Punta Gorda, Florida is a small community of 17,000 on the Gulf Coast of Florida, between Sarasota and Fort Myers. Many 55+ retirees choose this city as their retirement community because of its sub-tropical warmth, its small town feel, and it a bit more sophisticated and upscale than neighboring towns like Port Charlotte. Punta Gorda was the scene of massive destruction when Hurricane Charley, a Category 4 hurricane, came through the city on August 13, 2004. Punta Gorda is located in Charlotte County.
One of the interesting things about Punta Gorda is that there is a main downtown that is walkable, which in turn leads to a large area of beautiful old homes parallel to the water. Parks line the waterfront which are very busy.
Punta Gorda was settled in the late 1800’s and quickly became the southern terminus of the American railroad system. In its early days it became an example of a community where all the classes lived together; it was both a tough frontier town and a haven for the rich seeking a warm climate. The city has an up to date strategic plan to help prepare for the future. Some of its initiatives include creating affordable housing, historic preservation, a diversified economy and tax base, and improved communications and emergency management.