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Florida itinerary: Jump into outdoor adventures in Punta Gorda and Englewood


Eco tours, paddle trips and beaches await groups in Punta Gorda and Englewood. For groups seeking outdoor recreation, these two locations are the perfect places to explore.

“Welcome to Punta Gorda & Englewood Beach on Florida’s Charlotte Harbor Gulf Island Coast,” said Sean Doherty, sales manager, Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau. “During this three-day, two-night adventure, you’ll discover some of the creatures, comforts and culture of this southwest Florida destination, and learn why our best side is outside.”

The Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach VCB provided this three-day itinerary.

Day One
Begin the day watching retirees chow down on breakfast at the Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary in Punta Gorda. This nonprofit sanctuary has been called a retirement home for exotic wildlife. Meet tigers, primates and foxes.

Tiger, Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary, Punta Gorda, FloridaPhoto: Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary/Michael Kolbert

Tiger, Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary, Punta Gorda, Fla.

Head to Babcock Ranch Eco Tours for a 90-minute buggy tour through a working cattle ranch and the Telegraph Swamp. Wildlife abounds with chances to see Osceola turkeys, alligators and a variety of birdlife. Enjoy lunch at Table & Tap, located at Babcock Ranch, the country’s first solar-powered community. Many ingredients used in the lakeside restaurant’s menu are sourced locally.

Journey to Fishermen’s Village in Punta Gorda’s historic district to browse the independently owned shops, boutiques and Military Heritage Museum. Catch the sunset over Charlotte Harbor aboard a sightseeing boat with King Fisher Fleet, which departs from Fishermen’s Village. The cruise varies by time of year and may include a tour through Punta Gorda’s canal system to view waterfront homes. Often, dolphins play in the boat’s wake.

Enjoy dinner at one of the several restaurants at Fishermen’s Village. Each offers a distinct flavor, but seafood makes a splash on all the menus. Spend the night in Punta Gorda.

Day Two
Today is another day of adventures with a guided stand-up paddleboard trip to Don Pedro Island State Park with Hooked on SUP. Kayaks are available for those not comfortable on a SUP board.

Shell tree, Stump Pass Beach State Park, Englewood, FloridaPhoto: Huber

Shell tree, Stump Pass Beach State Park, Englewood, Fla.

The park is only accessible by watercraft, and the guided tour includes paddling through mangrove tunnels and combing the beach for fossilized shark teeth.

The park has a covered pavilion with restroom facilities and is the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic lunch.

During the trip, it may be possible to spot dolphins and manatees along with birdlife.

After the paddling trip, enjoy a beverage at one of the many beach bars on Manasota Key, followed by down time on Stump Pass Beach State Park.

Get crackin’ with a blue crab feast for dinner at Peace River Seafood. Blue crabs are caught fresh and brought in daily by local crabbers.

Peace River Seafood, Punta Gorda, FloridaPhoto:

Peace River Seafood, Punta Gorda, Fla.

Day Three
Visit one man’s collection of General Motors’ high-powered muscle cars at Rick Treworgy’s Muscle Car City Museum. The museum is home to more than 200 vehicles, and oftentimes Treworgy is available to answer questions.

A diner on-site is the perfect spot for lunch before continuing onto the next adventure.

Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau


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