Explore bike trails, golf courses, wildlife and more on the southwestern Gulf Coast.
When you want a break from southwest Florida’s beautiful beaches, check out these six unforgettable outdoor activities in and around Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach.
Biking the Punta Gorda Pathways
The city of Punta Gorda has invested considerable effort in creating a system of pathways that are bike and pedestrian-friendly. Punta Gorda also started the first free bicycle loaner program in Florida – just show an ID and credit card to borrow a bike for the day and hit up the trails. The 4.8-kilometer Harborwalk trail parallels Charlotte Harbor and passes by parks, restaurants and hotels. Enjoy the Fitness Zone on the 3-kilometer Linear Park trail or try a longer ride on the 6.5-kilometer Multi-Use Recreational Trail (MURT). Don’t miss the “Parks that Teach” corridor, offering free educational tours led by master gardeners from the University of Florida.
Bicycling on the trails of Punta Gorda, Florida
Sail Charlotte Harbor with Punta Gorda Sailing
No visit would be complete without spending some time on the water. Charlotte Harbor, the second largest harbor in Florida, is an ideal spot for almost limitless water activities – from fishing and paddling to sunset cruises. One of the best ways to see this expansive pristine setting with kilometers of protected shoreline is to book a sailing excursion or charter. Punta Gorda Sailing offers a variety of sailing adventures including full- and half-day excursions, special occasion, private and small group sails on their sailboats.
Sailing on the beautiful blue waters of Charlotte Harbor
Native Birds and Animals at the Peace River Wildlife Center
This not-for-profit wildlife rehabilitation center is the permanent home to more than 200 birds and animals that cannot be released into the wild. Take advantage of a rare opportunity to see native animals up-close such as hawks, sandhill cranes, herons, eagles and pelicans. Meet Luna, a rare albino screech owl and the center’s loveable mascot. It’s hard to believe that this special facility operates solely on donations.
Spring Training for Major League Baseball (MLB)
Did you know that Florida is popular for MLB spring training? The Tampa Bay Rays professional baseball team, as well as the Minor League Charlotte Stone Crabs, play at Charlotte Sports Park. This family-friendly facility was awarded the “Readers’ Choice for Best Spring Training Facility” by USA Today in 2014.
Golf the Gulf Coast
It’s no surprise that Florida is often referred to as the “Golf Capital of the World.” In Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach there are more than 20 courses that can be played year-round, including three Audubon-certified courses and multiple Golf Digest favorites.
From back-bay and flats fishing to offshore charters, Punta Gorda and Englewood Beach are premier fishing destinations. At its heart is Charlotte Harbor, the state’s second-largest marine estuary. Trout, cobia, snook, barracuda, Spanish mackerel, grouper... the possibilities are endless. The most famed fish of the area is the tarpon. These catch-and-release fish can grow to more than 45 kilograms and are known to put up a great fight.
Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach is easily reached from Punta Gorda Airport, which offers non-stop flights from numerous cities across the U.S. The airports in Tampa and Fort Myers are a short one- to two-hour drive away, and provide direct flights from international destinations.