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  • Sarasota skyline and downtown Venice

Sarasota vs Venice

Relocating to Florida's west coast? Learn how the Sarasota and Venice areas compare.

Sarasota and Venice are both popular, growing cities on Florida's west coast, but what exactly does each destination offer, and why are people choosing to relocate to them? If you’ve been thinking about moving to Florida and considering the Gulf Coast of Florida, this page will provide you with a top-level overview of what Sarasota and Venice offer local residents as we compare and contrast them.

Size & Geography

While Sarasota and Venice are both located in Sarasota County, and as both are popular retirement destinations, let’s start our comparison by looking at the size and geography of each city. Sarasota, the larger of the two cities, is the principal city of Sarasota County, and has a population of 55,000 persons, double the size of Venice whose population is 26,000. Geographically, Sarasota is protected by Sarasota Bay and its barrier Islands of Longboat Key, Lido Key and Siesta Key while Venice is situated along the coastline which offers boaters direct access to the Gulf via the Venice Jetty.

In looking at the age demographics of the Sarasota area vs Venice, Sarasota’s median age is 48.9 while Venice’s median age is 68.7, which makes Venice one of the highest-aged populations in the state. By comparison, the median age in Florida is just 42.2 yrs. Another large difference between these two cities is the look and feel of their downtown areas. Sarasota’s skyline has changed greatly over the past decade, and continues to expand, as many new, modern high-rise condo developments have been, or are currently being built, especially around the new Bay Sarasota area at Fruitville and US 41. Conversely, Venice offers more of a historic small town America feel with its "old world" Italian Renaissance-styled buildings and bright colored awnings housing boutique retail shops, eateries, ice cream and coffee shops.

Home Prices & Cost of Living

Median home prices in the Sarasota and Venice areas, which include both single family homes and condos/townhomes, are relatively similar in the mid-to-upper $400s, which is roughly $100K more than the state’s median home price. See exact median home prices listed further down this page. As both cities are popular retirement destinations, master-planned residential communities, which offer a variety of home styles at various price points, have been popular choices for many upon their relocation to Florida. The largest and top-selling master-planned community in the Sarasota area is Lakewood Ranch and in the South Venice and North Port area, Wellen Park is the top-selling community. Both of these communities made the list of Florida’s best-selling communities for 2023.

In terms of the cost of living between these two cities, which includes monthly expenses such as utilities, food, transportation, healthcare and taxes, it’s essentially the same as they are so close in distance. As compared to other states, Florida’s overall cost of living comes in at 3.1% above the nation’s average for the 1st quarter of 2024.

Activities & Things to Do

While Sarasota and Venice are home to many great beaches, Sarasota’s Siesta Key Beach is the top beach in the region. It has consistently won more awards and accolades over the years as the “Top Beach in Florida” as rated by actual travelers on popular review sites, for its unique quartz, powder-like sand which allows it to stay cool to the touch even on the hottest summer days. In addition to outdoor recreation, both Sarasota and Venice offer a vibrant arts and cultural scene. Sarasota is home to the Van Wezel performing arts hall, the Sarasota Opera, the Ringling Museum of Art and the Ca' d'Zan (home of famous circus magnate John Ringling). Likewise, Venice is home to the Venice Theatre, the Venice Symphony and the Venice Art Center. Sarasota and Venice also offer a wide variety of year-round festivities which include music festivals, classis car shows, food and wine festivals, and annual boat parades just to name a few.

Now that we have overviewed some of the main differences between these two cities, be sure to check out our Sarasota and Venice area pages to view more photos, interactive maps and helpful relocation information for each respective area.

Map of the Sarasota and Venice Areas

Circles on map represent population size of each metro area.


Located roughly an hour south of Tampa, Sarasota is a booming small city on Florida's west coast. Sarasota is home to top-rated Siesta Key Beach, the famous circus-performing Ringling family, an active scene of arts and cultural performances as well as top-selling master-planned communities. Spanning 35 miles of shoreline with its white-sand beaches and pristine waters, Sarasota is consistently ranked as a “Best Place to Live in Florida” by popular publications with its overall high-quality of life.

Top area beaches:
Siesta Key Beach, Lido Key Beach

Top master-planned communities:
Lakewood Ranch, Palmer Ranch, Skye Ranch

City Median Home Price Average Age
Sarasota $460,633 48.9
Lakewood Ranch $664,729 51.2
  Home Prices as of July 1, 2024

Discover Sarasota

Scenes of Sarasota


Venice is a popular small-town retirement city on Florida's west coast. Venice is best known for its historic downtown area, its beaches which are lined with shark's teeth, its miles of active waterways that are a playground for boating and watersport activities, its jetty and its 700-foot long fishing pier which provides panoramic views of the Venice coastline. Residents of Venice enjoy a high-quality of life with great year-round climate, beautiful master-planned residential communities and have access to top healthcare and medical facilities.

Top area beaches:
Venice Beach, Capersen Beach, Nokomis Beach, North Jetty Beach

Top master-planned community:
Wellen Park (South Venice, North Port)

City Median Home Price Average Age
Venice $441,043 68.7
  Home Prices as of July 1, 2024

Discover Venice

Scenes of Venice