Conquistador Ponce de Leon arrived on the Florida peninsula in 1513, but he and hundreds of other Europeans were not the first settlers. Traces of settlements from over 10,000 years ago have been found in the Venice area, making it an important archaeological site. The ancient Paleolithic people hunted animals now long extinct in an environment of vast savannas, grassland and open prairies. The Calusa Indians left evidence of their existence including impressive canal systems, beautiful carvings and huge burial mounds. Memories of Venice, Italy led settler Frank Higel to name the post office in what is today the Nokomis area; however, residents north of Roberts Bay chose the name "Nokomis" after Hiawatha's grandmother.
Education in the Sarasota County Public School System is a top priority in Nokomis. Hoping to earn the "Five-Star" designation, schools continually strive to meet stringent state requirements. Laurel Nokomis School was selected to represent the State of Florida as a "model intensive site for technology integration," and higher learning opportunities are abundant. New College in Sarasota, an independent public honors college, was the only Florida school selected for Barron's Guide to the Most Competitive Colleges.
There are many exciting cultural destinations in the Venice area including the Venice Art Center, Venice Little Theatre, The Venice Symphony, Mote Marine Laboratory, the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Venice Area Audubon Rookery and the Springs International Spa.