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People don’t come to Punta Gorda for the beaches, because there aren’t any. They come for the Old Florida ambiance — the brick lanes lined with palm trees, the tin-roof homes, the quaint fishing shacks and the vibrant murals painted on the buildings downtown.
Local preservationists have tried hard to keep the nostalgic feel alive, and it’s worked, but that doesn’t mean the city is trapped in slow motion. Rather, it’s a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with a scenic pedestrian promenade (Harborwalk), the state’s second largest harbor (Charlotte Harbor) and a collection of nearby islands for boating escapades (the Gulf Islands).
Happily, Punta Gorda’s newer developments are doing their part not to upset the dock cart. Fishermen’s Village, a tourist attraction that features specialty shops and seven restaurants, is built in the style of a salty seaside port. It also houses furnished luxury villas, and its marina has 111 slips and free daytime docking for visiting vessels.
Burnt Store Village is a 600-acre gated community located minutes from its namesake marina, which has on-site resort and golfing facilities. Burnt Store Marina (941-637-0083, burntstoremarina.com) is located on Charlotte Harbor, named one of Sail magazine’s Top 10 Places to Sail.
With all this to offer, it's no wonder Punta Gorda was also named one of the Top 10 Places to Retire Healthy by U.S. News & World Report.
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