Punta Gorda Lifestyle
Some people say that Punta Gorda is a big retirement community with roughly 17,000 retirees. Well, if you are a teenager it may pretty much feel like a 55+ community, but is that the reality?
Let's have a closer look at the age of the residents to find out if that feeling is real or not. 8,2% of the residents are under 18, 2.1% are between 18 and 24 (wow, that is bad - at least for those guys), 9.9% are between 25 and 45, 33.4% are between 45 and 64, and a whopping 46.4% of the residents are over 65.
So, it seems that when you are 50+ and married, this is an excellent spot to live, but from the perspective of a teenager, well, Punta Gorda may look a little ....sad? Remember when you were 18 and a 30-year-old guy looked like a Methuselah to you?
Yes, it is true. Teenagers are not too happy in Punta Gorda: Port Charlotte. Englewood or Sarasota would be a better place with more opportunities for younger folks, but life is not always fair.
Although there is a High School in Punta Gorda, overall activities for younger people is still pretty limited.
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There is quite a variety of schools in Punta Gorda. Although there are not as many young families as in Sarasota, for example, that does not mean that there are no young people in Punta Gorda at all. Punta Gorda has great schools, even a high school. Check them out here: www.greatschools.org
Dining and Shopping
The city offers waterside shopping along the Harbor Walk and the famous Fishermen's Village. The unique waterfront destination includes gift shops, a variety of restaurants, a 98 slip Marina and a Military Heritage Museum. On top of the village is a resort, actually a time share. Maybe you want to stay there and soak up the sun? Beautiful Spot, and a famous tourist destination in Southwest Florida.
There are more shops in the city's center, but nothing can beat Fishermen's Village.
The 10 best restaurants in Punta Gorda. We did not test drive them, but they seem to be a pretty good choice. Just be a little adventurous and check out what those "gator bites" taste like. We decided that they come pretty close to a Firestone Tire, but that is strictly our opinion.
Anyway, there are plenty of bars, sports bars and places with live music in Punta Gorda. if that is not enough, Port Charlotte is not far away.
Parks and Recreation
Of course, there is much to do in Punta Gorda and the surrounding areas. Boating, kayaking, fishing, and sightseeing are only a few of an array of activities. Take a 90-minute swamp buggy tour through Babcock Ranch. By the way, Babcock Ranch is the #1 solar-powered city in Florida. Call us, if you are interested in a home there.
Or maybe you would enjoy a Peace River Boat Tour? The Peace River is simply gorgeous. Fairs, events, and festivals are happening year round as well in Punta Gorda. You just need to go, don't be a couch potato.
I-75 is close by and connects Punta Gorda with the world. The International Airport of Ft. Myers is also just a 45- mile drive away. Punta Gorda has perfect streets in well-maintained condition. Therefore, getting around is very convenient. Don't rely on public transportation, though, because public transportation is, at this point, very limited. However, your own car and US 41 and I-75 get you wherever you want to go. During rush hour it can slow down a little, but still no drama.
Punta Gorda Airport is very successful and a great backbone of the economy. The new management was able to attract some major airlines that are offering flights to many North American destinations. Columbus, Cincinnati, Harrisburg, Knoxville, Raleigh, and Springfield are all on the list of destinations, as well as Chicago and Philadelphia.
Information about the Area
The history of Punta Gorda dates back to the arrival of the Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon. That was the year 1521. Before that, the Calusa Indians had already lived in the area for several thousand years.
Ponce was searching for gold and the mythical „fountain of youth.“ He was obsessed to find this "stupid" fountain. But history books are teaching us, that he was not successful at all. Even after his death, nobody was able to find that fountain. Today, many people are still looking out for it, bridging the time until they may eventually find it with scalpel and Botox.
US 41 had a big impact
Railroad, Phosphate Mining, the US 41, the Airport, and WWII - all this had a big impact on Punta Gorda, and it shaped the face of the city. Today you can still see the impact of any of them, however, US 41 and the Airport left the biggest footprints.
US 41 connected Punta Gorda with the huge markets in Miami, Fort Myers, and Tampa. At first, the airport was only training the pilots who fought in the European or Asian skies. The training was excellent. A blue sky and sunshine are perfect conditions for rookie pilots. However, not too many of them made it back in one piece.
After the war nobody needed the airport anymore. Only in the late 70's, some investors revived the airport with little success. But today the picture is different. Punta Gorda Airport has become a busy local airport, sending planes out in many directions of the USA.
Punta Gorda Isles offers miles of deep water canals
The location of the city is actually perfect. Punta Gorda is centrally located between Sarasota and Fort Meyers, and it is also still in a comfortable driving distance to Tampa, Orlando, and Fort Myers.
Due to the proximity to Charlotte Harbor and due to the extensive canal system, Punta Gorda has an abundance of waterfront properties. Especially the Punta Gorda Isles and Burnt Store Isles communities offer a lot of new and newer homes on the water with deep water/sailboat water canals leading out to the Gulf of Mexico.
Charlotte Harbor- Not the Gulf of Mexico
Now, for retired or semi-retired people, it is a great choice, unless they want a place with "ocean" view. With its small-town feel, waterfront parks, a vast system of pathways for walking and bicycling, and an extensive collection of independent shops and restaurants, Punta Gorda is catering directly to the 50+ clientele.
Charlotte Harbor and the Peace River offer excellent recreational fishing and spectacular boating opportunities. The water is perfect for sailing boats, power boats, and small watercraft's, like kayaks, paddle boards, and canoes.
If you don't want to bother the fish or if you are getting seasick by watching the pelicans floating on the water, play a round of golf instead. You can go to the semi-private Punta Gorda Country Club, which is an 18-hole, par 72 golf course. They have a driving range and a pro shop. If you need to rent clubs, you can do that at the pro shop as well.
There is no excuse not to play golf! Click here for Punta Gorda Golf Clubs.
Well, three developers were sitting together and decided to build something „extraordinary,“ not into something boring. They wanted something that attracts and pleases many people. The three guys imagined a place with restaurants, waterside shopping, apartments with a view, a marina, and entertainment for the whole family. That was a real project and it was a pretty new concept back in the 80's.
They called their vision „Fishermen's Village,“ and then they rolled up their sleeves. Even 37 years later, Fishermen's Village, which is built like a New England Fishing Village, is still „The“ attraction in Punta Gorda. The second largest tourist attraction in Southwest Florida is constantly remodeled and improved, and it recently added a nice outside bar and restaurant area.
Not only Shops
This unique waterfront destination includes gift, clothing, and specialty stores. There are several restaurants with a wide variety of food items on their menus, and there is a little military heritage museum, that tells a short story about the military background of the area.
The marina offers 98 boat slips for the ones who hate wheels under their vehicle, and there is a gas station in case the tank is empty.
Fully furnished luxury apartments on the second floor are waiting for new arrivals. People who are seeking a break from the hustle and bustle will feel there at home. They are only 10 steps away from their favorite pizza.
Shade, of course, you need Shade in Florida
Everything is in the shade, and wide openings provide for a comfortable sea breeze on a sizzling summer day. By the way, there is an ice cream parlor as well, like everywhere else in Florida. This ice cream shop is the place where you can happily add another 5,000 calories to your daily diet, but who cares when the sky is blue and the sun is shining? On certain days you can even listen to live music while enjoying an ice cold beer. Life is good and even better at Fishermen's Village.
Go on a Mini Cruise
Charter boats are departing from the harbor every day. You can go out on a short sunset tour and watch the dolphins playing with their prey, or you can choose from a variety of day trips. The skippers will take you on tours up the river, or to those little keys located in Charlotte Harbor.
Some of the tiny islands, like Cabbage Key, have unique restaurants that can only be reached by boat. And if you are nice to the captain he may even bring you back to the Village. But better be careful, that pirate blood may still be circling in his veins.
The Punta Gorda Airshow is Back
The Punta Gorda Airshow is back. The airshow used to be a huge magnet in the past, attracting thousands of people from all over South Florida.
Due to some financial obstacles, the show had to be canceled for quite a while. Fortunately, the organizer was able to solve the financial problem.
With new sponsors on board, the airshow took place again at the Punta Gorda Airport in 2016. If you like old planes and the sound of their engines, and if you like a good show, come to the airport next time when the show is back. In October 2018 those Yaks, Mustangs, and Migs will be soaring through Florida’s Blue Sky again. Stop by and see for yourself. Even the birds are jealous!
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Drop us a Line if you want to know more about Punta Gorda or any other community. You may also call us at 941-460-8832.