Punta Gorda is a small quaint town strategically located between the bigger cities of Sarasota and Ft. Myers. It is perfectly located on Charlotte Harbor which is an unspoiled waterway comprising over 129 square miles with quick access to the beautiful blue waters of the Gulf. This thriving waterfront community has reasonably priced waterfront homes and fantastic inland homes all within a 10 minute drive to the water.
Punta Gorda has been named one of the Top 10 best places to live in the United States many times! The reason is simple — nearly perfect weather year around, friendly people in a small town, all the modern conveniences of a big town and a slower pace with little hustle and bustle. All this with beaches nearby, country homes and ranches only 15 minutes outside of town, a short drive to bigger cities and an international airport 30 minutes away.
Charlotte Harbor is one of the best fishing, boating and sailing destinations in all of Florida with uncongested clean waters. Boating to the beach is part of the lifestyle with plenty of islands with sandy beaches to explore.
Charlotte County has been labeled one of the best golfing destinations by Golf Digest magazine, with over 50 courses! Plenty of nearby shopping malls, small boutiques and shops in town and all of the modern conveniences of a bigger town. An abundance of cultural events, museums, symphonies and more. Most call this town paradise!
Punta Gorda: One of the Best Places to Live
Punta Gorda was named as one of the top 10 “Best Small Cities to Live In” by Money Magazine in 1996 and again in 2003. Men’s Journal recently rated Punta Gorda as one its “Best Places to Live” and Sail magazine included Punta Gorda in its list of “Top Ten Greatest Places to Sail”. Forbes magazine placed Punta Gorda on its list for “Top 10 Small Metropolitan Areas” while MSN ranked Punta Gorda as one its overall “Best Places to Live.” Golf Digest Magazine named Charlotte County as one of the best golfing destinations in Florida which is quite a statement.
Sunshine, clean air, 129 square miles of sparkling waters, incredible fishing and boating, wildlife in abundance and a friendly atmosphere draw those who seek the natural pleasures of life. Low crime, inexpensive homes and great school systems complement the small town appeal.
Punta Gorda’s History
Punta Gorda is unique, incorporated in 1877 and is the only city in Charlotte County, Florida. Punta Gorda started as a small fishing village located on Charlotte Harbor and was also the home of many cattlemen and early frontiersmen seeking government sponsored homesteads for their families.
In the late 1800’s, Punta Gorda became the “end of the line” for the railroad heading west from Miami. In a very real sense, the railroad put Punta Gorda “on the map.” Fish, cattle and tobacco were barged to and from here to Key West and Cuba.
Part of Punta Gorda is located on a broad peninsula that protrudes out into Charlotte Harbor. The local Indians referred to it as “fat point” and the name was retained by the early Spaniards, calling it “Punta Gorda” or “fat point” in Spanish. Punta Gorda has a charming, historical downtown area with several sites on the National Register and State Historic District.
Punta Gorda Today
The residential areas near the heart of downtown feature many brick streets lined with huge royal palms and many old, Key West-era, tin-roofed homes with verandas. The existing and new restaurants along with unique shops and galleries enhance the fine reputation of Punta Gorda charm. The city has a picturesque waterfront area with a large harbor, marinas and many waterfront parks, all of which are free to the public.