No matter how often you might make excuses for skipping it in your standard morning routine, there's just something about breakfast when you're in vacation mode. You know… that mouth-watering aroma of bacon frying up in a pan, the sound of fresh-ground coffee dripping into a glass carafe, and a highly anticipated conversation about the list of activities that will fill your schedule during the hours ahead. 

Some days you might want a particularly early start, others you are likely to fancy a large and leisurely first meal of the day. Don't worry; there are no lack of options here. 

From quick bites to hearty appetites, these five breakfast stops in Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte will quell any concerns you might have about a grumbling vacation belly. After all, it is important to be properly fueled for a day of exploring the outdoors or taking in a few local landmarks. 

  1. Hometown Grill in Port Charlotte: Starting at 7 am, enjoy eggs many ways—including an amazing Benedict—and a wonderfully varied menu of breakfast specials. Favorites include creamed chipped beef over toast or a biscuit with 2 eggs and a side, omelets, breakfast wraps, French toast, and breakfast quesadillas. Takeout or dine in to prepare for a day of adventure. 

  2. John Ski's House of Breakfast and Lunch in Punta Gorda: Need a good old-fashioned "stick to your ribs" breakfast before kicking off a day of Charlotte County adventures? Known for serving hearty portions of homemade favorites like biscuits and gravy, John Ski's opens at 6 am. Don't forget to ask about the "Fat Boy Breakfast Challenge" and be sure to arrive hungry.

  3. Abbe's Donut Nook in Port Charlotte: If you're planning an early fishing trip out of Charlotte Harbor or sunrise stroll on the beach, stop at Abbe's Donut Nook anytime after 5 AM to satisfy your morning sweet tooth. Pair a fresh, made-from-scratch angel cream filled donut, apple fritter, or cinnamon bun with a cup of fresh ground coffee to go. Abbe's is less than 5 miles from Charlotte Harbor and less than four miles from Port Charlotte Beach Park. 

  4. Penny's Restaurant in Punta Gorda: Penny's is the place for "build your own" breakfast sandwiches and omelets served with home fries. This is a convenient breakfast stop if you're en route to the Punta Gorda Nature Park or Allapatchee Park. Keep an eye out for Penny's 1973 Volkswagen bug parked out in front. 

  5. Sweet's Diner in Port Charlotte: Sweet's may be a quaint little diner, but it has acquired a big base of breakfast fans since opening in 2007. Home of the "Pile Up" (pile of home fries, eggs, biscuit, sausage patties, sausage gravy and cheddar cheese), this is another breakfast stop known for its generous servings. Considering adding this family-owned restaurant to your morning agenda if you have plans to visit nearby Audubon-Pennington Nature Park, Ollie's Pond Park, or Franz Ross Park. 

Now that you have a list of five vacation-worthy breakfast stops in  Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte, all you have to do is decide which one you want to try first!