12 Best Things To Do and Attractions in Punta Gorda, FL
- 1. Hit the Beaches
- 2. Explore Historic Downtown Punta Gorda
- 3. Catch the Sunset
- 4. Shop at Fisherman’s Village
- 5. Go On a Boat Tour
- 6. Play a Round of Golf
- 7. Bike Linear Park
- 8. Go Rum Tasting
- 9. Visit the Military Heritage Museum
- 10. Take a Hike at Peace River Preserve
- 11. Visit Punta Gorda’s Saturday Farmer’s Market
- 12. Take a Helicopter Tour
- In Conclusion
Beautiful. Picturesque. Charming. Unique.
All words that describe Punta Gorda, Florida. Located in southwest Florida, between Fort Meyers and Sarasota, Punta Gorda is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful waters, year-round Florida sun, and small-town feel.
Spanish for “Fat Point,” Punta Gorda has a lot to offer residents and visitors alike. A vibrant waterfront area, gorgeous parks, and world-class marinas are only a few of the amenities this hidden gem has to offer.
Let’s look at our list of the top 12 activities to enjoy in Punta Gorda, FL.
1. Hit the Beaches
Punta Gorda is located near some of the most beautiful beaches in Florida. Less crowded and quieter but still very accessible. The beaches attract not only people wanting to enjoy the sun and waves but also dolphins, sea turtles, birds, and other wildlife.
One of the local favorites is Englewood Beach. No big crowds. Just plenty of sun, white sands, and gentle waves. There are also several local restaurants and hot nightspots within walking distance where you can enjoy food and drinks or dance the night away.
2. Explore Historic Downtown Punta Gorda
Founded in 1884, Punta Gorda has a rich history that’s on display for all to see. Proudly remembering its roots, Punta Gorda has a thriving historic district with individual neighborhoods that even today tell the story of the city.
Unlike many of Florida’s by-the-numbers buildings and developments, Punta Gorda is uniquely its own. If you truly want to see the history up close and personal, take a walking tour around the city and see some famous landmarks. The Punta Gorda Museum is an excellent place to start. There are also several local restaurants to check out along your path.
3. Catch the Sunset
This is the best. One of the most relaxing things you can do here in Punta Gorda is spending the evening taking in the sun as it sets over the gently crashing waves. Watching the sunset over Charlotte Harbor is something that everyone needs to experience.
Local favorite places to watch the sunset include Ponce de Leon Park or any of our local restaurants with patios, including Perch 360. The fishing piers are also a great option. To be honest, there is no wrong place to watch the sunset in Punta Gorda.
4. Shop at Fisherman’s Village
How does this sound to you? Shopping in a historic seaside town with great views of Charlotte Harbor. Yes, please. Fisherman’s Village in Punta Gorda offers that and so much more. This unique destination boasts shopping and dining experiences you won’t find anywhere else.
How about coming in by boat? Located right on the Charlotte Harbor, this is a great waterfront setting for families, couples, or anyone looking to shop and enjoy water sports activities.
5. Go On a Boat Tour
Punta Gorda is bursting with things to do. One activity you’ll remember for a lifetime is taking one of the many available boat tours. Do you want to learn about dolphins and manatees up close and personal? You’ll find boat tours for that.
There are boat tours for everyone. How about a romantic moonlight cruise or take an exciting airboat tour? You’ll find information about boat tours in Fisherman’s Village or the piers around Punta Gorda.
6. Play a Round of Golf
Nothing beats the warmth of the Florida sun, surrounded by clear blue skies, as you tee off from one of Punta Gorda’s beautiful golf courses. There are plenty of courses to not only challenge your skills but also allow you to fully immerse yourself in all that Florida has to offer.
Two of our courses are on the Golfer’s Choice 2022 Best Courses in Florida list – Riverwood and Heritage Landing. We also have courses that provide not only beautiful surroundings but also courses that utilize environmentally friendly upkeep measures.
7. Bike Linear Park
You’ve never seen anything like Linear Park. Originally a historic railroad bed that was abandoned in the late 1890s, this almost 2-mile path is perfect for bikers and hikers. You’ll love biking through the historic neighborhoods and seeing wildlife and other sights.
This bike path also includes several fitness zones with exercise stations. The path through Linear Park also passes through Fisherman’s Village, the Harbor Walk, the History Park, and even the Punta Gorda Library. There is truly something for everyone.
8. Go Rum Tasting
Legends say that pirates, including the legendary Gaspar, once ran wild in Charlotte Harbor. It’s only fitting then that since 2015, rum has been sold in Punta Gorda but is also being distilled here.
The Alligator Bay Distillery is on the outskirts of town and is a must see when planning your visit. Founded in 2015 by Alexander and Benjamin Voss, their award-winning run is “cane to bottle.” Made from 100% Florida black strap molasses, their rum is distilled and finished in a copper pot column still. They offer free tours and tastings that you don’t want to miss.
9. Visit the Military Heritage Museum
The Military Heritage Museum in Punta Gorda is essential for anyone interested in military history. It opened its doors on Pearl Harbor Day 2001 to honor America’s military veterans and educate and inspire new generations of Americans.
The museum has grown in popularity and has a reputation among the local community and many tourists. Visitors get a unique look at history as veterans lead all tours. This gives everyone an understanding of historical events that textbooks don’t offer.
10. Take a Hike at Peace River Preserve
The scenery in Punta Gorda is breathtaking, and there’s no better place to see this than at Peace River Preserve. This is a 450-acre site that is a mix of marshes, flatwoods, and a mangrove swamp. It also boasts great hiking trails and a chance to experience Southwest Florida up close and personal.
The preserve is open from 6 am to 9 pm, so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the trails, have a picnic, and enjoy nature. This is one of the area’s most beautiful, untouched nature preserves and is something that everyone will enjoy.
11. Visit Punta Gorda’s Saturday Farmer’s Market
If you’re lucky enough to be in Punta Gorda on a Saturday morning, you’re in for a treat. A visit to the Punta Gorda Farmer’s Market can’t be beaten. Opened in 2008, it was named the Best Small Market in Florida and 15th in the U.S. If you like fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, or other specialty items, you’re in the right place.
Did we forget to mention the music? This Saturday morning tradition features vendors and live music all morning. You’ll find everything under the Florida sun, from sweets to eats to dog treats. You’re not looking hard enough if you can’t find it here. Open October-April from 8-1 and May to September from 8-12, be sure to make time for this local treasure.
12. Take a Helicopter Tour
Seeing the magic of Punta Gorda from a bird’s eye view is something you’ll never forget. Breathtaking and mesmerizing, booking a helicopter tour lets you experience the beauty and elegance of Punta Gorda in a way that few people ever see.
Make this once-in-a-lifetime experience your own by customizing your trip so you can see Charlotte Bay, the Peace River, or even wildlife such as dolphins, manatees, or sharks. Reservations are always required, so you want to book ahead of time so you don’t miss out. You’ll be telling your family and friends about your helicopter tour for years to come.
Punta Gorda offers adventures and one-of-a-kind experiences for young and old alike. Make Sarasota Helicopter Tours part of your visit. We offer a wide range of helicopter tours and will even customize your trip so you can see what you want to see.
Our primary concern is your safety and happiness. We want to make this a memorable experience for you. This is an opportunity of a lifetime – book your tour today!