Punta Gorda : Florida


What It Is Like to Retire in Punta Gorda

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.

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.

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.

Watch this short Youtube video prepared by Michael Saunders:


Where to Retire in Punta Gorda and Home Prices

There is a host of active adult communities and many attractive traditional neighborhoods such as Punta Gorda Isles along the wide Peace River as it runs into the Gulf. Those neighborhoods are very desirable with the homes being restored or replaced in some cases. See the Punta Gorda active communities link at top right of page.
The median sale price was $376,300 in the1st quarter of 2022 up close to 35% during the past year, according to the National Association of Realtors. Compared to Naples, Venice, and comparable parts of Fort Myers, homes are more affordable here.


What Is Special about Punta Gorda

14 public parks with many facilities. Gilchrest Park. 11 acres on Charlotte Harbor. Ready access to the Gulf of Mexico. A history of diversity. The Blanchard House and Museum of African American History Old Town. Many active adult communities. Babcock-Webb Wildlife Area. Restored and charming downtown which is walkable and full of interesting restaurants. Fisherman's Village is an semi-open air mall on the water. Pickleball is very popular here in the city parks.

What Is Not Special about Punta Gorda

 Crowds in season and traffic. Hurricane season can be dangerous. The town was devastated by a hurricane but is trying very hard to come back. There are still large undeveloped lots in the downtown area, but very few vacant buildings - a good sign.


Who Will Like Retirement in Punta Gorda

Punta Gorda attracts a community of retirees who want to live in an understated community in a warm climate. The median age is about 67 and the household income is above the Florida median.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism, retail, services, and real estate are important to the economy.

Climate and Physical Environment

Punta Gorda is located on the southwest coast of Florida between Sarasota and Fort Myers.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The Charlotte Performing Arts Center, the Charlotte Players, and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra are just three of the cultural offerings in Punta Gorda. Blanchard House and Museum of African American History. There is also a Military Museum. See Cultural things to do in Punta Gorda. With its continuous array of programs and speakers, the Copperfish Bookstore is one of the best independent bookstores in the country, and there is also an active public library. There are over 60 restaurants and boutiques in the downtown to enjoy. Additionally, Fisherman's Village has a large marina and nice restaurant selection. Among other festivals and events there is a an annual Wine and Jazz Festival held in Laishley Park.  A short drive to Sarasota or Ft. Myers offers tremendous variety.


The crime rate in Punta Gorda is low, about one third the national average.


Medical Facilities

Charlotte Regional Medical Center Hospital is here. Many others are nearby in Port Charlotte and Ft. Myers


Charlotte County Airport is 5 miles. Southwest Florida International, one of the largest in Florida, is 34 miles away in Ft. Myers. If you live in one of the neighborhoods near downtown you could walk or bike to many destinations, although you do need a car for about anything else.

Valuable Links

Punta Gorda

Punta Gorda on Wikipedia


What people are saying about Punta Gorda

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