When you’re seeking adventure both on land and water, plan for a getaway at Punta Gorda. This tourist attraction along Florida’s south-central Gulf Coast is home boat tours and water sports, as well as wildlife sanctuaries and eco-tours. Enjoy waterside shopping at Fishermen’s Village, or grab some fresh seafood to take back to your cozy Punta Gorda vacation rental. Leisurely stroll through the shops on the Harborwalk, or spend your evening enjoying the sights and sounds of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. When you’re wondering what to do in Punta Gorda, consider these 10 activities, which include cultural tours and sightseeing fun.
1. Tour the Muscle Car City Museum
See the muscle that Punta Gorda has to offer when exploring the Muscle Car City Museum. This distinctive Punta Gorda attraction boasts a collection of more than 200 restored vehicles. Wander through the aisles, sit in an old Ford, and then stop in at the nearby Harborwalk Scoops and Bites Ice Cream for a sweet treat.
2. Explore the Peace River Wildlife Center
Punta Gorda is abundant with wildlife that you can’t see anywhere else. Spend a day touring the wildlife center with one of the guides to learn about birds that were battered and unable to survive in the wild or opt for your own self-directed tour of the grounds. This free attraction is ideal for avid bird watchers.
3. Eat Your Way Through Fishermen’s Village
Fishermen’s Village is not only the place to watch dolphins play in the ocean, but it is also the place to grab the freshest seafood in the area. Enjoy the river views while dining at the Village Fish Market and Restaurant or join in the happening scene at The Captain’s Table Restaurant. When visiting Fishermen’s Village in the evening, you can enjoy the nightlife and fresh seafood at Harpoon Harry’s, a restaurant and bar complete with live music and arcade games.
4. See Live Buffalo at Three Suns Ranch
Learn what it’s like to own and operate a ranch with a trip to Three Suns Ranch. Take a tour in a covered wagon as buffalo and wild boars roam the grassy areas of the ranch. After a day in the sun walking the trails of the ranch, stop in the meat shop to take some boar and buffalo meat back to your vacation rental for dinner.
5. Take a Boat Tour with King Fisher Fleet
You don’t have to own a boat to see dolphin swimming in the ocean or feel the cool breeze on your face. King Fisher Fleet hosts daily sightseeing tours for individuals and groups wanting to see a different side of Punta Gorda. Climb on board a yacht or a pontoon boat with these outfitters and learn more about the area as the guide offers tidbits about wildlife and underwater sea creatures. Once the boat docks, let the kids play together in the sand near Charlotte Harbor.
6. Feed the Need for Speed at the Punta Gorda Speedway
NASCAR fans enjoy the rush of racing, which is why a trip to the Punta Gorda Speedway is a must-do when you’re in the mood for adventure. The speedway is home to national races several times each year and also hosts impromptu races of late models and classic cars throughout the year. If you’re traveling with kids, stock up on some earplugs because the roars of the engines can get loud during races. This facility does offer bleacher seating, but you can also bring along your lawn chairs and sit in the grassy area at the end of the track.
7. Get Patriotic at the Military Heritage Museum
Show your patriotism and take in the sights of military medals, gear, and clothing when touring the Military Heritage Museum. This attraction is popular with tourists and locals alike, and the guides, many who are veterans of the armed forces, guide you through the displays describing what it was like to live through war and combat. After the tour, launch a discussion of what you observed while eating fresh seafood at the nearby Laishley Crab House.
8. Discover Nature with Babcock Ranch Eco Tours
Learn all about the history of World War II, the wonders of nature, and the creatures that habitat in Punta Gorda with an eco tour hosted by Babcock Ranch Eco Tours. The informed guides take families and groups through both land and water while showing hot spots for the local gators. See wildlife up close and personal before retreating back to your vacation rental for the evening.
9. Experience the Music of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra
A vacation rental in Punta Gorda puts you in the heart of beautiful music and symphonic concerts. Reserve your tickets for a performance by the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. If you plan your vacation for the summer months, enroll the kids in the summer camps offered by the orchestra so they can see if they have what it takes to be a maestro.
10. Fish for the Day at the Burnt Store Marina
Let the experts show you how to catch your own dinner for the evening when enlisting the help of the Burnt Store Marina staff in Punta Gorda. The guides host fishing excursions, spotlighting where to find snook, redfish, and king mackerel off the shores of Charlotte Harbor. Experienced fishing enthusiasts can also try their hand at tarpon fishing to catch the 100-pound plus sea creatures.
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