Quietly nestled in southwest Florida is the escalating journey and journey desired destination of Charlotte County and its hub town of Punta Gorda. Punta Gorda sits along the Peace River at the confluence of Charlotte Harbor. With all that drinking water, it is a key location for boating, fishing, and watersports.
Punta Gorda and the surrounding space have developed a ton in the previous 20 many years. Quite a few of the new citizens are retirees, which include a large amount of armed service vets. Vacationers are identifying Charlotte County as perfectly. Things are not as expensive as Sarasota, or as congested as Fort Myers, producing it a good vacation spot for vacationers on a spending budget but nevertheless looking for wonderful matters to do.
Downtown you are going to come across stores, artwork galleries, and an eclectic assortment of excellent restaurants. In simple fact, there are so lots of superior restaurants in Punta Gorda, we’re devoting an full short article just to them. A person thing’s for certain, you won’t lack possibilities when it will come to dining.
Visiting downtown Punta Gorda is uncomplicated, and the parking is free and readily available. There are lots of matters to do inside of walking length.
The Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach front Customer and Convention Bureau provided accommodations for this trip. The evaluations and narrative are my very own.
Issues To Do In Punta Gorda
Harbor Wander is positioned in the centre of downtown and adjacent to the Peace River. The harbor has boat slips, a covered pavilion for group situations, and a setting up housing suppliers, offices, and an ice product store. The shops include a Florida artwork shop with a substantial collection of souvenirs designed by numerous local artisans.
Future to Harbor Stroll is solemn Laishley Park that includes a miniature replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall. Just like the comprehensive-scale wall in Washington, D.C., it has all the 58,282 names of the men and women who have been killed in the war, or are nevertheless lacking in motion. Lots of people leave small flags or candles by the names of beloved types detailed on the wall.
Military services Heritage Museum
Situated not significantly from downtown, the Military services Heritage Museum has an extensive selection of artifacts from the Innovative War to modern-day day. There are virtual truth activities like a Unique Forces parachute jump, flight simulators, and a laser firing vary. There is a replica of the tiger-like cages some American POWs have been held in for the duration of their captivity in Vietnam. The museum also features a library of around 4,000 publications that are offered to scientists, college students, and the general public. The personnel consists principally of volunteer veterans.
Fishermen’s Village is a coated, open up-air buying, eating, and entertainment heart with a big marina. It incorporates a hotel, The Suites, where by freshly transformed rooms overlook the marina. Situated on the Peace River, the marina has constitution fishing boats, sunset cruises, and ferry assistance to outlying islands in Charlotte Harbor. There are even kayak and powerboat rentals. The village offers more than 30 present outlets and boutiques and 5 places to eat. Everything is included so you do not have to stress about dodging the notorious south Florida afternoon thunderstorms. The village has a large fireworks screen on July 3rd, and an annual Tikifest festival in August. Admission is totally free and no cost parking.
There are 31 murals scattered around on structures in the downtown spot of Punta Gorda. They depict historic activities and modern day-day daily life in the city. There is a map and a strolling/biking guideline published by the city’s Mural Modern society. Most are walkable, but some you may perhaps want to drive or bicycle to.
Peace River Botanical And Sculpture Gardens
The Peace River Botanical and Sculpture Gardens is found on 30 acres and characteristics additional than 4,500 crops and 16 out of doors sculptures. In addition to American artists, the sculptures are done by artists from four foreign international locations. There is a boardwalk together the Peace River, a butterfly property, a Koi pond, and outdoor botanical rooms. This is 1 of the couple of matters to do close to Punta Gorda that is not totally free. Admission is $13 for grownups, $11 for seniors, and $9 for students.
Peace River Wildlife Center
The Peace River Wildlife Centre is a refuge for wildlife that are wounded, orphaned, or displaced. In excess of 2,800 animals are introduced to the Centre each 12 months. Just about all are returned to the wild when they are finished with rehabilitation. Only about 100 are long lasting citizens. The heart operates on donations and gift shop sales.
Punta Gorda Visible Arts Center
The Punta Gorda Visible Arts Heart is house to area artists and instructors for every thing from oil and watercolor portray, jewelry generating, images, and the tiny-identified art of scratchboard etching. Scratchboarding will involve utilizing sharp knives and needles to etch an impression in clay, making use of black India ink. Admission to the centre, wherever the general public can appear at student displays, is no cost. All the art is out there for sale.
Every Saturday morning, the premier farmers current market in the location sets up in downtown Punta Gorda. It options sellers with refreshing make, fish, natural veggies, and a great deal far more. The marketplace was voted The Ideal Tiny Farmer’s Sector in Florida and is recognized as a single of the ideal in the country.
Issues To Do Around Punta Gorda
Across the Peace River is Port Charlotte, also a fast growing little town. It is the spring training residence of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball crew, which attracts massive crowds of guests from the Tampa–St. Petersburg location, who appear for the spring video games in March every 12 months.
On State Road 776, the road to the beach front, you come throughout the small local community of El Jobean. You have to search really hard, but just off the freeway is the fairly funky Hatch Gallery, operated by a very laid-again Jon Hatch. His store delivers exceptional Florida art and souvenirs, almost everything from carved driftwood to T-shirts and even beach front cruiser bicycles.
The closest beach front is at Englewood Seaside, on Manasota Important. This smaller beach front local community has very low-increase condos and family members vacation housing. The seaside in this place is a primary place for shelling. At the southern conclude of the street is Stump Move Condition Park. The park is alternatively tiny and has confined parking. The park closes when the ton is total, usually around mid-morning. Vehicles will normally wait in line at the entrance, waiting for anyone to leave so a parking place will become available.
A different beachside exercise is the Loving Light Yoga course, every early morning at 8:30. It usually attracts a significant group of regulars, mainly community residents. It’s free, but a $5 donation is requested.
The Cedar Level Environmental Park is situated in Englewood. It has quick mountaineering trails and a fishing dock on Lemon Bay. The park addresses 115 acres and is operated by Charlotte County. It has largely pine flat woods and scrub pines. Mangroves line the shoreline together the bay. Bobcats and grey foxes are prevalent. Wading birds are regulars in the bay waters, and bald eagles are typically noticed in the park.
Finest Motels In Punta Gorda And The Seashore
For vacationers wanting to keep downtown, the Wyvern Lodge is positioned correct on the primary drag, Tamiami Trail, U.S. 41. The hotel has 63 rooms, a rooftop bar and restaurant, in addition a different cafe off the foyer.
I stayed at The Suites, the little hotel positioned on the second level of Fishermen’s Village. The rooms have been a short while ago remodeled and properly appointed. My suite had two bedrooms and a total kitchen, a dwelling room, and a dining area. The suite experienced a balcony that missed the marina.
Out at Englewood Beach front, I stayed at the WannaB Inn, which has an Outdated Florida vibe to it. The Inn is truly seven properties located on the Gulf of Mexico. It has 900 toes of beachfront, and across the street, it has docks for up to 38 boats, and there is a boat ramp. The docks can accommodate boats up to 24 toes, and there is parking for trailers. The Inn is proper at the entrance to Stump Move Condition Park, so if you’re keeping at the Inn, you can wander into the park devoid of the inconvenience of waiting around for a parking room to turn into obtainable.
If the weather conditions cooperates, signal up for the sunset cruise by King Fisher at Fishermen’s Village. You can get a wonderful see of the sunset in Charlotte Harbor, at the channel to the Gulf of Mexico. King Fisher also has working day outings to Boca Grande and Cayo Costa Condition Park.
Punta Gorda is a really walkable metropolis. Park the auto and commit some time strolling in the downtown historic district. Get a guide and see the murals. No journey to the town is finish without having shelling out some time at Fishermen’s Village.
Most issues to do in Punta Gorda are cost-free or for a small donation. You will uncover a remain here incredibly straightforward on the wallet.
Special thanks to Stop by FLORIDA for helping with the itinerary for this trip Cynthia Hinson, Punta Gorda/Englewood Seashore Customer and Convention Bureau Director of Communications and Community Relations and Kathy Burnam, Internet marketing Director for Fishermen’s Village.