VENICE — It’s another Top 10 finish for the livability of Venice.

The city finished third in the Best Coastal Small Towns. partners with USAToday on a variety of articles and contests involving travel and lifestyle. The initial Top 20 list was made by its experts and the Top 10 was determined by popular vote.

According to the website, and involved voting, the best coastal small town is Chincoteague, Virginia — best known for the children’s book about Chincoteague ponies called “Misty of Chincoteague” from 1947 and the subsequent 1961 movie “Misty” filmed in the the town.

No. 2 was Bayfield, Wisconsin which is called the “gateway to Apostle Islands National Lakeshore” along Lake Superior.

As voting began about two months ago, Venice was in the Top 20 but quickly moved to the Top 5, where it stayed.

It is the only city or town in Florida in the Top 10.

“People love Venice because of its beautiful and unique historic downtown, our beautiful beaches and our wonderful people,” Venice Mayor Ron Feinsod said Monday. “The city has some of the greatest volunteers ... Venice is a place that people fall in love with... I know personally from my own experience and from talking to hundreds of other people.”

Area officials were not surprised, though pleased, by Venice’s placement.

“Those types of contests are exciting and it brings a new level of awareness to Venice and we’re always happy to share our beautiful town with people who want to come by and visit us,” Venice MainStreet CEO Kara Morgan said.

Venice Public Information Officer Lorraine Anderson noted Venice was the only Florida city to be on the list, calling that “a real honor.”

“Venice has a gorgeous, walkable downtown with unique shops and restaurants, near-perfect weather, and beautiful beaches,” Anderson said. “Boating, fishing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, pickleball and visiting our dozens of parks are all popular activities. We have a lot to offer a very wide demographic.”

Visit Sarasota County helped promote the contest, with Anderson thanking the agency.

Feinsod said he had been visiting Venice for nearly two decades and moved here fulltime about six years ago.

“I just love Venice; I think it’s paradise,” he said. “I love where I live.”


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