Easily accessible from Interstate 75, Punta Gorda is a picturesque city located along the south-central coast of Florida, along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Along with a beautifully restored historic district, the city is home to several natural attractions, as well as plenty of opportunities for leisurely scenic strolls and waterside shopping at the Fisherman’s Village and the Harborwalk. Punta Gorda features brick lanes, old era tin-roofed houses, huge royal palms, and benches and street lamps that give off an old-Florida atmosphere. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Fishermen's Village, Punta Gorda, Florida
The Fishermen's Village can be found along the Charlotte Harbor and is only a short drive away from Venice and Sarasota in Florida. This pristine area features waterfront restaurants, a variety of specialty and boutique shopping, and an array of outdoor recreation activities, such as kayak and boat rentals at the marina, daily sunset cruises, island sightseeing cruises, and fishing charters. Tours are also available at the Military Heritage Museum. The Fishermen’s Village also hosts many different family-friendly and holiday-themed events, as well as live music during the week at Harpoon Harry’s or the Village Center Court.
1200 W Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda, FL 33950, Phone: 941-639-8721
2.Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary And Rehabilitation Center
The Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary And Rehabilitation Center is a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center in the city of Punta Gorda, Florida for abandoned wildlife. The mission of the wildlife sanctuary is providing a safe place for zoo-type exotic animals, offering them a home to live out the rest of their life in a loving, clean, stress-free, and healthy environment. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary And Rehabilitation Center and say hello to its wildlife residents Monday to Friday from 9:00am until noon and on Saturdays from 11:00am until 4:00pm throughout the year.
41660 Horseshoe Rd, Punta Gorda, FL 33982
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3.Peace River Wildlife Center, Punta Gorda, Florida
© Peace River Wildlife Center
The Peace River Wildlife Center is located in the Ponce de Leon Park, situated amongst mangroves and overlooks the Charlotte Harbor. This non-profit wildlife facility specializes in rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing native Florida wildlife, around two thousand small animals and birds every year. The wildlife center also gives a home to almost two hundred animals who are unable to be released back into their native habitats. Open daily from 11:00am until 4:00pm, visitors can meet an array of different birds, including songbirds, pelicans, ospreys, owls, sandhill cranes, and eagles, as well as a variety of small animals.
3400 Ponce de Leon Parkway, Punta Gorda, Florida 33950, Phone: 941-637-3830
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4.Muscle Car City Museum, Punta Gorda, Florida
© Muscle Car City Museum
The Muscle Car City Museum is home to one of the country’s largest displays of GM muscle cars, featuring more than 170 vintage muscle cars that date back from the 1950’s to the early 1970’s. The car museum contains hot rods and classic cars that span across thirty-five years of various makes and models, including at least one Corvette from every year between 1954 and 1975, as well as several from every series between 1975 and 2016. Open Tuesday to Saturday, the Muscle Car City Museum is also the site of perhaps the world’s largest automotive memorabilia store.
10175 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda, FL 33950, Phone: 941-575-5959
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5.Harborwalk, Punta Gorda, Florida
The Harborwalk extends approximately 2.5 miles along the shoreline of the picturesque Charlotte Harbor, connecting the Fishermen’s Village to Bayfront Health. Featuring Gilchrist Park, Laishley Park, historical sites, waterfront dining, a variety of shops, sweeping views, and mangrove forests, the Harborwalk offers a lot to do and see along the vibrant pathway. Highlights along the scenic and interesting walkway include A.C. Freeman House, a fishing pier, Trabue Park, Gilchrist Park, the Spirit of Punta Gorda, the Veteran’s Park Memorial Garden, an interactive fountain, the Laishley Park Municipal Marina, the Military Heritage Museum, and numerous hotels, shops, and restaurants.
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6.Peace River Botanicals & Sculpture Gardens, Punta Gorda, FL
The Peace River Botanicals and Sculpture Gardens is a nearly thirty-acre oasis along the waterfront of the Peace River, encompassing the wide diversity of five different ecosystems. These habitats include a tidal basin, uplands, mangroves, wetlands, and marshlands. The botanical garden also features an island amphitheater. The Peace River Botanical Gardens is home to flowering plants and trees that bloom throughout all seasons of the year. Over fifteen thousand square feet of docks and boardwalks offer optimal viewing of the massive sculptures, created by several international artists. The Peace River Botanicals and Sculpture Gardens are open Tuesday to Sunday.
5827 Riverside Dr, Punta Gorda, FL 33982, Phone: 941-621-8299
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7.Military Heritage Museum, Punta Gorda, Florida
© Military Heritage Museum
The Military Heritage Museum is located only a few steps from Punta Gorda’s famous Fishermen’s Village and features more than seventeen square feet of activity areas and exhibits. Visitors can learn about the relationship between them and the service branches of the United States in a wide variety of ways, from displays of all manner of military items to extensive libraries to movies and lectures to even a hands-on flight simulator. Guests can take a stroll through history as they explore three galleries on the first floor, starting with the American Revolution up to the conflicts of modern day.
900 W. Marion Ave, Punta Gorda, FL 33950, Phone: 941-575-9002
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8.Fred C. Babcock-Cecil M. Webb Wildlife Management Area
© Jim Schwabel/stock.adobe.com
The Fred C. Babcock-Cecil M. Webb Wildlife Management Area is the oldest wildlife management area in the state of Florida, protecting more than eighty thousand acres just to the east and south of Punta Gorda. Spread across both Lee County and Charlotte County, the wildlife area offers a number of outdoor recreational activities, including camping, hiking, fishing, and hunting. There’s a shooting range near the entrance and hunting opportunities including feral hog, mourning dove, Northern bobwhite, and white-tailed deer. The almost 400-acre Webb Lake offers anglers a chance for fishing, as well as several ponds throughout the wildlife management area.
29200 Tuckers Grade, Punta Gorda, FL 33955, Phone: 863-648-3200
9.Punta Gorda Train Depot, Punta Gorda, Florida
© Punta Gorda Train Depot
The Punta Gorda Train Depot was constructed back in 1928 and is the only remaining train depot of the six built in the Mediterranean Revival style by the Atlantic Coast Line. Listed on the United States National Register of Historic Places, the building was designed primarily for handling freight, with a small portion of the depot used as a passenger area. Owned and operated today by the Punta Gorda Historical Society, the Punta Gorda Train Depot now houses the Antique Mall in the spacious freight room, featuring more than twenty independent vendors. Income from the mall ise used for maintaing the building.
1009 Taylor St, Punta Gorda, FL 33950, Phone: 941-639-6774
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10.Blanchard House Museum, Punta Gorda, Florida
© Blanchard House Museum
The Blanchard House Museum in the quintessential Florida city of Punta Gorda is an educational, open access institution committed to procuring, preserving, studying, and displaying materials and artifacts associated with the contributions, culture, and history of African Americans related to settling and developing Charlotte County, as well as the surrounding region of Southwest Florida. The Blanchard House Museum is open to the public Tuesday to Friday from 10:00am until 4:00pm. Saturday tours and group tours can be arranged by calling the museum. In addition to exhibits, the Blanchard House also houses a gift shop and a library.
406 Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Punta Gorda, FL 33950, Phone: 941-575-7518
11.Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Punta Gorda, Florida
The Sacred Heart Catholic Church has been the primary Catholic presence in the city of Punta Gorda since the year 1929 and boasts a motto of “it’s not the building, it’s the people.” Before the establishment of the Sacred Heart parish, priests would come from Arcadia, Sebring, and Tampa to minister to the Catholic residents of Punta Gorda, and among these were Fathers John O’Dowd, P.J. O’Donahue, and Lawrence J. Flynn. The first Mass of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church was held on the morning of Christmas Day in 1929. Sacred Heart was established as an official parish in 1954.
211 W Charlotte Ave, Punta Gorda, FL 33950, Phone: 941-639-3957
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12.A. C. Freeman House, Punta Gorda, Florida
© Punta Gorda History Center
Constructed back in the early twentieth century in the year 1903, the A. C. Freeman House offers a fine example of the area’s Victorian-era architecture. The house is noted on the country’s National Register of Historic Places in 1987 and has been carefully restored as the only Victoria house in Charlotte County. The City of Punta Gorda now owns the A.C. Freeman House and is used as the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce and a local history museum. Tourists and locals alike can visit the A. C. Freeman House from 8:00am until 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.
311 W Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda, FL 33950, Phone: 941-639-2222
13.Village Fish Market Restaurant and Lounge
© Village Fish Market Restaurant and Lounge
The Village Fish Market Restaurant and Lounge has been in business since 1981. It first began as a rather small enterprise along the waterfront and gradually expanded over time. While the owners have changed a few times, the Village Fish Market Restaurant still offers waterfront dining with gorgeous views looking out over the Peace River and New England-style award-winning seafood. Guests can sip a cold draft beer or refreshing cocktail as they watch a beautiful sunset and dine on some of the area’s best seafood. The Village Fish Market Restaurant has been awarded the Charlotte Sun Readers Award of “Best Seafood Restaurant.”
1200 W Retta Esplanade Ste J36, Punta Gorda, FL 33950, Phone: 941-639-7959
14.The Ice House Pub, Punta Gorda, Florida
© The Ice House Pub
The Ice House Pub in the heart of beautiful Punta Gorda, Florida is an English-style pub that offers twenty-six beers on tap from all over the world behind its almost 40-foot long mahogany bar, including many favorites like Sierra Nevada, Blue Moon, Yuengling, Kronenburg 1664, Stella Artois, Boddington’s, Harp, and Guiness. Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, the Ice House Pub is also a great place for a meal, serving a menu featuring both British and American pub staples like bangers and mash, cottage pie, and fish ‘n chips, as well as steak sandwiches and cheeseburgers.
408 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda, FL 33950, Phone: 941-575-0866
15.Captain's Table, Punta Gorda, Florida
© Captain's Table
The Captain's Table is located within the historic Punta Gorda’s waterfront mall of Fisherman’s Village. Guests can take in the gorgeous views of the Charlotte Harbor while they dine one hand-cut steak, some of the freshest seafood from the Gulf of Mexico around, and daily specials prepared by an award-winning chef. The lunch menu at the Captain’s Table features specials that change every day, fresh seafood dishes, sandwiches, and fresh entree-sized salads. The waterfront seafood restaurant is open Sunday to Thursday from 11:00am until 8:00pm and on Fridays and Saturdays from 11:00am until 9:00pm.
1200 W Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda, FL 33950, Phone: 941-637-1177
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15 Best Things to Do in Punta Gorda, Florida
- Fishermen's Village, Punta Gorda, Florida, Photo: Saga_bear/stock.adobe.com
- Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary And Rehabilitation Center, Photo: kenmc3/stock.adobe.com
- Peace River Wildlife Center, Punta Gorda, Florida, Photo: Peace River Wildlife Center
- Muscle Car City Museum, Punta Gorda, Florida, Photo: Muscle Car City Museum
- Harborwalk, Punta Gorda, Florida, Photo: Feng/stock.adobe.com
- Peace River Botanicals & Sculpture Gardens, Punta Gorda, FL, Photo: Paylessimages/stock.adobe.com
- Military Heritage Museum, Punta Gorda, Florida, Photo: Military Heritage Museum
- Fred C. Babcock-Cecil M. Webb Wildlife Management Area, Photo: Jim Schwabel/stock.adobe.com
- Punta Gorda Train Depot, Punta Gorda, Florida, Photo: Punta Gorda Train Depot
- Blanchard House Museum, Punta Gorda, Florida, Photo: Blanchard House Museum
- Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Punta Gorda, Florida, Photo: wideonet/stock.adobe.com
- A. C. Freeman House, Punta Gorda, Florida, Photo: Punta Gorda History Center
- Village Fish Market Restaurant and Lounge, Photo: Village Fish Market Restaurant and Lounge
- The Ice House Pub, Punta Gorda, Florida, Photo: The Ice House Pub
- Captain's Table, Punta Gorda, Florida, Photo: Captain's Table
- Cover Photo: Feng/stock.adobe.com
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