Punta Gorda, Florida, offers a little something for everyone, an idyllic seaside town with a blissful blend of art, history, and nature. From its gorgeous waterfront views, charming historic architecture, and eclectic art scene, to its many nature parks and preserves, it's no wonder this town has a booming real estate market. Punta Gorda is the perfect, family-friendly place to call home.
Life in Punta Gorda is a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of nearby big cities like Tampa. A mix of old-world charm with modern amenities, it’s the perfect place to look for a home, from days spent on the fishing pier or the golf course to evenings spent exploring the city’s diverse culinary scene.
While this town retains its small, fishing-village charm, there are still plenty of things to do in Punta Gorda.
1. Shop and Dine at Fishermen’s Village
Photo Credit: Florida Aerial Pics
A unique blend of open-air courtyards, shops, restaurants, and bars overlooking the water, Fishermen’s Village is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Here, you can shop for some artisanal goods, grab a bite of some of the freshest seafood, or pull up a barstool for craft cocktails and live music.
You can also stroll along the docks of the marina or hop aboard a boat tour or charter. Fishermen’s Village is truly a one-stop shop for all things fun!
2. Stroll the Harborwalk
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A 2.5-mile scenic trail that winds along Charlotte Harbor and Fishermen’s Village, the Harborwalk offers endless views and places to relax, from parks to ice cream shops. The Harborwalk also features plenty of benches and exercise equipment along the way. Whether you’re looking to get in a morning jog, an afternoon walk with the dog, or an evening stroll to watch the sunset, Harborwalk is the place to be.
3. Meet Local Wildlife at Peace River Wildlife Center
Photo Credit: prwildlife.org
Dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating injured wildlife, the good folks at Peace River Wildlife Center offer free eco-tours to the public every day from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Some of the top tours include Ranger Rob’s Adventure, Guided Tour Kayaking, and Manatee Sightseeing.
You can get a behind-the-scenes look at local habitats, what it takes to run a wildlife hospital, and meet some local wildlife, such as birds, turtles, and small mammals in their native ecosystems. They also have a quaint gift shop with unique items you can purchase to help support their mission. A must-stop for animal lovers.
4. Sample Craft Rum at Alligator Bay Distillers
A hometown favorite, Alligator Bay Distillers is a small, family-owned distillery offering high-quality rum made from scratch with local ingredients. Free tours and tastings are available Mondays through Saturdays.
Guests will have a chance to meet the owners, get an inside look at making rum the old-fashioned copper pot way, and sample some of their famous rums! The perfect way to spend an afternoon in Punta Gorda.
5. Reel In Your Next Big Catch
Photo Credit: Florida Aerial Pics
Punta Gorda is a world-famous fishing destination on the Gulf Coast. In search of both saltwater and freshwater species, anglers come from all over to reel in their next big catch. Charlotte Harbor is chock full of tarpon, grouper, snook, redfish, and more. Inland, the lakes offer a serene setting for catching bass, bluegill, catfish, and other freshwater species.
Those looking for an offshore excursion will find plenty of local fishing charters to choose from. Many conveniently depart from the marina at Fishermen’s Village.
6. Get to Know Punta Gorda’s Art Scene
Photo Credit: puntagordamurals.org
Downtown Punta Gorda has a thriving art scene. From outdoor murals and sculpture gardens to high-end galleries, you’ll find art for all tastes.
An impressive collection of over 30 murals can be found throughout the city, depicting everything from historical moments to nature scenes. The Punta Gorda Historic Mural Society offers information, maps, and guided walking tours to explore the murals.
You’ll also find several art galleries around town offering a variety of paintings, pottery, glasswork, jewelry, and more. The Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens boasts a beautiful collection of outdoor works made by artists worldwide. Art lovers will find no shortage of ways to spend their days in this charming city.
7. Honor Our Veterans with a Visit to The Military Heritage Museum
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On a mission to honor veterans and educate the public, the Military Heritage Museum offers an incredible display of exhibits led by veterans from all branches of the military.
This impressive 17,000-square-foot facility holds over 30,000 military artifacts, a learning center, and multiple interactive experiences. You can try your hand at flying an F-16 in the flight simulator or practice a Special Forces parachute jump in the virtual reality room.
What makes the Military Heritage Museum truly special are its veteran guides. They offer first-hand knowledge that can’t be found elsewhere. The museum also hosts special events and provides a gathering place for the veteran community in Southwest Florida.
8. Set Sail with King Fisher Fleet
Sailing out of Fishermen’s Village daily, King Fisher Fleet offers a variety of boat tours, from day island cruises to dolphin-watching tours and, of course, their most popular evening sunset cruises. There’s nothing quite like watching a colorful Punta Gorda sunset from the water.
King Fisher Fleet also offers private catamaran tours for smaller groups so you can plan your dream day out on the water. All of their boats have amenities like comfy seating, restrooms, snacks, and drinks.
9. Grab a Crab Bucket at Laishley Crab House
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Known for its charming rustic decor, beautiful waterfront views, and an extensive menu of seafood specialties, Laishley Crab House has been a local landmark for over a decade. While Laishley has an impressive menu of fresh seafood, steak, and sushi, they are best known for their signature crab buckets. From steam pots to snow crabs, locals and visitors alike flock to Laishley to try one of their famous, mouth-watering crab buckets.
10. Play a Round at One of Punta Gorda’s Premier Golf Courses
Photo Credit: Krumao
Ready to hit the back nine? Golf lovers will never get bored in Punta Gorda; this charming city boasts six beautiful and challenging golf courses. Whether you want to play a full round or just hit up the driving range, Punta Gorda is one of the best golf destinations in Florida.
These courses are open year-round and are surrounded by stunning scenery, from rolling green fairways to serene lakes, woodlands, and wildlife, for a genuinely relaxing golf getaway.
11. Put Your Toes in the Sand at TT’s Tiki Bar
For a beachy good time without the beach, TT’s Tiki Bar offers an authentic “toes-in-the-sand” experience while you sip tropical cocktails and enjoy live music. While there’s no real beach overlooking Charlotte Harbor, TT’s Tiki Bar has made their own. Featuring a man-made white sand beach and comfy Adirondack chairs, it’s the perfect place to unwind after a long day.
In addition to great ambiance and beachy cocktails, you’ll find a full menu featuring everything from classic cheeseburgers and fresh seafood to tacos, pizza, and more.
12. Step Back in Time in Punta Gorda’s Historic Districts
Established in 1887, Punta Gorda is full of historic sites and structures. There are three historic districts where you can walk around and immerse yourself in the city’s rich history.
The Punta Gorda National Register District encompasses 22 city blocks dotted with historic homes and buildings. You’ll find many late Queen Anne-style homes that date to the 1800s and the historic Neo-Classical City Hall building.
The Bethel-St. Mark Historic District covers 23 city blocks and highlights the area’s African American History. This district is home to two historic African American churches, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church and St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church.
The Downtown Commercial Historic District spans 24 city blocks and contains several historic commercial buildings. Several of which, including the Punta Gorda Ice House, the Punta Gorda Women's Club, and the Old First National Bank of Punta Gorda, are on the National Register of Historic Places.
13. Search for Treasures at Funkie Junkies
With a unique and ever-evolving collection of furniture, antiques, collectibles, arts, and crafts, Funkie Junkies is a must-visit in Punta Gorda. Part consignment shop, part marketplace for local artists and craft vendors, you never know what treasures you may find. From vintage art to handmade jewelry and custom furniture pieces, they have a little bit of everything.
Whether you love to go antiquing or are just looking for a unique piece to complement your decor, Funkie Junkies is a one-stop shop for the eclectic.
14. Indulge in a Sweet Treat at Punta Gorda Chocolate and Wine
Photo Credit: Amanda Feltz
With a selection of handcrafted, gourmet chocolates and fine wines from around the world, Punta Gorda Chocolate and Wine is the perfect place to indulge.
While you can pop in at any time for a piece of artisanal chocolate and a glass of wine, they offer specially curated wine tastings on the weekends. These tastings are so popular they tend to fill up fast. Reservations are highly recommended.
In addition to their impressive selection of chocolate and wine, you’ll find gourmet cheeses, charcuterie, craft beers, and ciders.
15. Take a Walk on the Wildside at Alligator Creek Preserve
No visit to anywhere in Florida is complete without spotting at least one alligator, and the Alligator Creek Preserve is here to deliver. With over four miles of nature trails and a boardwalk that winds through wetlands, visitors will have a chance to meet one of Florida’s most famous residents from a safe distance!
Alligators are usually seen basking along the water’s edge, soaking up the sun like the true Floridians they are. They can also occasionally be spotted along the hiking trails. In addition to alligators, the preserve is also an excellent place for bird watching.
The Punta Gorda Lifestyle is Calling
We’ve only scratched the surface of all the ways you can spend your days in Punta Gorda. The city also boasts a lively calendar of events, from weekly farmer’s markets to annual fishing tournaments, festivals, and so much more.
Whether you’re looking for a weekend escape or a more permanent peaceful retreat, the Punta Gorda lifestyle is calling.
Ready to start your journey? With unparalleled service and expertise in the local real estate market, NVG Realty can help guide you every step of the way. Let us help find your dream home in Punta Gorda today!