Englewood, Florida, is situated northwest of Port Charlotte and south of popular Venice. Some people call it a sleepy beach town, but once you get more insight, you will find out that this is a very superficial assumption. Englewood boasts some spectacular waterfront properties, perfect neighborhoods, great restaurants with tasty seafood, and live entertainment.
State Road 776 is the main artery and Dearborn St, also called Olde Englewood Village featuring street restaurants and the best Farmers Market in the area.
Whether you are looking for a place to raise your family, build a vacation home, or buy a perfect place to retire, Englewood will fit your needs perfectly. Moreover, real estate is on average less expensive than real estate in Sarasota, Venice, or let alone Naples.
Englewood, Florida is a small town at a Perfect Spot
Englewood offers residents a lifestyle that is different from cities like Sarasota or Naples. It is catering to people who love a laid-back atmosphere combined with year-round mild weather and outdoor activities. Englewood is a small lively beach town of about 15,000 residents. If you need all the bells and whistles of a metropolis, you may want to look at Sarasota to the north and Ft. Myers to the south.
Why do we call Englewood – a town with a big heart? You will not even find exotic or fancy bars, high-class shopping malls with international flair, nor world-class Broadway-like entertainment in Englewood. Well, we think that the heart of Englewood beats at the beach area and the historic district of Dearborn St. Many waterfront restaurants and tiki bars with live entertainment line the beach. If you are looking for a peaceful yet lively place, Englewood might ignite a spark.
Englewood consists of Five Main Neighborhoods
Englewood, an unincorporated community, is divided between Sarasota and Charlotte Counties. In other words, there is no municipal corporation governing Englewood. Nobody. Either Sarasota County or Charlotte County, decide what project should be worked out next. Is it a problem that Englewood has no government of its own? Probably not because the sun is still shining, and life is good – even without elected officials.
Englewood’s five neighborhoods are Manasota Key, Englewood East, Englewood Beach, Englewood Isles, and Grove City. “Englewood consists of two zip codes,” that would be a more simplistic way to describe it, but that doesn’t sound too sexy, right?
State Road 776 is the Main Traffic Artery
Englewood is pretty much lined up along SR 776, which connects the area with Venice to the west and Port Charlotte/North Port to the east. It takes about ten minutes to drive to Venice and ten minutes to drive to Port Charlotte. Perfect! SR 775 connects Englewood to the Placida/Cape Haze area. That is another 10-minute drive.
Dearborn Street or Olde Englewood Village
Dearborn Street runs through the “Olde Englewood Village.” Here you can still imagine what Englewood may have looked like in the 40’s and 50’s. This street is the oldest part of Englewood and the center of the town, consisting of more or less one street. However, there are some excellent restaurants and street cafes where you can have lunch or dinner. The Farmers Market attracts a lot of people with lots of action, food samples, and even live music. All that happens under shady trees. The Englewood Farmers Market is only a wintertime event.
Occasionally, residents and non-residents will gather for parades and other festivities. The Fourth of July Parade is one of those special events. Also, when the boat race takes place, the powerful machines will be exhibited on Dearborn Street before they compete with each other on the Gulf of Mexico.
Four Beaches – but where do I go?
There are some fantastic white sand beaches, which are fun places to hang out. All four beaches are on Manasota Key, though, because Englewood is only bordering Lemon Bay, not the Gulf of Mexico. At the south end of the island is the State Park Beach. A beautiful park where a 1.3-mile walkway leads through the “jungle.” At its end of the path, you will reach Stump Pass connecting Lemon Bay and the Intracoastal waterway with the Gulf of Mexico.
The park provides restrooms and showers, but parking is limited, and you need to bring your own food and water. If you don’t have an annual Florida State Pass, you need to pay for a day pass. Three bucks will not kill you, and it is for a good cause. The State Park is the best bet if you want to encounter wildlife. Dolphins, manatees, turtles, tortoises, and ospreys are around. However, there is no guarantee that you will see all or some of them. It all depends on the season, weather, and time of the day if you are going to see Flipper.” But with a little luck, you will see a few of them, and if you are very lucky, you may even see a seahorse in the water. The best time to see dolphins is in the late afternoon at Stump Pass.
One State Park Beach with three more Beaches access points on Manasota Key
Englewood Beach or Chadwick Beach is the most sophisticated beach of the four beaches. Here you will find ample parking space, new restrooms, showers, boardwalks, a playground, volleyball courts, basketball hoops, and more. You will have fun there. Restaurants and bars are within walking distance, too. You can buy a parking pass or pay with a parking app.
Middle Beach or Blind Pass Beach is a few miles further north. Restrooms and showers are available. This beach is usually the last resort if you can’t find a parking spot somewhere else because they have several parking lots, and parking doesn’t cost a dime. Here you can also launch your kayak, and the little ones have a playground.
The beach at the north end of Manasota Key is called Manasota Beach. This beach is the only one with lifeguards on duty. However, the parking space is minimal. The county recently updated the restrooms. On the other side of the road is a small county park with a boat launch. No parking fees.
The Real Estate Market in Englewood has something for almost Everyone
You will find only a handful of gated communities, though. Boca Royale Golf and Country Club, Oyster Creek Golf and Country Club, and Stillwater are three of them. Boca Royal is the most upscale community with more prominent homes in a unique subtropical setting. A section of new homes has bee added recently, and Boca Royal also became a part of the West Villages.
Oyster Creek Golf and Country Club is a nicely maintained community with low HOA fees. However, the homes are older (1990 – 2005), and there is no expansion available for new homes. Both gated communities have a golf course and a well-equipped Clubhouse; Boca Royal provides two restaurants with fine dining for the residents. Fine dining at your fingertips – how convenient is that.
Stillwater has an electronic gate and no amenities. Although that is not quite right, at least the villa section has a community pool. However, if you don’t need a clubhouse with a pool, this is a less sophisticated community but still lovely.
Waterfront and Non-Waterfront Homes
Englewood Isles is a mature and deed-restricted community, but non-gated. Many homes are on navigable water and a few homes on canals without access to the bay. The community has a marina and is directly connected with Lemon Bay, and via Lemon Bay with the Gulf of Mexico. Grove City also has navigable canals with direct access to the Gulf of Mexico. Englewood Beach on Manasota Key has boat docks facing the Lemon Bay. Eagle Preserve Estates offers an upscale Keywest-Style Homes with boat docks in your backyard and access to Lemon Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
Quite a few Englewood homes are in non-deed restricted areas, but many of them are. Living in a non-deed restricted area is not everyone’s cup of tea. If you have a trashy neighbor, you are stuck with his junk. Deed restriction set at least some rules, and “Mr. Trash” cannot dump his garbage in the front yard.
A Town with a Big Heart and a good vibe
Everybody who loves boating, fishing, and the beach will find his perfect place in Englewood. It is an authentic, historic fishing village with this small-town feel. Most of the people are extremely friendly and helpful. Occasionally, you may run into a grump in Englewood, too. But fortunately, that doesn’t happen too often.