Punta Gorda translates to Fat Point in English, and you’ll certainly have a grand ole time when visiting this Charlotte County community. The city is right on the Gulf of Mexico, and a Punta Gorda vacation rental  provides everything you need to enjoy peaceful coastal living. Fishing and golf are popular recreational activities in this community. Spend leisurely afternoons hanging out in the historic district, eating great food, and shopping at boutiques. Discover vintage buildings and streets harkening back to the city’’s early days. As you walk around, it is easy to take snapshots that resemble vintage postcards. With its balmy weather, scenic Gulf views, and lush palm trees, Punta Gorda is a wonderful place to relax and let your cares drift away.

1. Punta Gorda, Florida

vintage cars
Source: Flickr / Karen Blaha

Get a taste of vintage Florida when visiting the charming city of Punta Gorda. If you’re a vintage car fan, be sure to stop by the fabulous Muscle Car City Museum. Have fun gazing at vintage GM model cars and trucks, including Corvettes. Choose a condo or home close to shops, restaurants, and area parks and preserves. The Peace River Wildlife Center is ideal for quality bird watching. You might spot a gator or two while taking the Babcock Ranch Eco Tour. Wild buffalo in Florida? You bet. See them up close at Three Suns Ranch. Work up an appetite while walking or biking trails at scenic local parks, and then quench your appetite on a food tour of sumptuous local cuisine.

Fort Myers, Florida

beautiful watercourse
Source: Flickr / Russ

Fort Myers is a major gateway to the Southwest Florida region, and the city certainly lives up to its reputation. Famous historical figures who wintered in Fort Myers include car magnate, Henry Ford, and inventor, Thomas Edison. Find a comfortable luxury home near entertainment venues, parks, and hidden gem Bunche Beach. The Florida Everglades is practically on your doorstep, and nature areas such as Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve, Lakes Regional Park, and Manatee Park are ripe for exploration. If you love baseball, check out the sports action at JetBlue Park and the CenturyLink Sports Complex. Fun places to take the kids include the Imaginarium Science Center and Zoomers Amusement Park.

3. Boca Grande, Florida

cloud effects above the lighthouse
Source: Flickr / Don Johnson 395

Live in the lap of luxury when you escape to beautiful Boca Grande. Located on Gasparilla Island, you can wake up each day in a luxury bungalow or condo, surrounded by sand, surf, and gorgeous seaside views. This is the place to be for peaceful relaxation, pampering, and doing whatever you please in semi-privacy. Spend languid days on Boca Grande Beach gazing out at the water, reading, walking, or enjoying a picnic lunch. Make your way over to the white sandy beach at Gasparilla Island State Park to check out the cool lighthouse. Between beach visits, get pampered at local spas, go fishing, shop, or take a scenic boat tour.

4. Cape Coral, Florida

palm trees andflowers
Source: Flickr / Walter

The popular city of Cape Coral is a fun place to vacation with the whole family. Enjoy luxury living Florida style in a centrally located condo or home with all the amenities. Cultural activities include art galleries, entertainment centers, local theatre, and live entertainment. Boat and eco tours are available for family exploration of beaches and waterways. If you’re in the mood to cook homemade meals, check out the Cape Coral Farmers Market for fresh produce, specialty foods, and more.

5. Port Charlotte, Florida

tourists in their summer attires
Source: Flickr / dan erickson

This friendly city in Charlotte County made the 2015 Forbes list of ten best retirement communities. If you enjoy suburban living near gorgeous coastal views, choose a cozy luxury home near entertainment and shopping. Locals and vacationers often hang out at Port Charlotte Beach Park, enjoying the white sand, palm trees, and possibly a hot dog or two. Another place to relax and enjoy fun picnics is Bayshore Live Oak Park. During spring training, the Charlotte Stone Crabs play other minor league teams at the local stadium.

6. Lehigh Acres, Florida

blue sea and sky
Source: Flickr / Lisa Jacobs

Lehigh Acres is a populous city with a small town vibe. Since the 1970s, this city has steadily grown, and homes are spread out among lush greenery. The pace here is easy-going and relaxed. Choose a condo or home in a tree-lined neighborhood near golfing, restaurants, and bucolic nature areas. Have you always wanted to go horseback riding? Five Star Stables has beautiful horses for trail riders at all levels. If golf is your favorite hobby, try out the links at Majestic and Westminster Golf Clubs. Major foodie? Create your own food tour by visiting local eateries such as Azucar, Joe’s Café, and Mr. BBQ.

7. Venice, Florida

busy seashore
Source: Flickr / Forest and Kim Starr

Venice, or Venice Island, as locals like to call it, is a small city in Sarasota County. If you want to spend quality romantic time with your significant other, find a cozy bungalow or luxury home centrally located near beaches and glistening blue waters. Take your pick of which beautiful beaches to enjoy. Venice Beach is closer to city amenities and is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and dolphin watching. Head for Caspersen Beach for quiet seashore strolls and magnificent sunsets. When you get hungry, Sharky’s On The Pier has delicious seafood and awesome waterfront views.

8. Englewood, Florida

people relaxing at the beach
Source: Flickr / Don Johnson 395

Prepare to get your beach on when visiting Englewood, a small idyllic city straddling Charlotte and Sarasota counties. If you dream of spending languid sunny days frolicking on white sandy beaches, you’ll love Englewood. Beach life beckons, and you can enjoy living in luxury near several awe-inspiring beach spots. Spend all day sunbathing, lounging, swimming, or strolling at Stump Pass Beach State Park, Englewood Beach, Manasota Key Beach, or Blind Pass Beach. Boating, fishing, picnicking, and trail walking are fun activities to enjoy at several local parks.

9. St. Petersburg, Florida

lady on her bike at the waterfront
Source: Flickr / CityofStPete

Prepare to have the time of your life when visiting the fun coastal city of St. Petersburg. This lively city is bursting with culture and energy. Choose a luxury condo or home close to art, entertainment, dining, and the thriving club scene. Downtown has a wide array of entertainment events, restaurants, museums, parks, and shops to keep you busy. If you love fine art, put the Dali Museum, Chihuly Collection, and Museum of Fine Arts on your must see list. Find food, handmade crafts, and unique treasures at the Saturday Morning Market. Unwind and enjoy fresh air and hiking at the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve.