Sunseeker Resort Opening in Charlotte Harbor in 2023
Allegiant Travel Company is in the process of building Sunseeker Resort Charlotte Harbor with an opening in 2023 The property is being built along 22 acres of the Peace River and will feature more than 500 units including queen and king rooms and one, two, and three-bedroom suites. Allegiant Travel Company builds on the company’s nearly 20-year history as a leader and innovator in the world of leisure travel. When it was founded, Allegiant re-envisioned air travel in the United States, with a focus on bringing leisure travelers from smaller cities across America to premier vacation destinations. Starting with one aircraft and a single route, Allegiant has since grown to serve more than 450 routes from 120 cities — more than any other U.S. carrier. Allegiant services Punta Gorda Airport with more than 40 destinations.
World’s First Solar-Powered Town Officially Open in Charlotte County, Fla.
Babcock Ranch, the world’s first solar-powered town located in southeast Charlotte County, just northeast of Fort Myers on Babcock Ranch Road/State Road 31, commemorated the town’s official grand opening on March 10, 2018, with a celebration that featured tours of 20 furnished model homes and FPL’s Babcock Ranch Solar Energy Center, where a newly constructed observation platform provides sweeping views of the 440-acre solar field. Babcock Ranch was created by Kitson & Partners with respect for the natural environment and the philosophy that smart growth and sustainability work hand in hand. Half of the town’s 18,000-acre footprint is set aside as greenways, parks, and expansive lakes, providing recreation and scenic backdrops for Babcock Ranch’s homes and the Founder’s Square downtown district. Babcock Ranch promotes healthy living through a walkable community plan, 50 miles of planned biking and hiking trails, interconnected lakes for paddling enthusiasts, a robust calendar of exercise classes, and the Healthy Life Center operated by Lee Health.
Art AND Nature? What a Beautiful Combo!
Abutting the Peace River, this 30-acre waterfront oasis will encompass the diversity of five ecosystems including marshlands, wetlands, mangroves, uplands, a tidal basin, and an island amphitheater. Flowering trees and plants will bloom throughout the year. More than a dozen large-scale sculptures adorn the landscape of the 27-acre property. Flowering trees bloom throughout the year and more than 15,000 sq. ft of boardwalks and docks are planned. Sculptures have been installed and the master plans for the Gardens were developed in 2010. The property is developed and primarily financed by Roger E. and Linda A. Tetrault Foundation, a 501 c. (3) private foundation. This will be one of the largest endowments for a botanical garden in the state of Florida. Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens.
Unlock Your Inner Archaeologist
Chances are if you’ve been shell hunting before, there was a time or two you find something cool and unexpected like a shark tooth or fossil. If you love finding these gems, there’s a place in Florida where the fossil supply has been known to be high; you can hunt for fossils at Canoe Outpost - Peace River.
At this watersport outpost, rent yourself a canoe or bring your own kayak and trek the river in search of fossilized treasures. Fossils are known to be found along the Peace River’s tea-colored banks – particularly after a storm and when the water level is low. Fossil hunters begin their trip with a short bus shuttle ride up to the launch point, where you can start searching for your treasures. Rent a sifter and swish and swash for fossils from giant sloths, bears, tapirs, capybaras, giant armadillos, jaguars, saber-tooth cats, Llamas, camels, mammoths, horses, mastodons, sharks’ teeth, and the prized megalodon tooth.
This incredible museum is a great family-friendly attraction for all ages. The Military Heritage Museums utilizes multiple methods to educate its visitors on the heritage aspects of US military history. With thirty-thousand-plus artifacts, veterans serving as museum guides, flight and ship simulators, virtual reality experiences, thousands of infographics, live performances, and audiovisual displays, the Museum provides unique and innovative experiences throughout its 17,000 square foot facility.
Trace the City’s Roots through a Magnificent Collection of Hand-Painted Murals
An artistic way to learn the roots of Punta Gorda is through its 30 (and counting) beautifully painted murals that are scattered around the city on its historical buildings. The Punta Gorda Historic Mural Society (PGHMS) is a non-profit, 501c(3) organization founded in 1994 whose objectives are to revitalize, preserve, and economically enhance the community through the painting of murals that depict the history of the area. Renderings of all the murals are on display at the Charlotte Harbor Events & Conference Center, The Punta Gorda City Hall, and the Charlotte Community Foundation. Each mural tells its own unique story of the authentic city.
Travel through Four Different Ecosystems on a Swamp Buggy Bus
Discover the natural heart of Florida on a thrilling tour that has you seeing alligators, wild hogs, deer, wild turkeys, sandhill cranes, and cracker cows. The beautiful landscape takes you through four different ecosystems including a telegraph cypress swamp. The experienced guides of Babcock Ranch Eco-Tours will enhance your experience with their commentaries. Get back to nature on this adventure.
A Bustling Waterfront Fishing Village
Fishermen’s Village is a bustling Waterfront Mall, Resort, and Marina that offers something for everyone. Shopping, dining, live entertainment, and water adventures await locals and travelers. With over 30 boutiques shops and restaurants galore, you are sure to find something that pleases you and your family.
Ride Green, Ride Free, Ride Like the Wind to Discover the Real Charlotte Harbor
Punta Gorda features the first Florida free bike loan program. The city has been recognized as a “Florida Bike-Friendly Community” by the Florida Bicycle Association for their volunteer organization called TEAM Punta Gorda offering a complimentary Yellow Bike Loaner Program. All that is required to enjoy a bicycle for an hour or a day is a credit card, driver’s license (copies made for collateral), and signature of a waiver. Bicycles are offered on a space-available basis at various downtown locations. Since Punta Gorda is a bicycle-friendly community, the Punta Gorda Pathways, which is an 18-mile loop trail connecting pedestrian and bike paths around the city, was established to allow the city’s bicyclists a more convenient way to get around. Four bicycle routes were also established and marked and range in length from 17 miles to a 31-mile ride.
Undiscovered Beaches for Sunsets, Sports, Solitude, and Shelling
Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach has 28 miles of uncrowded beaches for every interest. Romantics can watch the sun slip into the Gulf at Englewood Beach on Manasota Key or walk hand-in-hand along the shore. Many nearby restaurants offer nightlife. Adjoining Chadwick Park offers volleyball and basketball courts and plenty of fishing. At Port Charlotte Beach Park, families and athletes love the heated swimming pool, basketball, tennis, beach volleyball, bocce, horseshoe courts, and playground. Picnic shelters, a fishing pier, and boating access ramps add to the appeal. Explorer’s beach: Stump Pass Beach State Park, with wide-open coastlines and nature trails for viewing wildlife and native plants, is ideal for shelling and gathering fossilized shark’s teeth. Most secluded: Don Pedro Island State Park, which can only be reached by private boat. There are plenty of shells and few people to compete for them! Look for manatees, bald eagles, and gopher tortoises. Far removed from civilization, yet amenities include restrooms, outdoor showers, picnic pavilions, and barbecue grills. Beaches
From Blue Crab Picking to Dining Like James Beard, The Flavors of Charlotte Harbor
The dining scene in Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach is an eclectic mix of seafood shacks, sidewalk cafes, waterfront eateries, fine dining, and sweet spots. Primary dining districts include downtown Punta Gorda (which has more than 50 independently owned restaurants), Fishermen’s Village, and Englewood’s Dearborn Street. Familiar corporate-owned restaurants are bountiful, too. Notable culinary experiences include: dinner at Golden Spoon recipient The Perfect Caper, headed by a multi-time nominee for the James Beard Foundation Best Chef in the South, Jeanie Roland who beat chef Bobby Flay on national television; The Burg’r Bar in Punta Gorda is home to the $40 Bloody Mary – an over-the-top brunch in a glass; Peace River Seafood is housed in a Florida cracker shack and for more than 15 years, they’ve been serving up boat-to-table blue crabs, shrimp, and other fresh seafood. Restaurants
Paddle Through Paradise - Blueway Trails
Part of the Florida Greenways and Trails System, 200 miles of Blueway Trails are mapped for paddlers whether they’re in a kayak, canoe, or standup paddleboard, with 53 trails rated for access, difficulty, and scenic value. Veteran aficionados say these trails are some of the most beautiful in the U.S. Nearly 84 percent of the 830 miles of shoreline is protected from development, providing shelter and habitat for an amazing variety of species. With a guide, one might see hundreds of birds flying home to roost, wild boar, otters, Manta rays, and horseshoe crabs. Experienced sea kayakers can enjoy challenges out on the Gulf. Learn kayak fishing, where one can sneak up on the prey. Several outfitters/guides offer wilderness trips, photographic forays, and tailored tours for beginner to expert, perhaps accompanied by manatees or dolphins. One even offers an affordable Kayak Wedding or Vow Renewal package for couples who want to add some splash to their romance.
Taste the Crafts
With the rising popularity of craft drinks, Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach is keeping up with the trend with its craft brewery taproom and craft distiller. Peace River Beer Company offers a variety of craft brews and authentic Thai Food. Owned and operated by the Voss brothers, Alligator Bay Distillers hand-crafts rum from 100 percent Florida molasses. Be sure to schedule a free tasting tour!
That’s just the beginning of all that Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach: The Charlotte Harbor Gulf Island Coast has to offer. Visit our online library for images or call us for additional photos and ideas tailored to your interests.
Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau