The Charlotte Harbor area is a more secluded destination, away from the hustle and bustle of Florida’s more touristy areas. It’s quiet and relaxed, quaint and rustic, offering the best in biking, boating, fishing and hiking, with plenty of scenic beaches.
Our vacation rental homes are located in Port Charlotte, Rotunda West, Englewood and Placida. During your stay, check out some of the local attractions nearby. We’ve got a few recommendations:
Things to do in Port Charlotte
Located about halfway between Sarasota and Fort Myers, Port Charlotte is nestled along Florida’s Gulf Coast. This town has more than 165 miles of waterways, providing access to Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as miles of natural shoreline brodering Charlotte Harbor and the Peace and Myakka rivers. What awaits you in Port Charlotte? Here are a few of our favorite attractions:
Golfing in Port Charlotte – This area boasts seven of the 21 golf courses in Charlotte County and Charlotte Sports Park is home to spring training for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Port Charlotte Beach Park – This is a favorite beach for locals and tourists alike, and if offers, if you’ll pardon our pun, everything to do under the sun. You can fish here, there are boat ramps if you choose to bring your own boat and canoe and kayaking. If you like to play sports, this beach has basketball, tennis and volleyball courts, bocce ball and horseshoes. There’s also a playground for the kids, a swimming pool if you prefer chlorine to saltwater, restrooms, picnic tables and shelter, and a recreation center.
Fishermen’s Village – This place has something for everyone. Located in Punta Gorda, parto of the Charlotte Harbor area, there’s plenty of shopping, dining, live entertainment and water adventures, with more than 30 boutique shops and five restaurants.
Visani Restaurant and Comedy Club – Visani’s is a popular Southwest Florida nightspot that offers music and entertainment, and also frequently features top comedians from New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Plan to arrive early to enjoy a delicious hose-made Italian meal or one of the popular seafood dishes or hand-tossed pizzas. Hours are
Bites of Punta Gorda Tour – Discover southwest florida through its regional flavors by taking the Bites of Punta Gorda Tour in the lovely fishing town of Punta Gorda, where you’ll take a three hour tour through Punta Gorda’s Downtown Historic District. There, you’ll visit five different eateries and get an insider’s perspective of the local area, an opportunity to try local food and meet local restaurateurs.
Things to do in Placida
Along the coast near Cape Coral and Fort Myers is the small community of Placida. There, you’ll enjoy the wonders of natural beauty in the area parks, water activities and its vibrant arts scene. Here are a few of our favorite activities to do in and around Placida:
Don Pedro Island State Park – Located on a stretch of Don Pedro Island, a 129-acre barrier island across from the Intercoastal Waterway in Placida, between Knight Island and Little Gasparilla Island. Only accessible by private boat or ferry, this gorgeous state park is filled with mangrove forests, dunes and white beaches, where you can swim, boat fish, sunbathe, collect shells, hike, picnic, take guided nature walks and see amazing wildlife like gopher tortoises, bald eagles, Indian manatees and American oystercatchers.
Golfing at Rotonda Golf & Country Club – Rotunda Golf has five courses that are all well maintained and challenging. And it was awarded a Beginner Friendly Certification from the National Golf Course Owners Association if you don’t have much experience but have always wanted to play. Rates are $22.99 in the morning per person, $14.99 per person in the afternoon and if you like to play in the evening, it’s $12.99 per person.
Placida Saturday Art Market – Created seven years ago to promote local artists who do original work, this Saturday market has a wide assortment of visual art and handmade jewelry for sale.
Wildflower Preserve – This 80-acre wildflower preserve is located on the Cape Haze Peninsula at the southeast corner of the Gasparilla Pine in Charlotte County. It has freshwater ponds that connect Lemon Creek and many upland habitats and is maintained by Conservancy members and volunteers.
Things to do in Englewood
Shared by Sarasota and Charlotte counties, Englewood offers visitors plenty of golfing, fishing and watersports, but this small town also has antique shops, unique restaurants and a progressive art scene, enveloped with miles of wondrous scenic beauty. Here’s what we recommend to do in Englewood:
Manasota Key, Blind Pass and Englewood Beach – This row of beaches offers seclusion, plenty of sea shells, warm water and coarse sand. There’s plenty of parking at Manasota Key beach, along with an entire coastline of shark teeth. Blind Pass, which is also known as the middle beach, has portable washrooms and outdoor shower. And Englewood beach is close to restaurants and bars.
Catania’s Winery – Enjoy a wine tasting session and learn about the winemaking process and the types of grapes that are used for these delicious, locally-made wines. You can also buy first cold press olive oils direct from Italy, gourmet coffee sold by the pound or case, and custom gift baskets filled with vinegar, gourmet chocolates, books, T-shirts and more.
Lemon Bay Playhouse – This renowned theater offers stage plays produced by top-notch local talent in varying genres, from comedy to drama. Now in its 32nd season, the Lemon Bay Playhouse is currently selling tickets for its 2018-2019 season.
Englewood’s Farmer’s Market – Englewood’s Farmer’s Market has just about everything you could need. Open every Thursday, this market sells fresh, local produce, cooked food, coffee, baked goods, plants and a whole lot more. You can even buy handcrafted jewelry and literature.
Things to Do in Rotonda West
Rotonda West is a great place for outdoor enthusiasts, with 30 miles of ponds, lakes and canals throughout the city. There are five golf courses to explore, along with beaches, parks and plenty of wildlife. Looking for things to do in Rotonda West? Here’s what we suggest:
Cape Haze Pioneer Trail Park – This 8-mile trail runs along a former railroad corridor and is a popular place to bike, walk and run. There’s a historic bunkhouse to explore, which was owned and used by the railway company there years ago. Keep an eye out for bald eagles, tortoises, racoons, bobcats and rabbits.
Lemon Bay Aquatic Preserve – One of five Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves in Florida, this long and narrow bay covers 7,200 acres, with two Gulf passes and seven tributaries flowing into it. There’s plenty of diversity in the preserve, with mangroves, marsh grass and seagrass meadows. There are 150 bird species, 100 invertebrate species and 200 fish species you can observe there as well. You can fish, kayak and boat there, as well as take an educational class, a guided walk or visit the butterfly garden.
Old Englewood Village Shopping – In the heart of downtown Englewood is Old Englewood Village, located on West Dearborn Street. There, you’ll find a variety of shops, galleries, coffee shops and restaurants There are also regular live events outside like concerts and open mic nights.
Miromar Outlets – An hour outside of Rotonda West is more than 140 shops, restaurants and entertainments venues just waiting to be explored at Miromar Outlets. Visit stores such as Ann Taylor Factory Store, Calvin Klein, Gap Outlet and tons of others brands at discounted prices.