View Map

Overview

When Ponce de Leon sailed to the New World in 1513, he explored the coast of La Florida and, on its southwest side, found a broad, open bay formed by the confluence of two major rivers. Charlotte Harbor is the state’s second largest bay, fed by the Myakka and Peace Rivers, and one of the first spots where Europeans clashed with the native Calusa. Rimmed with mangroves, the tidal coastline of Charlotte Harbor is nearly one hundred miles long, with historic communities scattered along its shores. The funky fishing villages of Placida and El Jobean offer authentic eats, live music, and a touch of the arts. The city of Punta Gorda, on the south ...

When Ponce de Leon sailed to the New World in 1513, he explored the coast of La Florida and, on its southwest side, found a broad, open bay formed by the confluence of two major rivers. Charlotte Harbor is the state’s second largest bay, fed by the Myakka and Peace Rivers, and one of the first spots where Europeans clashed with the native Calusa. Rimmed with mangroves, the tidal coastline of Charlotte Harbor is nearly one hundred miles long, with historic communities scattered along its shores. The funky fishing villages of Placida and El Jobean offer authentic eats, live music, and a touch of the arts. The city of Punta Gorda, on the south shore, boasts a quaint downtown where bistros, wine bars, and old-fashioned ice cream parlors converge; in its historic district, gems of Florida vernacular architecture peep out from lush forests of tropical trees. While retirement communities spill across the surrounding landscape, the wilds along the harbor’s shore and in the adjacent Babcock Wilderness and Babcock Ranch offer a broad spectrum of top-notch outdoor recreation, including some of Florida’s best birding spots, sport fishing for tarpon and snook, and kayaking the harbor’s hidden niches along more than two hundred miles of blueway trails.

Sandra Friend
About the Expert

Sandra Friend has written 12 books about Florida, including the Explorer's Guide (Countryman Press) series to Florida.

view full overview

Sandra Friend for Triporati

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Winter-spring