Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands, Fla. (December 19, 2013) – Where to Retire magazine has selected Punta Gorda, Fla., as a top retirement destination for the January/February 2014 issue, available nationwide on newsstands. Punta Gorda resident Nanette Crist is featured on the magazine’s cover and the six-page article includes statements from Punta Gorda residents on why they chose to retire in the city, statistics about the destination, and color photography. The publication has a national circulation of 200,000 and the advertising equivalent of the article is estimated to be more than $70,000.

Where to RetireManaging Editor Annette Fuller said Punta Gorda possesses qualities important to today’s retirees. “Those who have always wanted a boat docked in their backyard will find Punta Gorda is their dream come true. Charlotte Harbor, one of the nation’s largest, intersects with the Peace River, creating the ideal setting for fishing and sailing. The outdoor lifestyle continues with waterfront parks, 18 miles of bike paths and weekend events. Added bonuses include free parking downtown, free boat launches and a free loaner bike program,” Fuller said.

The magazine chose Fort Myers-based freelance writer Kathryn Straach to write the article. She was introduced to the area during a group media trip, called a familiarization trip, hosted by the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau in October 2011. The trip, for which the Bureau received a grant from VISIT FLORIDA, led journalists on a four-day tour through Charlotte County. The tourism office coordinated the writer’s return in August 2012 to conduct additional research for a Where to Retire article that included Englewood.

For the January/February 2014 Punta Gorda article, the Bureau coordinated her visit in August 2013. The tourism office reached out to the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce to locate retirees interested in speaking with Ms. Straach and due to the enthusiastic response, she was not able to interview everyone. The Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau provided most photography used in the article and worked with the editorial assistant to fact-check many of the statistics mentioned.

“We are delighted Where to Retire elected to feature Punta Gorda,” said Lorah Steiner, Director of the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau, “The secret about this beautiful city is out!”

She added, “The article reinforces what we know about the value in conducting media familiarization trips and the long lead time it may take before an article is published. We will continue to work with members of the tourism industry to host journalists on individual and group media trips in an effort to gain earned editorial coverage in print, broadcast and electronic formats with the goal of increasing visitors into Charlotte County.”

The mission of the Charlotte Harbor Visitor and Convention Bureau is to brand, market and sell Charlotte County globally as Florida’s premier eco-tourism, leisure, and meeting and conference destination for the continual economic benefit of the community. Through hosting familiarization trips journalists are acquainted with the area’s tourism amenities which often results in thousands of dollars in editorial coverage. These trips provide journalists with an opportunity to share stories about the destination with their readers.

About Where to Retire Magazine
Each year, 700,000 Americans relocate to new towns to retire. Generally, relocating retirees are healthier, better educated and more affluent than those who choose to not relocate. They bring significant economic benefits to their new states and hometowns. Nationally, two dozen states and hundreds of towns seek to attract retirees as a source of economic development.

Where to Retire magazine, launched in 1992 with the goal of helping its readers find the ideal place to retire, is published six times a year. The magazine covers the best retirement regions, towns and master-planned communities, and has a national circulation of 200,000. The magazine is sold on various newsstands and at Barnes & Noble bookstores. For a magazine subscription or to purchase a back issue, visit All material in the magazine is protected by copyright law, and reproduction of content requires the permission of the magazine. Print and electronic reprints of an article may be purchased through Dave Hart,

About Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands
Located halfway between Tampa and Naples on the Southwest Florida Gulf coast, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands is a charming collection of nine coastal communities surrounding the state’s second largest harbor. Florida’s premier year-round eco-tourism destination, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands offers a pristine unspoiled beauty that has served as the backdrop for seven major feature films as well as countless memorable vacations. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands has been named to SAIL magazine’s “10 Greatest Places to Sail in the United States,” ranked by Golf Digest as “Third Best Place to Live and Play Golf in America,” and rated by MONEY magazine as one of the “Best Places to Live in the South.” The city of Punta Gorda was named in one of “Top Ten Places to Retire Healthy” by U.S. News & World Report. Englewood was named as #2 of the Top Ten emerging travel destinations in the U.S. by
For information about other area events, activities and attractions, contact the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau, 18500 Murdock Circle, Suite B104, Port Charlotte, FL 33948; 941-743-1900, or call toll free at 1-800-652-6090 for a free Visitor’s Guide; or visit the Web site

# # #

Jennifer Huber
Tourism Public Relations Manager
Tel: (941) 743-1900
Charlotte Harbor Visitor
& Convention Bureau
18500 Murdock Circle, Suite B104
Port Charlotte, FL 33948
941-743-1900, FAX: 941-743-2245