went to Raleigh NC for the first time to my husbands sister’s .. hoping to make it an annual Thanksgiving trip!

    XO, Katie | http://www.meshkomoments.com

    Reply to Katie Meshko
  • Michael

    These pictures are amazing! I have never been to Venice, FL but I definitely have to check it out. 🙂

    Reply to Michael
  • Kendell

    I love seeing Kyle pop up in your vlogs! You look so happy, Taralynn!

    Reply to Kendell
  • Lindsey

    Your photos are gorgeous!! Looks like y’all had so much fun. I’m actually 45 minutes from Venice, so I am no stranger to alligators. What a fun tradition! 😊

    Reply to Lindsey
  • Natalija

    Loved reading about your annual thanksgiving trip to Florida!Just how gorgeous are the beach photos and the sunset-thank you so much for sharing!

    Reply to Natalija
  • Brittany

    How fun!! Venice looks absolutely beautiful! I usually go to Chicago for Thanksgiving but this year I stayed in Oregon with my boyfriend’s family – so no tradition here as of now! Christmas is more of a travelling tradition for us 🙂

    Reply to Brittany
  • Jenna

    Travel tradition? Nope. We stay home. But I’m glad you enjoyed your trip to Florida! I’ll have to make a trip over to Venice! (I’m near Cocoa Beach)

    ALL THE TIME. The saying in Florida is, “if there’s water, there’s a gator” and that goes for the ocean and pools too. We have so many rivers, lakes, ponds near me and people are either always walking their dogs near them or letting their dogs swim and I just think they’re SO CRAZY.

    Reply to Jenna
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks, Jenna! Yes, make sure to take a trip there when you can! Such a quaint place.

      ummmmmm that is INSANE!! I found it crazy that they let the horses go into the Myakka river!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Nora

    I’m from there! We haven’t been down at thanksgiving the last 3 years though. I miss it! I lived on the Nokomis side but we were at Venice all the time and I would’ve went to Venice High. You need to do the Christmas boat parade if you love the Venice Christmas parade! Also need to go to Nokomis Groves, they have the best ice cream but also the best produce.
    My dad fished all the time and we had a pond the end of our road..my dad drove this little red ranger truck, he brought home alligators from that pond all the time, just little ones with their snouts taped, but my brothers and I would get in the truck bed with the gators. Obviously he would release them away from our little pond but our childhood growing up in Venice Nokomis was the very best. If I could get my boyfriend to move down there, Id go in a heartbeat!

    Reply to Nora
  • Sarah

    I saw my first gator last year in the exact same spot! My boyfriend’s family lives in the venice area and we visited last year on spring break. We took the ride to snook haven and there were so many gators sunbathing as we boated along. We ywent to Sharky’s and to the same market as well. Its such a fun place! Ride over to Boca Grande beach sometime, just gorgeous and perfect for a run on the seaside (and some really impressive house spotting)

    Reply to Sarah
  • Heather

    What a beautiful way to spend Thanksgiving! I’ll have to add Venice to my travel list! Looks perfect!

    Reply to Heather
  • Jessica Nuttall

    We switch every other holiday with my in-laws, so I guess that keeps things exciting!

    We visited the Everglades last year and saw a lot of alligators on the air boat ride we took! We also got to hold one of the babies. So much fun!

    Reply to Jessica Nuttall
  • Kelli

    LOVE SHARKY’S! My grandma lives just a little south of Venice so I grew up going to sharky’s and walking that pier, so cool to see pictures since I haven’t been in a while!

    Sharky’s has the best chicken strips and homemade dill ranch, I definitely recommend for next time. oh, and dont forget the beach bread, it’s to die for!

    I’ve seen several alligators while in Florida. In fact, my cousin and I got a little too brave while fishing and found ourselves wading around in water where the beach had gator drags EVERYWHERE! Not our brightest moment!

    Reply to Kelli
  • Tula

    Looks like a fun trip!

    Reply to Tula
  • Amy

    Great photos!

    Reply to Amy
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    You guys had such a lovely time, Taralynn! ❤️❤️
    I can see how much fun your whole family had 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
  • Nicole

    Island Organics is one of our favorite spots to eat at during the summer break! My high school is close by.

    Reply to Nicole
  • Casey Leatherman

    You and Kyle are too cute!

    Reply to Casey Leatherman
  • Marcella

    Omg Sarasota! If you are interested in some trashy tv there’s a show called Siesta Key that was on MTV and filmed in Sarasota, my friends and I binge watched it haha. A lot of reality tv drama but still fun to watch 😂

    Reply to Marcella
  • Kelsey W.

    Looks like a you had an amazing time! So funny story about seeing an alligator… we visit my boyfriends family in South Carolina a couple times a year. We go to this place called Huntington Beach which is along the coast but has some smaller waterways and marsh within the park as well. We parked near the marsh and I decided NOT to bring my phone so we could be more “in the moment”. We are walking along a boardwalk and see an alligator pop its head up from the water. He starts swimming closer to us and before I know it, hes getting out of the water and walking towards us! With his tail he was over 6 feet long. There was a stump nearby that I jumped on since there was no where else for us to go. He decides to cross the street and he USED THE CROSSWALK to get to the other side of the marsh haha! There was a group of people sitting on the other side with their backs towards us so I yelled out “Hey there’s an alligator coming!!!” which felt really weird to yell. I never imagined myself saying a sentence like that lol. They all turn around and scream and run. Meanwhile, he just wanted to get to the other side of the marsh and just got back into the water 😂 and OF COURSE, the one time I dont have my phone for evidence, something exciting like that happens! I’ll never forget it, that’s for sure!
    xoxo Kelsey

    Reply to Kelsey W.
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Kelsey!

      Thanks so much!

      OMG!! I JUST DIED LAUGHING AT THAT STORY! hahahahahaha That’s amazing! That’s why I take my camera places so I stay off social media, but will always be able to snap an alligator crossing the road! lol

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Emily

    Beautiful pictures!! My family is spread out in Texas, Florida, Michigan, and Alabama where I’m at, so we never travel for the holidays, but my immediate family has gone to the beach one year for Thanksgiving!

    The only alligator I’ve seen is at the zoo haha

    Reply to Emily
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you so much, Emily!

      Sounds like you have some awesome places that you can visit when you feel like it! I feel like a beachy thanksgiving with the family would be a blast!

      lol not a bad place to see it!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Anonymous

    Love those reddish shorts. Where did you get those?
    I have seen a huge alligator in Florida! So glad I was up high of four the water!

    Reply to Anonymous

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