The only city in Charlotte County, Punta Gorda is situated approximately 100 miles south of Tampa on the Gulf Coast between Sarasota and Ft. Myers. Charlotte Harbor flanks the northwest side of the city offering 129 square miles of sparkling water, clear sunshine, fishing at its greatest, and wildlife in abundance.
The recently revitalized downtown has cobblestone streets and gas lamp streetlights. The residential area features many brick streets lined with huge old royal palms and many old Florida-era tin-roofed homes with wide verandas.
The name “Punta Gorda” means “broad point” or “fat point”, was named by Ponce de Leon in 1513. It was so named because a broad part of the land in Punta Gorda juts into Charlotte Harbor. The harbor itself is somewhat unique, as it is the point where the Peace River meets the ocean.
The city is bounded by the harbor on one side and by rural land on the other. That rural land is home to large tracts of citrus, cattle and swamp with ranchettes that produce meat and fruits. The rural land eventually meets up with the borders of North Fort Myers.
The city of Punta Gorda is a rich mix of cultures and age groups, as families, retirees and winter residents share neighborhoods. One of the hallmarks of Punta Gorda is its bountifulul offering of clubs, organizations and civic groups. Civic involvement spills over into city commission meetings, where the town is still small enough for folks to know the mayor on a first-name basis. In 1997, Money magazine ranked Punta Gorda “Second” of the top 20 “best places to live”.