About The Area
Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach encompasses Charlotte County, Florida, which celebrated its Centennial in 2021. Charlotte County is comprised of the towns of Punta Gorda, Englewood, and Port Charlotte, the Gulf Islands of Knight, Don Pedro, Little Gasparilla, and the northern tip of Gasparilla Island (home of Boca Grande), the areas of Cape Haze and Placida, and the town of Babcock Ranch.
Crossing The Peace River
Two of the three bridges that connect Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda run side-by-side, one northbound, the other south, over the Peace River. The sunset behind the bridges is one of the most picturesque sites in the area. In fact, the entire area orients toward the sunset, and offers many waterfront restaurants that feature gorgeous views at all times of the day.
Charlotte Harbor is second-largest natural estuary in Florida (on the map, we’re the big harbor below Tampa Bay on the west coast of Florida) and approximately 84% of the harbor’s shoreline is preserved land. The area is more than an outdoor vacation wonderland, it's an important and productive ecosystem. The harbor itself is home to more than 275 species of fishable fish.
The area, and Boca Grande Pass in particular, is often referred to as the "Tarpon Fishing Capital of the World." A world-class tarpon fishing tournament is held annual in the spring—usually in May—when the "Silver Kings" migrate through the area.
Our beautiful gulf islands provide a scenic separation from the Gulf of Mexico to the west, while over 190 miles of Blueway Trails (mangrove tunnels and river passages) across the rest of the county beckon to paddlers of all abilities. More than a dozen miles of Gulf Coast Beaches satisfy beach lovers from around the world.
Nature and Wildlife
Things get wild(er) southeast of Punta Gorda, with eco-tours, several animal sanctuaries, Florida's largest reptile zoo, and a mudding event venue.
A bit further south, the first solar-powered city in the U.S., Babcock Ranch, is thriving. Next to the town is the Babcock/Webb Wildlife Management Area, which encompasses 79,013 acres—or 124 square miles—of the largest undisturbed pine flatwoods in SW Florida and the 7th largest management area in the state. Babcock/Webb offers freshwater fishing, camping, hunting, hiking, biking, spectacular wildlife viewing, and horseback riding (bring your own horse).
- Not only did Ponce de Leon give the state of Florida its name in 1513, legend has him returning to Charlotte Harbor in 1521, whereupon he was mortally wounded by a Calusa arrow, and died shortly thereafter in Havana, Cuba.
- Teddy Roosevelt fished Charlotte Harbor in March 1917 and caught a 16-foot manta ray.
- Tamiami Trail (US 41) which runs the length of the county, was so named because it connects Tampa and Miami. It was completed in 1928 for a cost of $13 million.
- The city of Punta Gorda boasts over 30 murals depicting its history and culture.
Come on down and enjoy all that Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach has to offer!