20 Best Things To Do In Punta Gorda, FL - Updated 2021

things to do in punta gorda florida
Veidehi
Veidehi
Updated

Punta Gorda is a city in Florida with beautifully restored landmarks, natural attractions and waterside shopping slots. Stroll along the Harbor, Fishermen’s Village and Gulf Coast lined with huge royal palms. In Punta Gorda, you will find old Florida’s tin-roof homes, brick lanes, street lamps and benches that leave a tangible atmosphere. These Punta Gorda activities will make your trip memorable. Before your trip, consider staying at the top vacation rentals and Vrbos in Punta Gorda.

Do visit the late Victorian era, Freeman House Museum! The waterfront area of Punta Gorda, allows you to browse seven restaurants, specialty shops, military heritage museum and luxury villas. More interesting places to visit include Punta Gorda Speedway, Muscle Car City Museum, Peace River and Octagon Wildlife Centres. There’s also plenty of aquatic life as well as delicious food and nature walks for a great weekend; here are the best things to do in Punta Gorda, FL!

1. Blanchard House Museum

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Blanchard House Museum on Saturday, May 23, 2015

Blanchard House Museum is an educational facility that features materials connected to African Americans’ contributions to the progress of Southwest Florida and Charlotte County. It was built for Joseph Blanchard, a black sea captain, in 1925. He was also the Punta Gorda business community’s pioneer member. After his wife’s death, Bernice Russell, an activist and African-American historian, purchased the house. Since then, the museum has been committed to educating locals and tourists on the importance of African Americans in their community.

Blanchard House Museum

Address: 406 Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Website: Blanchard House Museumn

Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 10am - 4pm (closed from Sat - Mon)

2. Artisan Atelier

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Artisan Atelier of Punta Gorda, Florida on Saturday, May 4, 2019

If you are drawn to artsy things, make sure to take some time out and head to Artisan Atelier in Punta Gorda. This is an art gallery as well as a studio for working artists. Not only that, but it is also open to people who appreciate the beauty of art. If you’d like to shop for beautiful works of art, you can! The artists are known for creating beautiful pieces that are being sold to visitors. More often than not, you can see artists working on the sidewalk in Olympia.

Artisan Atelier

Address: 117 Herald Ct #113, Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Website: [Artisan Atelier(http://puntagordachamber.com/artisans-atelier/)

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 11am - 5pm; Sat: 11am - 4pm (closed on Sun)

3. History Park of Punta Gorda - Sunday Market

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by History Park Market - Punta Gorda on Tuesday, January 15, 2019

A year-round open-air market in Punta Gorda, Florida, History Park of Punta Gorda - Sunday Market offers customers plenty of items. Whether you are looking for fresh produce or baked goods, you can find it all here. You also get to learn about the city’s past as it is operated by the Punta Gorda Historical Society. There are four historical homes located within the park, and three of them are open to the public.

History Park of Punta Gorda - Sunday Market

Address: 501 Shreve St, Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Website: History Park of Punta Gorda - Sunday Market

Opening hours: Sun: 9am - 1pm (closed from Mon - Sat)

4. A.C. Freeman House

A.C. Freeman House
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ebyabe used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Otherwise known as the Gilchrist House, A. C. Freeman House is a historic house that was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. This early 20th-century house is owned by the City of Punta Gorda. Featuring Queen Anne-style architecture, this historical landmark was purchased by A.C Freeman who owned a hardware store among other ventures. He also served as mayor of the city for nearly four or five years. Today, this building houses the offices of the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce and Punta Gorda Historical Society.

A.C. Freeman House

Address: 311 W Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Website: A.C. Freeman House

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 4:30pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

5. Alligator Bay Distillers

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account


A small-batch craft distillery in Punta Gorda, Florida, Alligator Bay Distillers has been known for making rum since 2015. This family-owned and operated distillery is set within a facility of 3000 square feet (278 square meters). They manufacture and produce classic, handcrafted Florida spirits. The batches are made in an old-fashioned way using copper pot stills and locally sourced ingredients. Some of the rum they make include dark rum, white rum, spiced rum, and sun gold rum. Every week, from Monday to Saturday, the distillery offers free tasting tours.

Alligator Bay Distillers

Address: 25522 Marion Ave, Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Website: Alligator Bay Distillers

Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 11am - 5pm; Sat: 11am - 4pm (closed on Sun)

6. Peace River Wildlife Centre

Wood Stork_9311
Source: Photo by Flickr user Don Johnson 395 used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Peace River Wildlife Centre was established in 1978 for rescue, protection and preservation of natural wildlife. The Centre features more than sixty thousand mammals and birds, treated and cured in-house. In addition, if a species is incapable of returning to their native habitat after recovery, then they become a permanent resident of the center.

Come here and watch hawks, eagles, owls, ospreys, pelicans, sandhill cranes, herons, gulls, cormorants, songbirds, vultures and crows. PRWC’s expenses are taken care through donations, gift shop sales and recycling efforts. You can visit the Center from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Peace River Wildlife Centre

Address: 3400 Ponce de Leon Pkwy, 33950 Punta Gorda, FL

Website: Peace River Wildlife Centre

7. Fisherman's Village

The Fisherman’s Village of Punta Gorda features a classic full-service hometown market. In addition, Fisherman’s Village is the aquatic event center of Florida for fishing, culture, entertainment, dining and shopping. Locals and tourists love this place for diverse reasons. Dine at Harpoon Harry’s and shop till you drop. After shopping, rent a boat or sunset cruise to enjoy the splendid river and ocean views.

Fisherman's Village

Address: 1200 W Retta Esplanade, 33950 Punta Gorda, FL

Website: Fisherman’s Village

8. The Muscle Car City Museum

Antique Cars
Source: Photo by Flickr user Karen Blaha used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Third on the list of what to do in Punta Gorda is visiting Muscle Car City Museum, a fantasy-come-true for automobile lovers. Rick Treworgy was inspired by four wheels, so he began to collect Chevys. He has stockpiled over 200 vintage cars in 40 years.

Rick had bought an abandoned store from WalMart, where he shares his world-class collection today. In fact, as of today, this Muscle Car Museum houses the largest GM car collection of the country. The museum features artifacts, Chevys, Corvettes, Camaro’s and much more. You will enjoy this nostalgic trip down the memory lane!

Muscle Car City Museum

Address: 3811 Tamiami Trail, 33950 Punta Gorda, FL

Website: Muscle Car City Museum

9. Military Heritage Museum

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Military Heritage Museum on Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Military Heritage Museum of Punta Gorda features a fabulous museum with ancient artifacts and memorabilia. This military museum houses fascinating artifacts and other wonderful items of the military. Captain Arens, will provide you a guided tour of this small museum. Captain Arens is full of great stories, after serving both the army and navy for 38 years. Please note, all the items in the museum were donated, therefore you will find the owner’s information along with the artifacts.

Military Heritage Museum

Address: 1200 W Retta Esplanade # 48, 33950 Punta Gorda, FL

Website: Military Heritage Museum

10. Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary & Rehabilitation Centre

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account


One of the best things to do in Punta Gorda this weekend is visiting Octagon Wildlife. The sanctuary has rescued over 1000 animals in last 30 years. This sanctuary and habilitation center is managed by the efforts of volunteers and gracious donations from kind people. Octagon Wildlife Center passes animals to reputable universities, where anthropologists study the nature of diseases. Visit this sanctuary to watch the magnificent animals and admire the tranquil environment.

Octagon Wildlife

Address: 41660 Horseshoe Rd, 33982 Punta Gorda, FL

Website: Octagon Wildlife

11. Laishley Park

Spirit of Punta Gorda
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sanibel sun used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Laishley Park is a pet-friendly park, that features a fishing pier, memorial garden, fountain, concert area, parking and walking path of Punta Gorda’s Harbor. Laishley Marina is located inside Laishley Park, and it provides direct access to Charlotte Harbour. Come here to enjoy the premier fishing activities, in the Gulf of Mexico. This Punta Gorda attraction offers plenty of activities, to keep you entertained. Laishley Park is also close to shopping and cultural centers, major hotels, the marina and historic Punta Gorda.

Laishley Park

Address: 33950 Punta Gorda, FL

Website: Laishley Park

12. Ponce de Leon Park

Ponce De Leon SP02
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ebyabe used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Ponce de Leon Park is located on Ponce de Leon Avenue. The park features a seating capacity of about 20,000 people. In addition, this park is also famous for an ancient magnolia tree in center field.

As a matter of fact, both Babe Ruth and Eddie Mathews had hit runs that got stuck in this tree. Ponce de Leon Park was once demolished in favor of a shopping center. Today it’s a strip mall, although the magnolia tree is still at the rear of the shopping center.

Ponce de Leon Park

Address: 3400 Ponce de Leon Pkwy, 33950 Punta Gorda, FL

Website: Ponce de Leon Park

13. Punta Gorda Speedway

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by 4-17 Southern Speedway and Events on Monday, June 22, 2020

The Punta Gorda Southern Speedway is a racetrack in Punta Gorda, Florida. LeRoy Davidson had built the track in 1990 and even operated it until 1995. At this speedway, you will come across many late models, sprint cars, open wheeled modified, fast-kids, fast-rucks and various types of racing.

In addition, the speedway offers incredible food at a reasonable price. This fantastic speedway sports excellent drivers with insane race cars. Get your earplugs, because this place is too loud, with cars on the track. Enjoy the bleacher-type seating or sit on the grassy walls of the track.

Punta Gorda Southern Speedway

Address: 8655 Piper Rd, 33982 Punta Gorda, FL

Website: Punta Gorda Speedway

14. Alligator Bay Distillers

Alex and Ben Voss run the rum operations at Alligator Bay Distillers. The production of rum began in 2015 at Alligator Bay Distillers of Punta Gorda. The rum of Alligator Bay Distillers is made from 100 percent Florida molasses.

In addition, the molasses is sourced from the Clewiston sugar mill! Do visit this hidden gem to tour their excellent rum making process. Do taste the coconut and dark rum during your tour. This distillery is an interesting place to taste the full selection of the delicious rums. Above all, buy a few rum bottles and t-shirts as souvenirs.

Alligator Bay Distillers

Address: 25522 Marion Ave, 33950 Punta Gorda, FL

Website: Alligator Bay Distillers

15. Charlotte Harbour Preserve State Park

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park is comprised of 45,387 acres and protects more than 100 miles of shoreline along...

Posted by Florida State Parks on Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Charlotte Harbour Preserve State Park is the third largest park in Florida. Visit this park to fish, hike, paddle and observe wildlife. The park’s natural community includes scrub habitats, mangrove forests and pine flat-woods.

You will spot many wading birds and manatees in the park. You can also access this park by a canoe or kayak. This park is also ideal for bird-watching and nature walks. Watch Great Horned Owls, nesting Eagles, Mocking Birds, Woodpeckers, as well as dolphins in the harbor. The closest restroom is about 4 kilometers (6 miles) on Burnt Store Road. Bring binoculars and a camera!

Charlotte Harbour Preserve State Park

Address: 12301 Burnt Store Rd, 33955 Punta Gorda, FL

Website: Charlotte Harbour Park

16. Punta Gorda Nature Park

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by City Of Punta Gorda - Government on Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Nature Park is a 21-acre (8.4 hectares) park located in the neigborhood of Punta Gorda Isles. The park is filled with recreational trails and a view deck to allow sightseeing. Park benches are scattered within the premises for everyone to use. The Nature Park also has herb and spice garden, flower garden, and a butterfly garden. Going to this nature park is a great way to spend time with your loved ones! You can set up a picnic at the tables provided in the park.

Punta Gorda Nature Park

Address: 1555 Aqui Esta Drive, Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Website: Punta Gorda Nature Park

17. Laishley Crab House

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Join us for a perfect Sunday dinner! Check out our full menu at laishleycrabhouse.com and make a reservation. Happy...

Posted by Laishley Crab House, Punta Gorda, FL on Sunday, November 29, 2020

Take advantage of the abundance of good seafood in Punta Gorda and treat yourself to a nice meal at Laishley Crab House. You can have your shucked fresh oysters in an instant, raw or baked. Of course, going by the restaurant’s name itself, don’t miss out on some of the best crabs you will ever get your hands on. We recommend that you try the Alaska King or Southern Style Blue crab cakes. Fresh and delicious seafood are hard to come by, so come hungry!

Laishley Crab House

Address: 150 Laishley Court, Punta Gorda, FL 33950, United States

Website: Laishley Crab House

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 11am - 9pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 10pm

18. Sea Grape Gallery

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account


We bet you did not expect an art gallery on this list, did you? Well, here it is. Lovers of contemporary art will be glad to know that Sea Grape Gallery exists in Punta Gorda. The cooperative art gallery was founded in 1988 and have won awards and continued growing ever since. The displays are exclusively from member artists, who also serve as the gallery’s staff. If an art gallery sounds like your kind of place to visit, don’t forget to drop by!

Sea Grape Gallery

Address: 113 West Marion Avenue, Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Website: Sea Grape Gallery

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 5pm; Sat: 10am - 4pm

19. Escape Rooms Unlocked

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Escape Rooms Unlocked on Friday, November 2, 2018

Are you looking for fun in Punta Gorda aside from hitting up its major tourist attractions? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Why not challenge your group to an escape room game at Escape Rooms Unlocked? Get that adrenaline pumping and choose among some of the best adventures: Heist at the Grand Hotel, The Deep, Dean’s Diner Disaster, and many more! Share this adventure with your loved ones and bring them by for an exhilarating day in Punta Gorda!

Escape Rooms Unlocked

Address: 401 E Olympia Avenue #2, Punta Gorda, FL 33950, United States

Website: Escape Rooms Unlocked

Opening hours: Tue: 5pm - 8pm; Thu - Sat: 1pm - 9pm; Sun: 1pm - 7:30pm (closed on Mon & Wed)

20. Harborwalk

Punta Gorda Harborwalk
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sanibel sun used under CC BY-SA 4.0

After you’ve crossed off all the activities above, it’s time to wind down and have a leisure stroll at Punta Gorda’s very own Harborwalk. You can choose to start your day here, too! It’s completely up to you. A team of local volunteers, TEAM Punta Gorda, strives to create a more friendly city and encourages visitors to go biking along Harborwalk. This 2.4 mile (3.8 kilometers) harbor gives an unbelievable view of Peace River. Bring out your cameras out to immortalize this beautiful city!

Harborwalk

Address: Punta Gorda, Florida

Website: Harborwalk

The serenity of Punta Gorda in Florida

Punta Gorda is a beautiful coastal city that includes a diverse range of interesting places to visit. From tranquil nature parks to boisterous race tracks, they are all a part of Punta Gorda’s spirit. Dine by the waterfront, take a sunset boat tour and stroll in the nature parks to thoroughly enjoy your Punta Gorda vacation.

Editor’s Note: Due to Covid-19, the business hours of these attractions/restaurants may differ from the stated timings in this article. Please be sure to check the updated hours from the websites.

Frequently asked questions about things to do in Punta Gorda, FL

1. What are the best attractions to visit in Punta Gorda?

Some of Punta Gorda’s best attractions are Fisherman’s Village, Peace River Wildlife Centre, Muscle Car City Museum, and Military Heritage Museum. Make sure to include these places to your itinerary!

2. What are the best outdoor activities in Punta Gorda?

Punta Gorda has plenty of amazing outdoor activities. Some of them are biking along the picturesque Harborwalk and canoeing at Charlotte Harbour Preserve State Park. If you’re traveling with your furry friends, make sure to explore Laishley Park with them!

3. What are the most popular things to do in Punta Gorda with kids and family?

Your kids and family are guaranteed a good time in Punta Gorda. You may choose to visit Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary & Rehabilitation Centre, have a picnic at Ponce de Leon Park, and stroll along Harborwalk!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Veidehi, also known as Krazy Butterfly, is a multi-award-winning travel writer and explorer who likes to write about destinations, diverse cultures and cuisines that bring everyone together.

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