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Punta Gorda (Spanish for “Fat Point”) is located in Southwest Florida at the confluence of the Peace River and Charlotte Harbor. Charlotte Harbor is the second largest harbor in the state of Florida and offers 125 miles of pristine boating water. In addition to great boating, Punta Gorda has a lot to offer golf enthusiasts.
The first settlers came to Charlotte Harbor around 1880. Punta Gorda was established in 1886, and became the southernmost stop on the South Florida Railroad until an extension was built to Fort Myers in 1904, attracting the industries that propelled its initial growth. In 1885 phosphate rock was discovered on the banks of the Peace River just above Punta Gorda. Phosphate was a valuable mineral for fertilizers and many other products, and was in great demand worldwide. At first the phosphate was barged down the Peace River to Port Boca Grande, where it was loaded onto schooners for worldwide shipment. But by 1905 it was felt that building a railroad to Port Boca Grande and carrying the phosphate to it by rail should improve the method of shipment. In 1921, the first bridge was constructed connecting Punta Gorda and Charlotte Harbor along the brand-new Tamiami Trail. This small bridge was replaced by the Barron Collier Bridge in 1931, and then by the current bridge crossing the Peace River.
In addition to its beautifully restored historic district, Punta Gorda offers many natural attractions, waterside shopping, art galleries, great restaurants, beautifully restored architecture, and leisurely strolls along the Harborwalk and at Fishermen’s Village on Charlotte Harbor. Punta Gorda preserves its small-town charm with plenty of locally owned shops, eateries and businesses. Art lovers won’t want to miss the Gallery Walk, held on the third Thursday of every month. It’s a great time to get out and admire local artwork, then pull up a chair and enjoy tasty local seafood. Each winter, the holiday season is marked by the Lighted Boat Parade. During February, Punta Gorda hosts its annual Wine & Jazz Festival, a rare blend of musical legends and some of the world’s finest vintages. Historic downtown Punta Gorda is a site worth seeing. Tree-lined boulevards, Victorian homes and lush green parks provide a gentle contrast to the sun-drenched Harbor.
If you would like more information on Punta Gorda or Keller Williams Realty, please feel free to contact me at RickPeitz@rickpeitz.com.