A sailboat in Charlotte Harbor on a winter day in January
Tropical beaches and islands to explore
Fishing and Kayaking
Internationally renowned as one of the world’s top sport fishing destinations, Sport Fishing magazine recently named Boca Grande Pass and Charlotte Harbor tops in the world for tarpon fishing. Known as “silver king,” schools of this magnificent fish return April through June to Charlotte Harbor, the “Tarpon Fishing Capital of the World.” You’ll find 200 miles of paddle-friendly waterways waiting to be explored by kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard. Access diverse trails offering various levels, from novice to expert, and ranging from about one to 29 kilometers.
Golfing and Baseball
As if near-perfect weather weren’t enough, Golf Digest ranked Charlotte Harbor the ‘‘Third Best Place in America to Live and Play Golf.” The area boasts two courses awarded 4-1/2 stars. Twenty-one scenic courses range from executive to championship level. Charlotte Sports Park gives fans two reasons to cheer: Training games with the Tampa Bay Rays and minor league ball with the Charlotte Stone Crabs. The area puts you in the center of Major League Spring Training action.
Art and Music Festivals
Art spills into the streets of Punta Gorda with murals depicting the city’s history. Pick up a walking guide and a free loaner bicycle and pedal through downtown. Classes, workshops and exhibitions can be found throughout the county. Find the perfect souvenir at one of the art festivals hosting hundreds of artists, gourmet food and live entertainment. A favorite of locals and visitors alike is Punta Gorda’s Wine & Jazz Festival held on the banks of the Peace River.
Charlotte County’s dining scene features an eclectic mix of fresh seafood shacks, charming sidewalk cafes and scenic waterfront eateries. Dining districts include downtown Punta Gorda, Fishermen’s Village and Englewood’s Dearborn Street. Fishermen can ask select restaurants to prepare their freshly cleaned catch any delicious way. Whatever the craving, there’s a restaurant to satisfy every palate.