CHARLOTTE HARBOR & THE GULF ISLANDS, Fla. (Jan. 19, 2016) – The Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau is pleased to announce Punta Gorda, Fla., has been named the top affordable down-south destination in the country to escape winter’s chill by TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest online travel source.

The top-rated travel source highlighted 10 affordable destinations across the country to escape winter chill and kick-start 2016 with a “sunny, warm-weather vacation that won’t break the bank.” The city of Punta Gorda topped the list of affordable southern escapes.

Punta Gorda is a historic waterfront community lined with beautifully restored period homes, brick lanes, street lamps, and an individually owned and operated shopping district called Fishermen’s Village providing “a full vacation’s worth of activities,” TripAdvisor stated in a recent article.

“Punta Gorda is a vibrant and friendly city that offers the ‘Best of Florida,’” said the City of Punta Gorda Mayor Rachel Keesling. “We have many beautiful parks and venues, activities to suit every fitness level, and restaurants that offer endless dining experiences. We also have a robust calendar of events that are not to be missed, so come check us out, you will enjoy our slice of paradise.”

TripAdvisor touts Punta Gorda as a “super relaxed lifestyle” with a plethora of activities from shopping to boating, jet skiing and parasailing. Amongst other notable destinations in the top 10 listing were: Edisto Island, S.C.; Gulf Shores/Orange Beach, Ala.; Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.; Hot Springs, Ark.; Seabrook Island, S.C.; Port Isabel, Texas; Fort Morgan, Ala.; Golden Isles of Georgia and Austin, Texas. The complete top 10 list with average weekly rates may be viewed here:

About TripAdvisor®
TripAdvisor® is the world's largest travel site, enabling travelers to plan and book the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers advice from millions of travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools that check hundreds of websites to find the best hotel prices. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching 350 million unique monthly visitors, and more than 290 million reviews and opinions covering more than 5.3 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 47 countries worldwide.

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, the area offers a pristine unspoiled beauty. In 2014 Port Charlotte has been named the top U.S. Best Value Destination by trivago, the world’s largest online hotel search site, and the Charlotte Sports Park, spring training home of the Tampa Bay Rays, was voted “Best Spring Training Facility” by readers of USA TODAY. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands has been named one of 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.” Englewood was named second of the Top Ten emerging travel destinations in the U.S. by The area is served by five airports: The Punta Gorda Airport (PDG) with private and charter air service, Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), Southwest Florida International Airport, Ft. Myers, (RSW), St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) and Tampa International Airport (TPA). For more information on visiting Charlotte Harbor visit or call1-800-652-6090.