Punta Gorda is a hidden treasure on the Peace River with a historic downtown district, thriving nightlife scene, award-winning restaurants and pristine parks. Whether you prefer action-packed outdoor adventure or being wined and dined by candlelight, here are some ideas that prove you don’t have to go far to craft the perfect date for you and your sweetheart.
The Couple Who Wines & Dines
Carmelo's Italian Ristorante
Once voted the best date-night restaurant, the award-winning Carmelo’s serves authentic Italian dishes in a romantic setting. Serving twists on traditional favorites to old family Sicilian recipes. Set the mood with string-lit garden seating where you’ll be swooned by soulful melodies from a solo guitarist.
Perch 360 Up On the Roof
Located on the rooftop of the Wyvern Hotel, Perch 360 boasts beautiful sky-high views, overlooking Downtown Punta Gorda and the Charlotte Harbor. Signature cocktails, boutique wines and a tapas-style menu set the tone for a fresh, trendy dining experience. Cozy up in a private cabana and enjoy live music under the stars.
The Blue Turtle Tavern & Raw Bar
Gracious hospitality is the mantra of this classic, coastal tavern. Exposed brick walls, an intimate bar by the fireplace and floor to ceiling bookcases give this swanky joint an exclusive club feel. The Blue Turtle menu features fresh-caught local seafood and savory entrees like the Nashville Chicken. Check out their weekly events like Bourbon & Blues Night or Wine & Jazz Night.
The Outdoorsy, Adventurous Couple
Punta Gorda Harborwalk
Harborwalk is a 2.5 mile pathway that curves along the Charlotte Harbor shoreline and offers the most diverse date experience of all. From nature lovers and fitness enthusiasts to bar hoppers and sports fanatics, there is something for everyone. Along your stroll, you’ll discover mangrove forests, fishing piers, parks, restaurants, shopping and bars. With so much to do, you could create an all-new experience every time you go.
Babcock Ranch Eco Tours
Take a ride on the wild side. On the Babcock Ranch Eco Tours, you’ll embark on a swamp buggy excursion through four different ecosystems while learning about the Florida Cracker heritage. Get up close with native wildlife including alligators, whitetail deer and even a Florida panther.
Boating & Watersports & Beach Time
There’s something magical about being on the water with the one you love. Kayak rentals, stand-up paddle boarding, sightseeing excursions and sunset cruises are some of the best ways to experience paradise firsthand. Whether island-hopping, shell-hunting, fishing, wildlife watching, or soaking up a world-famous Florida sunset, you’ll cherish these memories for years to come.
Live Music & Taverns
Live music is a staple at nearly every tavern, pub and tiki bar in Punta Gorda. For waterfront entertainment, kick back at TT’s Tiki Bar, Hurricane Charley’s or Harpoon Harry’s. The Celtic Ray Irish Pub features authentic Irish music accompanied by imported beers and pub fare. For something a little more rock and roll, Dean’s South of the Border cranks it up in a lively atmosphere. Venture over to the British-style Icehouse Pub for rotating craft beers and a competitive game of darts.
The Cultured Couples & History Buffs
Historic Downtown Punta Gorda
Nearly every block of historic Downtown Punta Gorda features murals that pay homage to the rich heritage of this waterfront town. Book a mural tour or download a mural map and take a self-led photography tour. Also check out the Punta Gorda Historic Railroad Depot & Antique Mall.
Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens
Submerse yourselves in a sanctuary of art and nature at this breathtaking garden park. The Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens covers 27-acres of preserved wetlands, transformed to showcase world-class art sculptures and over 3,500 botanicals such as orchids and hibiscus gardens. Take in the beauty, fresh air and artistic inspiration hand-in-hand.
Catch a musical production by the Punta Gorda Symphony or theatrical performance by the Charlotte Players at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center. For an evening of laughs, check out nationally-renowned comedy acts at Visani Restaurant & Comedy Theater.