Spotlight On Southwest Florida: Punta Gorda

Punta Gorda

Punta Gorda is a city in Charlotte County, Florida. As of the 2010 census the city had a population of 16,641 with an estimated population in 2015 of 18,150. It is the county seat of Charlotte County and the only incorporated municipality in the county. The name, Punta Gorda, comes from the Spanish, meaning “Fat Point.” This historic small town is a hidden treasure of Florida and lies as a “Fat Point,” sticking out into Charlotte Harbor, one of the US’s largest natural harbors. Centrally located between Sarasota to the North and Fort Myers to the South, Punta Gorda is a delightful location within a comfortable driving distance from Tampa, Orlando, and Miami. It boasts a quaint, laid-back, old-Florida feel that is characteristic of Florida's Gulf Coast. 

Things To Do

In addition to its beautifully restored historic district, Punta Gorda offers many natural attractions, waterside shopping, and leisurely strolls along the Harborwalk and at Fishermen's Village on Charlotte Harbor. Easily reached by I-75 along Florida’s south-central Gulf Coast, Punta Gorda features streets lined with huge royal palms, old Florida-era tin-roofed homes with wide verandas, brick lanes, and street lamps and benches that leave an almost tangible old-Florida atmosphere. The A.C. Freeman House Museum in Punta Gorda is an authentically restored and furnished late Victorian-era home. Near the historic district of Punta Gorda, you will find Fishermen's Village. This unique waterfront destination includes gift, clothing, and specialty shops, seven restaurants, a military heritage museum, a 98-slip marina and fully furnished luxury villas. 

Climate

In Punta Gorda, the summers are long, hot, wet, and mostly cloudy and the winters are short, with very favorable temperatures, breezy, and partly cloudy. It is blessed with Florida sunshine year-round and attract both tourists and new residents alike, who come to Punta Gorda to enjoy the lifestyle that Southwest Florida has become famous for.

History of Punta Gorda 

The City of Punta Gorda was founded in 1884 when on the instructions of Isaac Trabue, surveyor Kelly Harvey began working on the subdivision of Trabue which was filed in Manatee County on February 24, 1885. Streets and blocks were arranged along the southern shores of the Peace River at its mouth on Charlotte Harbor. Every waterfront block was designated as a park, a legacy that serves the City to this day with a string of public parks connected by Harborwalk, a 2.5 mile long public promenade. Incorporated on December 7, 1887 after the arrival of the railroad and the construction of the Hotel Punta Gorda, the little city thrived on winter seasonal visitors, agricultural trade, & commercial fishing.

Punta Gorda’s fortunes ebbed and flowed along with the national economy and the Florida Real Estate cycle of boom & bust through World War II when the Punta Gorda airfield was constructed to train aircrews.  After the war in the late 1950’s another boom began with new subdivisions platted with canals connected to Charlotte Harbor in the Punta Gorda Isles and Burnt Store Isles neighborhoods.  These new subdivisions drew retirees from the north attracted by winter sunshine, bountiful recreational fishing, and spectacular boating opportunities.

Business Opportunities in Punta Gorda

Punta Gorda has seen the job market increase by 1.9% over the last year. Future job growth over the next ten years is predicted to be 38.9%, which is higher than the US average of 33.5%. Of course Punta Gorda see a boost of snowbirds visiting in the winter months, but the city offers businesses a year-round clientele, which is made up of local, domestic and international customers. It is also responding to industry as commerce realizes the importance of their location as Southwest Florida continues to boom and grow. It offers a diverse commercial arena; however distribution services, construction, design, retail, hospitality and tourism, health services, life sciences and real estate are the largest industry sectors.