Most places in Florida have the intracoastal (a very nice ditch to travel) plus the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico (both very large bodies of water). Punta Gorda has both the intracoastal and the Gulf of Mexico. But first and foremost, we have beautiful Charlotte Harbor that offers great fishing, sailing and cruising without the threat of high seas. Come and see why Sail Magazine named Charlotte Harbor as one of the "Top Ten Greatest Places to Sail" in the United States.
Charlotte Harbor is the second largest naturally occurring bay on the west coast of Florida with Tampa Bay being the largest. With over 129 square miles of sparkling, protected waters you can spend hours sailing, kayaking, fishing or cruising without ever having to enter the Gulf of Mexico or the intra-coastal. Charlotte Harbor is a large estuary comprised from the outpourings of two rivers, the Peace River to the east and the Myakka River to the northwest. History buffs will remember the phrase "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too". Well Tippecanoe Bay is at the mouth of the Myakka River! Charlotte Harbor and adjacent Gasparilla Sound comprise 80,000 acres of some of the most productive coastal areas in Florida and comprise an incredible network of barrier islands and mangrove forests.
One of the best things about Charlotte Harbor and the surrounding area is that it remains hidden, off of the main arteries of boating, allowing for pristine and relaxed boating without the congestion and clamor of other waterfront locations. Whether you prefer kayaking amongst the rivers, canals and mangroves, fishing the flats of Pine Island Sound, jet skiing to the barrier beaches, day cruising to hidden lunch spots like Cabbage Key or taking a leisurely sail out to the barrier islands or beyond to the Keys or Dry Tortugas, Charlotte Harbor provides quick access to it all. For the truly exotic adventure, take a guided boat tour up to the wilds of the Peace River to see exotic birds in their natural habitats alongside groups of alligators sunning on the banks and sandbars where the early Tarzan movies were filmed. Dare to jump in?
Whether you're new to boating or an old salt, Punta Gorda offers marinas, yacht clubs, boat ramps, sailing schools, yacht and fishing charters, numerous boat and cruising clubs to meet and satisfy everyone's experience level. So, if you are already a boater or want to become a boater, sharpen your sailing or power boating skills, fish and kayak all day long, slowly motor the miles and miles of beautifully maintained canals and admire the incredible waterfront homes or just relax for two hours on a long tack with a steady breeze, Punta Gorda and Charlotte Harbor are the place for you. Best of all, it doesn't matter if your boat is large or small, sail or power, paddled or rowed. We have great boating for all types and sizes.
You've heard of places like Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, Boca Grande, Little Gasparilla Island, Cabbage Key, Useppa, Pine Island Sound, Cape Haze, Cayo Costa, Lemon Bay and Redfish Pass. From Punta Gorda, these destinations are all within a short distance from your back door! What could be better than to hop in your boat just 20 feet from your lanai and take a short cruise to the barrier island beaches to sunbathe or go shelling? Better yet, take a day sail to Boca Grande for lunch at the Loose Caboose or the Pink Elephant, stroll through the shops and laugh at the whimsically decorated golf carts that the locals use for island transport and romp in the turquoise waters, then home again to watch the sunset and to sleep peacefully in your own bed. It's truly a boater's paradise!