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Late afternoon fishing in Charlotte Harbor

Florida

Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach: 6 Fun Ways to Spend a Day in the Florida Sun

By: Idoia Gkikas

Clark Griffiths/Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach VCB
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  • States:
    Florida

Explore bike trails, golf courses, wildlife and more on the southwestern Gulf Coast.

When you want a break from southwest Florida’s beautiful beaches, check out these six unforgettable outdoor activities in and around Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach.

Biking the Punta Gorda Pathways

The city of Punta Gorda has invested considerable effort in creating a system of pathways that are bike and pedestrian-friendly. Punta Gorda also started the first free bicycle loaner program in Florida – just show an ID and credit card to borrow a bike for the day and hit up the trails. The 4.8-kilometer Harborwalk trail parallels Charlotte Harbor and passes by parks, restaurants and hotels. Enjoy the Fitness Zone on the 3-kilometer Linear Park trail or try a longer ride on the 6.5-kilometer Multi-Use Recreational Trail (MURT). Don’t miss the “Parks that Teach” corridor, offering free educational tours led by master gardeners from the University of Florida.

Bicycling on the trails of Punta Gorda, Florida

Bicycling on the trails of Punta Gorda, Florida
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Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach VCB

High-Speed Thrills at Florida Tracks and Trails

Motocross, paintball, ATV trails – Florida Tracks and Trails is a thrill-seeker’s paradise. If you’re not interested in motor sports, there is also a freshwater lake where you and your family can relax or play beach games. For nighttime events, don’t miss the entertainment grounds located within Florida Tracks and Trails. This outdoor events facility hosts concerts, festivals and special events throughout the year.

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Native Birds and Animals at the Peace River Wildlife Center

This not-for-profit wildlife rehabilitation center is the permanent home to more than 200 birds and animals that cannot be released into the wild. Take advantage of a rare opportunity to see native animals up-close such as hawks, sandhill cranes, herons, eagles and pelicans. Meet Luna, a rare albino screech owl and the center’s loveable mascot. It’s hard to believe that this special facility operates solely on donations.

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Spring Training for Major League Baseball (MLB)

Did you know that Florida is popular for MLB spring training? The Tampa Bay Rays professional baseball team, as well as the Minor League Charlotte Stone Crabs, play at Charlotte Sports Park. This family-friendly facility was awarded the “Readers’ Choice for Best Spring Training Facility” by USA Today in 2014.

Watching a baseball game at Charlotte Sports Park

Watching a baseball game at Charlotte Sports Park
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Clark Griffiths/Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach VCB
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Golf the Gulf Coast

It’s no surprise that Florida is often referred to as the “Golf Capital of the World.” In Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach there are more than 20 courses that can be played year-round, including three Audubon-certified courses and multiple Golf Digest favorites.

Fishing

From back-bay and flats fishing to offshore charters, Punta Gorda and Englewood Beach are premier fishing destinations. At its heart is Charlotte Harbor, the state’s second-largest marine estuary. Trout, cobia, snook, barracuda, Spanish mackerel, grouper... the possibilities are endless. The most famed fish of the area is the tarpon. These catch-and-release fish can grow to more than 45 kilograms and are known to put up a great fight.

Getting There

Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach is easily reached from Punta Gorda Airport, which offers non-stop flights from numerous cities across the U.S. The airports in Tampa and Fort Myers are a short one- to two-hour drive away, and provide direct flights from international destinations.