Quietly nestled in southwest Florida is the growing journey and experience desired destination of Charlotte County and its hub metropolis of Punta Gorda. Punta Gorda sits alongside the Peace River at the confluence of Charlotte Harbor. With all that h2o, it’s a key location for boating, fishing, and watersports.
Punta Gorda and the surrounding spot have developed a good deal in the previous 20 many years. Several of the new residents are retirees, which includes a great deal of armed forces vets. Vacationers are discovering Charlotte County as well. Things aren’t as high-priced as Sarasota, or as congested as Fort Myers, earning it a wonderful desired destination for tourists on a finances but nonetheless wanting for fantastic items to do.
Downtown you’ll come across retailers, artwork galleries, and an eclectic assortment of great dining places. In truth, there are so lots of superior restaurants in Punta Gorda, we’re devoting an complete report just to them. A person thing’s for confident, you won’t deficiency decisions when it comes to eating.
Traveling to downtown Punta Gorda is straightforward, and the parking is cost-free and commonly available. There are numerous items to do within strolling length.
The Punta Gorda/Englewood Seaside Visitor and Conference Bureau presented accommodations for this journey. The reviews and narrative are my possess.
Matters To Do In Punta Gorda
Harbor Walk is located in the middle of downtown and adjacent to the Peace River. The harbor has boat slips, a protected pavilion for local community functions, and a developing housing merchants, workplaces, and an ice product shop. The shops consist of a Florida art store with a massive selection of souvenirs designed by lots of local artisans.
Upcoming to Harbor Walk is solemn Laishley Park that includes a miniature reproduction of the Vietnam Memorial Wall. Just like the comprehensive-scale wall in Washington, D.C., it has all the 58,282 names of the adult males and ladies who ended up killed in the war, or are continue to missing in action. Numerous guests depart compact flags or candles by the names of cherished types outlined on the wall.
Armed forces Heritage Museum
Positioned not much from downtown, the Military Heritage Museum has an extensive collection of artifacts from the Innovative War to fashionable working day. There are virtual fact activities like a Exclusive Forces parachute leap, flight simulators, and a laser firing range. There is a reproduction of the tiger-like cages some American POWs have been held in all through their captivity in Vietnam. The museum also consists of a library of in excess of 4,000 publications that are readily available to scientists, students, and the community. The personnel is made up largely of volunteer veterans.
Fishermen’s Village is a included, open up-air shopping, eating, and leisure center with a massive marina. It contains a resort, The Suites, in which newly reworked rooms forget about the marina. Positioned on the Peace River, the marina has charter fishing boats, sunset cruises, and ferry support to outlying islands in Charlotte Harbor. There are even kayak and powerboat rentals. The village presents in excess of 30 gift retailers and boutiques and 5 eating places. Anything is covered so you really do not have to stress about dodging the notorious south Florida afternoon thunderstorms. The village has a huge fireworks display on July 3rd, and an once-a-year Tikifest competition in August. Admission is free and totally free parking.
There are 31 murals scattered about on structures in the downtown location of Punta Gorda. They depict historic situations and present day-working day daily life in the town. There is a map and a going for walks/biking information printed 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 positioned on 30 acres and options extra than 4,500 plants and 16 outdoor sculptures. In addition to American artists, the sculptures are accomplished by artists from four international nations. There is a boardwalk alongside the Peace River, a butterfly property, a Koi pond, and out of doors botanical rooms. This is a single of the several matters to do close to Punta Gorda that isn’t no cost. Admission is $13 for grownups, $11 for seniors, and $9 for learners.
Peace River Wildlife Centre
The Peace River Wildlife Center is a refuge for wildlife that are hurt, orphaned, or displaced. In excess of 2,800 animals are brought to the Centre each and every calendar year. Practically all are returned to the wild when they are completed with rehabilitation. Only about 100 are long-lasting people. The middle operates on donations and gift store sales.
Punta Gorda Visible Arts Center
The Punta Gorda Visible Arts Heart is household to area artists and instructors for anything from oil and watercolor painting, jewelry making, pictures, and the minimal-recognized art of scratchboard etching. Scratchboarding entails utilizing sharp knives and needles to etch an image in clay, using black India ink. Admission to the middle, exactly where the general public can look at college student exhibits, is free of charge. All the artwork is readily available for sale.
Every Saturday early morning, the biggest farmers industry in the place sets up in downtown Punta Gorda. It capabilities distributors with fresh create, fish, organic and natural greens, and a lot more. The current market was voted The Very best Modest Farmer’s Current market in Florida and is regarded as 1 of the ideal in the region.
Factors To Do All around Punta Gorda
Throughout the Peace River is Port Charlotte, also a swiftly escalating small town. It is the spring training home of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball workforce, which draws big crowds of website visitors from the Tampa–St. Petersburg region, who appear for the spring games in March every single 12 months.
On Point out Road 776, the highway to the beach front, you occur throughout the tiny neighborhood of El Jobean. You have to look difficult, but just off the highway is the relatively funky Hatch Gallery, operated by a quite laid-back Jon Hatch. His store provides one of a kind Florida art and souvenirs, every thing from carved driftwood to T-shirts and even beach front cruiser bicycles.
The closest beach is at Englewood Seaside, on Manasota Critical. This modest beach front local community has small-increase condos and household holiday vacation housing. The seashore in this area is a prime location for shelling. At the southern conclude of the highway is Stump Pass Point out Park. The park is somewhat small and has confined parking. The park closes when the good deal is whole, normally all around mid-morning. Cars will frequently hold out in line at the entrance, ready for another person to leave so a parking space gets to be offered.
An additional beachside exercise is the Loving Mild Yoga course, each individual morning at 8:30. It normally attracts a massive group of regulars, primarily community residents. It is totally free, but a $5 donation is asked for.
The Cedar Place Environmental Park is located in Englewood. It has shorter hiking trails and a fishing dock on Lemon Bay. The park handles 115 acres and is operated by Charlotte County. It has primarily pine flat woods and scrub pines. Mangroves line the shoreline alongside the bay. Bobcats and grey foxes are typical. Wading birds are regulars in the bay waters, and bald eagles are normally observed in the park.
Greatest Accommodations In Punta Gorda And The Seaside
For travelers seeking to keep downtown, the Wyvern Hotel is situated ideal on the most important drag, Tamiami Path, U.S. 41. The lodge has 63 rooms, a rooftop bar and cafe, moreover a different restaurant off the foyer.
I stayed at The Suites, the modest lodge positioned on the 2nd amount of Fishermen’s Village. The rooms had been not long ago reworked and properly appointed. My suite had two bedrooms and a entire kitchen, a residing home, and a eating spot. The suite had a balcony that neglected the marina.
Out at Englewood Seaside, I stayed at the WannaB Inn, which has an Previous Florida vibe to it. The Inn is really 7 properties found on the Gulf of Mexico. It has 900 ft of beachfront, and across the road, 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 ideal at the entrance to Stump Move Point out Park, so if you are staying at the Inn, you can walk into the park with no the trouble of ready for a parking area to come to be obtainable.
If the weather cooperates, indication up for the sunset cruise by King Fisher at Fishermen’s Village. You can get a great watch of the sunset in Charlotte Harbor, at the channel to the Gulf of Mexico. King Fisher also has working day excursions to Boca Grande and Cayo Costa Condition Park.
Punta Gorda is a quite walkable town. Park the car and devote some time strolling in the downtown historic district. Get a tutorial and see the murals. No trip to the city is entire devoid of expending some time at Fishermen’s Village.
Most issues to do in Punta Gorda are free of charge or for a small donation. You will come across a continue to be right here incredibly uncomplicated on the wallet.
Specific thanks to Pay a visit to FLORIDA for supporting with the itinerary for this trip Cynthia Hinson, Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor and Convention Bureau Director of Communications and General public Relations and Kathy Burnam, Marketing and advertising Director for Fishermen’s Village.