What to do and see in Punta Gorda, United States: The Best Places and Tips

September 23, 2017 Emerita Lamoureux

The thriving little city of Punta Gorda enjoys a pleasant year-round climate, relaxed lifestyle, and many recreational opportunities. The friendly hospitality, year-round planned activities, shuffle board courts, great restaurants, golfing, fishing, and miles of sandy beaches make Punta Gorda an ideal vacation destination. Take a day to experience the most interesting waterfront complex-Fisherman’s Village. Here you will find a conglomerate of unique shops and restaurants. Look no further for all your vacation needs including boats, jet skis, and bicycles for rent. For the avid camper there is nothing quite like the Babcock Wilderness Adventures, which offers eco tours through acres of swamps, trails, and wildlife. Take a Swamp Buggy Tour through Telegraph Cypress Swamp. Be enthralled by the variety of flora and fauna. Keep a lookout for elusive panthers, bison, exotic tropical birds, and alligators. Once you emerge from the swamps, take a deep-sea fishing excursion in the Gulf of Mexico. Some companies offer sightseeing cruises to the outer islands, including full and half-day cruises. Enjoy a romantic sunset cruise, and be amazed at the most beautiful sunsets in Florida. If you want, try a round of Golf at the Punta Gorda Country Club semiprivate 18-hole, par 72 golf course. This tree-lined green boasts open fairways and great views. There is a driving range and pro shop, and rental clubs are available. At night, you should get out and sample some of the best fresh local cuisine. Offerings range from stew chicken and stew pork to whole fried snapper and snook filets. Restaurants range from open-air, thatch-roof structures to small romantic and upscale dining establishments.
Restaurants in Punta Gorda

1. Peace River Wildlife Center

3400 Ponce de Leon Pkwy, Punta Gorda, FL 33950-6312 +1 941-637-3830
Excellent
72%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 742 reviews

Peace River Wildlife Center

Reviewed By xyzgreenbay - Green Bay Wisconsin

Enjoy the wildlife they have rescued. Spend about 30-45 minutes here. Beautiful Peace River park adjacent to sanctuary, bring lunch or a snack and enjoy the scenery.

2. Military Heritage Museum

Fisherman's Village, 1200 West Retta Esplanade, Unit 48, Punta Gorda, FL 33950 +1 941-575-9002
Excellent
69%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 278 reviews

Military Heritage Museum

Military Heritage Museum that features artifacts and memorabilia from all branches of the service and all wars the Civil War forward.

Reviewed By RICHARD S - Valley City, Ohio, USA

Do not miss the Military Heritage Museum when you visit the Fisherman's Village in Punta Gorda. The museum is very well done and a fine tribute to our military. The museum is free, donations accepted, and very well worth your time. Most all items are private donations to the museum and show the pride of the owners and their dedication to our country. This is time well spent for non-veterans and well as veterans.

3. Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary And Rehabilitation Center

41660 Horseshoe Rd, Punta Gorda, FL 33982-7767 +1 239-543-1130
Excellent
72%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 238 reviews

Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary And Rehabilitation Center

Reviewed By NJ2SC - New Jersey

Octagon is a nursing facility for animals that are unable to be returned to the wild. Some came from zoos and circuses while others were pets whose owners were unable to care for them. The sanctuary requests a donation of $5 for seniors and the tour is self-guided. Parking is free. They have a lot of large animals, one lion, and many tigers and bears as well as several smaller animals. You can tell by looking at these animals that they are well taken care of in their large enclosures. Most animals had a plaque describing their story.

We enjoyed watching 2 very large tigers, one male and one female, play with each other through a shared fence that separated both cages. The female would playfully pounce very close to the fence and sometimes would jump onto the fence separating them and the male would do the same in response to her playfulness. It was fun to watch other tigers watch and sometimes follow small children by the fence. They do ask that you keep children under supervision and controlled at all times.

The lion roaring was impressive. It was fun to see all of the cell phones come out when he started is vocalizing. You can see that he puts his all into his roars (great ab workout!), and the show lasted for quite some time.

We thought that we would enjoy our time visiting Octagon, but when we walked away, we were highly impressed with what they have done to help these animals in need. I would highly recommend Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary and Rehab Center. Your admission fees and donations go to a great cause.

4. Laishley Park

100 Nesbit St, Punta Gorda, FL 33950-3629
Excellent
67%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 149 reviews

Laishley Park

Reviewed By MegPGI - Punta Gorda, Florida

Almost all of Punta Gorda's outdoor festivals and concerts happen at Laishley Park. When there is no event, you can still watch or take your children to the inter-active fountain and the playground. It is beautifully maintained directly on the Peace River. Take your book and just hang out. Ride your bike. And enjoy the nearby restaurants and the best ice cream shop--Scoops and Bites

5. Gilchrist Park

400 W. Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda, FL 33950
Excellent
68%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 155 reviews

Gilchrist Park

Reviewed By Melissa A - Harrisville WV

Wonderful Park, that over looks the water(peace river). clean and well kept. nice bike paths and walking paths. playground, tennis courts, basketball court. My husband and I were actually married in the Gazebo here, so of course we love it! Local bands Jam out on some week nights. Stop by, you won't be disappointed.

6. Muscle Car City Museum

3811 Tamiami Trl, Punta Gorda, FL 33950-7900 +1 941-575-5959
Excellent
64%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 545 reviews

Muscle Car City Museum

Reviewed By Ann M - Tomahawk, Wisconsin

Drove up and was so disappointed - there were construction workers outside and we could see into the shell of a building. Was thinking it had damage during Hurricane Irma and might be reconstructing, but there were no signs and two old cars in back end of the parking lot.

7. Sandman Book Company

16480 Burnt Store Rd, Punta Gorda, FL 33955-9218 +1 941-505-1624
Excellent
89%
Good
10%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 83 reviews

Sandman Book Company

Sandman Book Company is Southwest Florida's largest independent bookshop. We are located in Turtle Crossing Plaza, north of Burnt Store Marina. We have a over 60,000 used & rare books in our retail shop. We also carry audiobooks, DVDs, toys, games, & greeting cards. Our inventory is electronically cataloged, which means that if you are looking for a specific book - we can find it! We also provide special order services for rare and hard-to-find titles.

Reviewed By Gustavo C - Cape Coral, Florida

I went here with my youngest for an exploring our community day and we had a good time looking at the ceiling to floor books, all different genres and various prices, not bad prices either. They had some rare books, the Harvard stories series and many more. If your looking for a calm place to relax and explore I highly recommend going there.

8. Fishermen's Village

1200 W Retta Esplanade, #57a, Punta Gorda, FL 33950-5325 +1 800-639-0020
Excellent
51%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Fishermen's Village

Fishermen's Village Waterfront Mall, Resort, and Marina offers something for everyone. Shopping, dining, live entertainment, and water adventures await locals and travelers. With over 30 boutique shops and 5 different restaurants, you are sure to find something that pleases you and your family.

Reviewed By ALB63 - Hanover, Massachusetts

We love to bring friends and family to Fisherman's Village! It is about an hours drive from our winter home in Naples, but it is worth the drive. There are lots off stores which appeal to young and old alike. It's a great place to...MoreThank you for your recent visit to Fishermen's Village and your kind review on TripAdvisor! We look forward to your return!

9. Ponce de Leon Park

3400 Ponce de Leon Pkwy, Punta Gorda, FL 33950-6312
Excellent
55%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 155 reviews

Ponce de Leon Park

Reviewed By george b - Bradford, New York

Nice park, no fee, no pets. Limited parking. Sandy beach and warm water. We went on a busy Sunday but still plenty of room. Picnic tables, some shade by the trees.

10. Alligator Bay Distillers

25522 Marion Ave, Punta Gorda, FL 33950-4644 +1 941-347-8419
Excellent
91%
Good
9%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 51 reviews

Alligator Bay Distillers

Florida craft rum distillery aiming to produce quality, handcrafted, Cane to Bottle spirits. Located in beautiful Punta Gorda, FL, our Floridian rums are produced using 100% Florida molasses sourced from tbe Clewiston sugar mill. We offer tours of the distillery Monday through Saturday. Walk-ins are welcomed. Please call and schedule tours of more than 10 guests.

Reviewed By B-RTravelers27 - Peabody, Massachusetts

Read about this on TripAdvisor when we were looking for activities in Punta Gorda. Great find! Small distillery, less than two years old, this brother-owned business is certainly up-and-coming in the rum world. We arrived early to find Alex, who gave us a tour of the operation, explaining each step in the fascinating process. It's obvious that he really enjoys making rum and enjoys sharing that enjoyment with others. Following the tour, we were treated to tastings of the various rums they are currently producing. No pressure to buy, but a great explanation of the nuances of each. Our group bought some and we will definitely encourage others to stop by (and buy)!

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