Derived from the Spanish name for “fat point,” Punta Gorda is a picturesque town situated along the Charlotte Harbor in southwest Florida. The quaint and quiet town is well-known as a fishing mecca, and anglers flock to this region of Florida in hopes of catching tarpon, snook, red drum, grouper, and spotted seatrout in the Peace River, Charlotte Harbor, or Gulf of Mexico. Ideally located between Sarasota and Fort Myers, Punta Gorda is pleased to protect its small town charm and characterization as a sleepy, friendly fishing town. Residents appreciate the peaceful lifestyle and Old Florida charm.
The history of Punta Gorda dates back to two Native American tribes, the Calusas Indians and later the Seminole Indians. For a period of time, European settlers and the Seminole Indians lived peacefully side by side in Punta Gorda. However, pride, egos, and chicanery proved deadly when the tribe’s leader, Billy Bowlegs, who was angry at actions of surveyor Lt. Gill Harstuff, set ablaze the trading post. Many Native Americans and settlers lost their lives, and the trading post was never rebuilt. Today, the road leading to the historic site is known as “Burnt Store Road,” and the trading post is “Burnt Store Marina,” a waterfront complex with 525 boat slips, ship store, tennis courts, swimming pool, golf course, clubhouse, and popular restaurants including Cass Cay and Linkside Cafe.
Apart from Burnt Store Marina, other popular attractions in Punta Gorda include the Train Depot Museum, Fishermen’s Village, History Park, Three Suns Ranch, 417 Southern Speedway, and Harbor Walk, a 2.5 mile waterfront promenade of public parks that is the hallmark of the town’s origination. Golf enthusiasts enjoy teeing off at Blue Heron Pines Golf Club, Heritage Landing Golf and Country Club, Seminole Lakes Country Club, Maple Leaf Golf and Country Club, Babcock National, and several other private courses nearby. Tennis and pickleball players enjoy casual competition at complexes such as Emerald Point Racquet Club, Village Racquet Club, and Punta Gorda Club. Other outdoor recreational activities include kayaking down the Peace River, sailing in the Harbor, biking through scenic pathways, shopping at specialty boutiques, and dining at local restaurants.
Waterfront real estate is found in communities such as Punta Gorda Isle, Harbor Landing, Palm Shores, Colnly Point, Beachview Country Club Estates, and the Sanctuary at Wulfert while golf course homes are found in the aforementioned club communities. Other interior or canal front communities include Creekside, Pirate Harbor, Harbour Oaks, Tuscany Isles, Heritage Landing, and Burnt Store neighborhoods to name a few. A family-friendly town, Punta Gorda offers various private, public, and charter school options.