Our beautiful beaches are a huge draw, but there are also many activities to experience and sights to see away from the sand and surf. Find inspiration for your non-beach time in Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach:

Visit the Largest Reptile Zoo in the World

Orange Iguana at IguanaLandIguanaLand in Punta Gorda has over 230 reptiles on exhibit!, from iguanas and chameleons to tortoises, turtles, monitor lizards, and more. They offers a variety of experiences: explore on your own, try the Animal Encounter to get up close and personal with the animals and maybe even handle and feed a couple, or go for the VIP for an amazing behind-the-scenes tour. 

Enjoy the Ultimate Old Florida Eco Tour

Experience real Florida with the Babcock Ranch Eco-Tours 90-minute buggy tour through a working cattle ranch and Telegraph Swamp. Wildlife sightings can include white-tailed deer, Osceola turkeys, wild boar, and of course, alligators. There’s also a good chance you’ll meet some of the resident (and historic) cracker cattle. 


Learn About the Past

The Military Heritage Museum houses thousands of military artifacts dating back to the Spanish-American War and continuing up to current conflicts. The museum is made possible by the more than 75 volunteers—many of whom are veterans—who give their time. Visit to try out flight and ship simulators and virtual reality experiences, as well as a tour of a real Huey helicopter.


Freefall with Skydive Southwest FloridaFor excitement and views like no other, think about jumping, as they say, "out of a perfectly good airplane" with Skydive Southwest Florida. All jumps are tandem with experienced professional skydivers. There's also a viewing area for family and friends.

If you're looking to stay in the plane, enjoy an open-air flight with Suncoast Biplanes. The views, literally, cannot be topped!

Savor the Flavors

With well over 100 independent restaurants—and counting!— in there area, there is literally something for everyone. Whether you're looking for a hearty breakfast, a light lunch, a gourmet dinner, or anything in between, from pub bites to fresh seafood to artful sushi or traditional recipes, you'll find plenty of great restaurants to enjoy.

Revel in Art Meeting Mother Nature

A 50 million-year-old stone fossil of a palm frond taken from a mountain top in Wyoming serves as the inspiration for the logo and signature sculpture of Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens.

More than a dozen large-scale sculptures adorn the landscape of the 27-acre property along with flowering trees that bloom throughout the year and countless amazing botanicals. Don't miss the butterfly pavilion and be sure to feed the koi. 

Experience Wildlife Up Close and Personal


The Peace River Wildlife Center in Ponce de Leon Park cares for and houses native Florida wildlife that have either been orphaned or injured. Ambassadors include Luna, a rare leucisitc eastern screech owl, and Bella, a great horned owl. 

The Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary offers private guided tours that will get you up close (from at least 6 feet away, that is) and personal with lions and tigers and other big cats, bears, primates, wolves, and many more exotic animals. Octagon is a "retirement community/nursing home" for animals who have been rescued or relinquished.

Take it Inside, Then Break Out

If you've always wanted to try an escape room, here's your chance! This family-friendly activity is a creative indoor adventure where a group of people work together to solve a mystery in less than an hour. Try Escape Ventures in Port Charlotte or Escape Rooms Unlocked in Punta Gorda. 

Ride Green, Ride Free, Ride Like the Wind!

Biking in Historic Downtown Punta GordaPunta Gorda has been recognized as a “Florida Bike-Friendly Community” by the Florida Bicycle Association as a result of their volunteer organization, TEAM Punta Gorda, offering a complimentary Bike Loaner Program. To enjoy a bicycle for an hour or a day, you'll need a credit card, driver’s license (copies made for collateral) and signature of waiver.

Bicycles are offered on a space-available basis at various downtown locations: Four Points by Sheraton, SpringHill Suites, Fishermen's Village, and Becky's Garden Shoppe. 

Once you've got your wheels, explore the Punta Gorda Pathways, an 18-mile loop trail connecting pedestrian and bike paths around the city.  Bicycle routes are marked and range in length from 17 to 31 miles. 

Browse Galleries and Chat with Artists

Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach is home to hundreds of talented artists and any day is a great day to get into some of the galleries to browse creative artwork and speak with the artists. Some galleries include:

Eat, Shop, and Cruise the Harbor

King Fisher Fleet boat, "Charlotte Lady," on a sunset cruise in Charlotte Harbor/Peace RiverWhether you're buying a souvenir or treat for yourself or a gift for someone special, the unique gift shops and boutiques at Fishermen's Village will provide plenty of inspiration.

While enjoying a delicious meal at one of their waterfront restaurants, you're very likely to catch some great live music.

We highly recommend taking a sunset cruise whenever possible, with King Fisher Fleet. Don't forget to save room for something sweet at one of the treat shops. 

This is a short list of things to do away from the beach in Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach. Explore the rest of our site for lots more to do!