Punta Gorda Chamber Guide 2022

Punta Gorda Chamber Guide 2022

2022 Members and Visitors Guide for the Punta Gorda Area

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Page 86 of 143

2022 Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce Members & Visitors Guide Page 87 W elcome to the place where people consider home as paradise. As you enjoy the warm weather, beaches and sunsets, explore communities in the area to discover what they have to offer. All are short drives from Punta Gorda. ARCADIA Arcadia is a city and county seat of DeSoto County with a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has a rich history of orange growing, cattle-raising and hosting rodeos as well as the DeSoto County Fair and the Watermelon Festival. Arcadia also has a variety of spots for camping, boating and other outdoor recreation. Nearby is the Bearadise Ranch Bear Preserve established in 1926 as a learning facility to promote awareness for habitat preservation and conservation for all bear species. (about 25 miles from Punta Gorda) BABCOCK RANCH Babcock Ranch is a solar- powered community in southeastern Charlotte County and northeastern Lee County. It also is a regional outdoor adventure destination because of its trails, lakes and eco-tours. The community has a charter school, restaurants, a lakeside boardwalk and a band shell for live entertainment. (about 30 miles from Punta Gorda) BOCA GRANDE Boca Grande is an affl uent residential community and resort town on Gasparilla Island. It is highlighted by a circa-1890 lighthouse and has a walking- and biking-friendly downtown small shops and restaurants. The Gasparilla Inn, with its three croquest lawns, is the centerpiece. Boca Grande has long been an elite retreat for business leaders, politicans and movie stars, including Katherine Hepburn. (about 30 miles from Punta Gorda) ENGLEWOOD Englewood straddles two counties, Charlotte and Sarasota. The heart of the arts district, as well as popular restaurants, is on West Dearborn Street. The Ringling College of Art & Design also has a center in town. Visitors can hike, camp and ride bikes just east of Englewood in Myakka State Forest. Nearby Manasota Key, a beautiful barrier Island, is home to the Hermitage Artist Retreat where some of the nation's top artists escape to create. (about 25 miles from Punta Gorda) FORT MYERS BEACH Fort Myers Beach is on Estero Island which has beaches, hotels, restaurants and shops. This includes a pedestrian- friendly shopping and dining district called Times Square. Remnants of the native Calusa culture can be seen at the Mound House where there are archaeological exhibits. The Matanzas Pass Bridge connects the island to the mainland. (about 50 miles from Punta Gorda) NORTH FORT MYERS North Fort Myers is on the Caloosahatchee River and has a blend of town and country. There are plenty of restaurants and shops as well as nature trails and rural attractions such as the Rosy Tomorrows Heritage Farm. It's also home to The Shell Factory, the world's largest collection of shells and coral. (about 20 miles from Punta Gorda) NORTH PORT The community has more than 26 parks and open spaces which appeal to people who love the outdoors. There are several miles of horse trails, mountain bike trails and natural hiking paths. Myakka State Forest is just south of North Port, and is a great spot for hiking and camping. Also nearby is Warm Mineral Springs visited by thousands of people seeking the soothing mineral waters believed to be helpful in healing many ailments. (about 15 miles from Punta Gorda) PORT CHARLOTTE The unincorporated community has a variety of shopping, recreation and cultural opportunities. The Port Charlotte Town Center is the area's major mall and the Charlotte Sports Park is the spring-training home to the Tampa Bay Rays and the regular season home to the Charlotte Stone Crabs. Port Charlotte has more than 165 miles of waterways providing access to Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico. Tippecanoe Environmental Park offers hiking trails and wildlife viewing through 380 acres of scrub and pine fl at-woods. (about 5 miles from Punta Gorda) SARASOTA This city was once the winter home of the Ringling Brothers Circus and offers a blend of culture, fi ne dining, pristine beaches and shopping opportunities. Attractions include the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Ca' d'Zan Mansion and Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. St. Armand's Circle, Burns Square and Main Street downtown are popular shopping spots. (about 55 miles from Punta Gorda) VENICE Venice takes its name from its more famous Italian namesake. It has a charming historic mainstreet with northern Italian architecture and beautifully landscaped boulevards full of quaint shops and restaurants. Venice also is known as the "Shark Tooth Capital of the World." Vacationers enjoy the beaches, golf courses, nature trails and other outdoor activities. (about 40 miles from Punta Gorda) WELLEN PARK (WEST VILLAGES) The West Villages are a collection of eight Sarasota County communities in both North Port and Venice with resort-style amenities and planned activities. Each have different builders and atmospheres. They include Islandwalk, The Preserve, Gran Paradisio, Renaissance, Oasis, Grand Palm, Sarasota National and Boca Royale. The nearby CoolToday Park is home to the Atlanta Braves spring training but also has multi- purpose fi elds for year-round activities including youth sports and special events. A new community, Beach Walk, is planned for spring 2021. (about 20 miles from Punta Gorda) The area has a lot to offer Photo from arcadiarodeo.com A popular DeSoto County event is the annual Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo.

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