Englewood is an unincorporated community which is divided between Sarasota and Charlotte County. The historic Dearborn Street, Englewood's Main Street, is basically the line where Sarasota County ends and Charlotte County takes over.
Englewood itself borders the beautiful Lemon Bay, a 13 mile long and 3/4 wide body of water. Lemon Bay Aquatic Preserve is one out of 5 Charlotte Harbors Aquatic Preserves. It is a unique, submerged ecosystem which is a perfect paradise for aquatic animals and plants.
Englewood is located on the mainland and has no Gulf beaches at all. The fantastic sand beaches can all be found on the barrier island of Manasota Key. Four beaches, Stump Pass Beach State Park, Englewood Beach, Middle Beach and Manasota Key Beach, are attracting thousands of sunseekers every year, while the waters of the Lemon Bay are an anglers paradise.
Further south of Englewood is the Cape Haze Peninsular, a subtropical area with “Old Florida style” and brand new communities.
Almost 15,000 residents call the 13 square mile area of Englewood home. Ten square miles out of the 13 are land, while the remaining three square miles of the area are bodies of water.
The median resident age is 66 years, indicating that Englewood is still a retirement community. However, that is changing. More and more young families are moving to Englewood because the area is booming and housing is more affordable (compared to Sarasota and Venice).
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Englewood has many preschools, day-schools, Christian academies, day care centers, elementary schools, middle schools and a High School. Colleges, learning centers, and universities are also close by. A list and rating of the schools.
Dining and Shopping
Although the former fishing town is constantly growing, it still continues to maintain this particular “small town Charm” as it moves forward with the times.
Small shopping plazas and grocery stores are within easy reach. There are plenty of waterfront restaurants, and they are always busy during the season. Every Thursday there is a Farmers Market at Dearborn Street, the historic district of Englewood.
Hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people come to the market to enjoy a pleasant shopping experience while chewing on tasty food samples and listening to live music. All this under an endless blue sky with lots of sunshine and shady trees. Life is good and it can't get any better.
What is the nightlife like in Englewood? Well, to be honest, no extravaganza. It can be described as "quiet, but not too quiet.: Live music on the beach, waterfront dining, boating, fishing, beach, and fun in the sun. There is also an Event Center offering concerts and other entertainment events once in a while. So, it is really not too bad, but you can not compare Englewood's cultural activities with Sarasota's or Tampa's.
If you want world-class entertainment, get in your car. You need to drive to Sarasota; it is only a 45-minute drive. Snowbirds, keep in mind: no ice and snow during the winter months. It is always an easy drive.
Another option would be Fort Myers. That trip consumes about 1 1/2 hours of your lifespan. We don't know anything about the nightlife in Fort Myers, though, but something is probably happening there.
Parks and Recreation
Two Parks are in the Englewood area. Stump Pass Beach State Park at the southern tip of Manasota Key and Don Pedro State Park, which is split into two halves. One half sits on the mainland, about 5 miles south of Englewood. The other half, which is the prettier one, is on Don Pedro Island.
Only the Don Pedro Park on the island has a beach. It is only accessible by boat or ferry. However, the ferry has a hefty price. When you rent a boat or take your kayak to go the island park, you will be rewarded. It is plain beautiful there.
The Stump Pass Park has actually two beaches. If the waves are too high on the Gulf of Mexico you can go swimming on the other side. There is a 1.3-mile long walkway from the parking lot to the pass, and if you are looking for a little workout, this is a good start.
Englewood has one dedicated exit when you come from I-75, and that one is called "River Road." That road has earned its name because when it is raining heavily the road becomes a river. Well, that is our interpretation. More likely the road got the name because it runs parallel to the river, the Myakka River.
6 Miles further south, River Road is crossing US-41. After another 4 miles River Road meats Winchester. Winchester Road is a relatively new road and leads to Englewood and the Cape Haze Peninsula, all the way down to Placida.
SR 776 is Englewood's backbone. The road comes from Venice, cuts Englewood in half and connects it further east with North Port, Port Charlotte, and Punta Gorda. The SCAT Bus system is also active in Englewood. Buses take passengers to the beach or all the way up to Venice and Sarasota.
Englewood Area Information
At first glance, Englewood appears to be a little like a beautiful pearl sitting in an “ugly” Oyster, waiting to be discovered. Of course, there are traffic lights and chain stores in Englewood as well, like everywhere else, however, Englewood is not New York.
There are also a few eyesores here and there, but they will disappear slowly. Somehow in Englewood, you can still feel what this “Old Florida Charm” is all about.
The "Old Florida" Charm
The residents who live in Englewood are friendly and laid back. Yes, they are. They all talk to each other and to "strangers" as well, no matter whether they meet for the first or hundredth time. When you stand in line at the grocery store, you speak with each other. How weird is that? They do not even know each other!
Dearborn Street represents “Old Englewood.” This is the place where all began, and there are still old houses dating back to the time when Englewood was still in its infancy.
Small stores, family-owned businesses, and friendly service providers are running the show in this little town on Florida’s Sun Coast, where often your word or a handshake will still be the “legal” signature under a contract.
A Wind of Change is Blowing
Of course, a few “big guys,” like Home Depot, McDonald’s, and Walgreen's, managed to sneak in, however, that didn’t do any harm to that particular “Old Florida Feeling” so far. It "enriched" only the choices the customers have - if a flattened meatloaf with a slice of cheese is considered a "culinary enrichment."
Parts of Beach Road look like “Old Englewood,” too. You need to look carefully if you want to detect all those hidden treasures of the past.
The Cape Haze Peninsular
Englewood sits on the northern border of the “Cape Haze Peninsular", which is about 30 miles long and surrounded by the Myakka River to the east, Charlotte Harbor to the south, and the Intracoastal Waterway/Lemon Bay to the west. Although surrounded by all that water, the peninsular does not have a single stretch of beach.
only the barrier islands are providing the sand beaches everybody loves so much. There are no beaches on the peninsula itself; mangroves and homes are lined up along the coastline.
Lemon Bay is the big body of water separating Englewood and the barrier islands from each other. This Bay is an aquatic preserve, an underwater ecosystem of seagrass and oyster communities, surrounded by a thick mangrove “jungle.” The Bay is also an estuary, that means that it is a place where salt and fresh water mingles. Prime fishing is found in the Lemon Bay and Stump Pass. The latter is the name of the channel connecting the Bay with the Gulf of Mexico.
If there wasn't this natural channel, called Stump Pass, which is a little iffy to pass, boaters would have to go all the way to the Venice Jetty, or down to Gasparilla, if they wanted to get out in the Gulf. With a bigger powerboat or with a sailboat, skippers have no choice. They better don't dare to go through this channel. SeaTow charges quite a bit of money to get your boat off the shoal again.
Englewood Farmers Market
The Englewood Farmer's Market, which takes place on Dearborn Street, is a big attraction during the winter months, and part of the “Old Florida Charm” as well. Here you can buy fresh fish, fresh fruits, organic vegetable, freshly baked German bread, and if you want you can purchase “snake oil” and other "useful" stuff as well. Here you can talk to other people again, listen to live music, eat food samples and enjoy the endless blue sky over Florida. Life is Good! Englewood Farmer's Market - a Success Story!
During the summer months, the snowbird population is enjoying their steamy summers up north again, and for the locals, the four beaches on Manasota Key are a stronger magnet. Those are the reasons why there is no Farmer’s Market from June through September. The vendors have no intention to compete with the Gulf of Mexico because they would lose the battle anyway. Therefore, when summer arrives, they throw their hands up in the air and give in. They sneak back in in October when the water gets colder and when the locals and the returning snowbirds are in shopping mode again. More Farmer's Markets in the area.
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Drop us a Line if you want to know more about Englewood or any other community. You may also call us at 941-460-8832.