Paddle A Boat
It's kayaking heaven round Punta Gorda thanks to 200 miles of Blueway Trails. With a route for every ability, the trails loop along the Peace and Myakka Rivers, through the intercoastal waterway and around the barrier islands. Amid the stunning scenery you'll spot eagles, herons, ibis, ospreys, dolphins and manatees.
Take A Hike
If you want to walk in peaceful solitude across unspoiled landscapes you're in the right place. Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park has 70 miles of protected shoreline as well as mangrove forests, marshes and pine flatwoods. As you walk the trails you'll encounter some amazing wildlife including wading birds, otters and alligators.
Visit An Island
Punta Gorda's network of offshore islands is a lot of what makes the area so special. You can reach Gasparilla Island via a bridge to explore charming Boca Grande with it banyan trees and Old Florida vibe. But you'll need to board a boat to get to Palm Island and Little Gasparilla - making them tranquil havens where you can soak up the sun and the sound of the ocean undisturbed.
A perfect blend of saltwater from the Gulf and freshwater from its rivers creates the kind of breeding conditions that spell a bonanza for fishermen in Punta Gorda. The quality of the catch here is renowned and tarpon, snook, redfish, barracuda, cobia and grouper are all on the menu.
When you've done the beach, the waterways and the nature preserves, you'll probably be in need of some retail therapy. There's picturesque waterfront shopping at Fishermen's Village in Punta Gorda; big-name stores at the Port Charlotte Town Center Mall; art galleries in the historic fishing village of Placida; and antiques shops along Dearborn Street in Englewood.