Punta Gorda, Florida

Punta Gorda, Florida

Punta Gorda is located on the banks of the Peace River and the Gulf of Mexico in Southwest Florida. It is the only city in Charlotte County and is about 100 miles south of Tampa on the Gulf Coast between Sarasota and Ft. Myers. When the city was founded in 1887, it was proposed that all the waterfront land would be public parks. However, that did not happen and today over 19 thousand people of diverse cultures have made Punta Gorda their home.

An aerial view of the Gilchrist Park and Gilchrist Bridge in Punta Gorda, Florida, on December 4, 2018.
An aerial view of the Gilchrist Park and Gilchrist Bridge in Punta Gorda, Florida, on December 4, 2018. File photo: Khairil Azhar Junos, Shutterstock.com, licensed.

About The Community

The excellent weather, recreational facilities and numerous clubs and social groups has made it an attractive place for retirees and winter visitors. The city lies between Charlotte Harbor and rural land. Punta Gorda means “fat point” in Spanish, so named because the broad part of the land of Punta Gorda juts into Charlotte Harbor that stands at the point where the Peace River meets the ocean. Ponce de Leon was the first Spanish migrant to arrive in Charlotte Harbor, in 1513, a century before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.


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Road though Pine Flatwoods in Fred C. Babcock/Cecil M. Webb Wildlife Management Area in Punta Gorda in Florida.
Road though Pine Flatwoods in Fred C. Babcock/Cecil M. Webb Wildlife Management Area in Punta Gorda in Florida. Photo credit ShutterStock.com, licensed.

Punta Gorda has a unique downtown historical district with several sites on the National Register. A.C. Freeman House, built around 1903, is the only Victorian home in Charlotte County. This two-story frame Carpenter Queen Anne house is one of the best-preserved buildings in Punta Gorda. The Florida Adventure Museum is a hands-on, interactive museum that explores the history, culture, and natural surroundings of Charlotte. The Historic Railroad Depot originally opened for the Atlantic Coast Railroad, houses a museum, which focuses on local history, archaeology, and ecology. You will love the antique mall in it that features over 25 vendors.

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Vicinity of Punta Gorda


Another interesting museum is the Florida Military Heritage Museum, which houses extensive authentic artifacts that describe Florida’s military history spanning from the Civil War to the modern period. Punta Gorda has a picturesque waterfront area with a harbor and promenade and parks. Fisherman’s Village is a vacation waterfront complex that offers every kind of leisure activity. Located on the water you can stay in vacation rentals here and enjoy water sports off the harbor. There are oyster bars, exotic and elegant restaurants tempt you with delectable offerings. Enjoy delectable shopping here as you wander through the stores. Sit in the outdoor food court and feast your eyes on the fishing boats while you grab a bite.

Along the peace river at Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte on December 26, 2019. File photo: Feng Cheng, Shutterstock.com, licensed.
Along the peace river at Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte on December 26, 2019. File photo: Feng Cheng, Shutterstock.com, licensed.

The Visual Arts Center across from Fisherman’s Village was established in 1961 as a venue for artists to display their works. The center also offers a wide variety of classes, programs, workshops, lectures, open studios, and demonstrations for artists of all ages. Virginia House B& B was originally built by founding father Colonel Isaac Trabue as a community hall and church. This beautifully restored bed and breakfast has an outstanding collection of early period furnishings. Indulge yourself in a spacious Great Room with a stone fireplace, a large wood deck overlooking the exquisite gardens, and a formal dining room with a Hurricane pantry. There are two elegantly appointed guest rooms available, both with private baths.

The U.S. Navy’s C-130 Hercules cargo support aircraft for the Blue Angels uses 8 rockets to assist a short take off at the Florida International Airshow on March 21-22, 2009 in Punta Gorda, FL. Photo credit ShutterStock.com, licensed.

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