Living the Port Charlotte Lifestyle

Where to go, what to do, where to eat, shop and more. Discover what's so great about living in Port Charlotte, Florida.

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Discover Living in Port Charlotte

Port Charlotte, Florida is a laid-back small town along the south west coast of Florida between Sarasota and Fort Myers. The town is nestled among the confluence of the Peace River and Charlotte Harbor. Charlotte Harbor stretches out into Gasparilla Sound and, eventually, out into the open Gulf of Mexico.

Being just a short distance out to the open water, this wide waterway is quite popular for marine activities including boating, fishing, sailing and much more. In fact, life in Port Charlotte revolves quite a lot around the water and natural environment all around town. Just across the water to the south of Port Charlotte is the charming town of Punta Gorda. Connected by the Highway 41 bridge, it’s a short drive between the towns.

Port Charlotte definitely has a small-town feel to it. You won’t find the traffic and congestion of bigger nearby cities, such as Sarasota or Fort Myers. But you can still find all your favorite shops and major restaurants, as well as local establishments around town. 

The quiet, small-town feel and close proximity to the water and nature is what people enjoy about living in Port Charlotte!

where is port charlotte on a map of florida

Discover Living in Port Charlotte

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Fun Things to Do

Find fun things to do around Port Charlotte

Water & Nearby Beaches

Find out where to go to enjoy fun on the water and the closest beaches

Restaurants & Dining

Check out some of the popular restaurants in Port Charlotte

Shopping & Stores

Where to go for all your shopping needs & popular stores

Outdoor Recreation

Discover outdoor activities and recreation for all different types of people in Port Charlotte

Festivals, Music & Events

Find out what's going on in and around Port Charlotte

Fun Things to Do in Port Charlotte

group fishing in a boat at sunset floating off coast of florida

Port Charlotte is known most for it’s coastal vibe. Fishing and boating are really the primary activities around here. In fact, it’s really a paradise for anglers and those seeking the boat lifestyle! But even if you aren’t a boater or a fisherman, you can still find plenty to do around Port Charlotte.

  • Visit the Peace River Botanical and Sculpture Gardens
  • Enjoy local fun at the bowling alley, escape rooms, and movie theaters
  • Catch a baseball game out at the Charlotte Sports Park – home of the Tampa Bay Rays Spring Training every year!
  • Visit the Port Charlotte Beach Park for a dip at the beach, or the community swimming pool (super cheap way to cool off!). There’s also a great boardwalk to stroll and fishing pier (especially beautiful during sunset).
  • Hop across the bridge to Punta Gorda to explore their historic downtown area with its unique shops and restaurants. There’s also the Fisherman’s Wharf not far from downtown with shopping, dining, and live entertainment. And Don’t miss the Punta Gorda Downtown Farmer’s Market every Saturday (it’s one of the best around!).
     

Fun on the Water and Beaches Near Port Charlotte

kayaks and canoes for rent along water in florida with trees and mangroves

As mentioned, the Port Charlotte Lifestyle revolves around the water. The Peace River and Charlotte Harbor offer many opportunities for outdoor fun. However, the Gulf of Mexico and stunning beaches are only just a short drive away from town.

Popular Water Activities in Port Charlotte Include:

  • Fishing off the many piers around town or maybe even your backyard if you are lucky enough to live on a canal or open water.
  • Go boating! If you don’t have one of your own, you can easily rent one around town.
  • Spot dolphins, manatees and more out in the Harbor
  • Go kayaking or paddle boarding – from the Harbor on up into the tributaries of the Peace River
  • Rent some Jet skis for a thrilling time!

Gulf Beaches Roughly 30 Minutes From Port Charlotte:

  • Englewood Beach
  • Stump Pass Beach
  • Gasparilla Beach
  • Venice Beaches (there are many)
Caspersen beach in venice florida view of crystal blue water and walkway to beach from the road
View from Venice Fishing Pier at Sharky's to the north looking toward Venice Beach Florida on a beautiful sunny day and blue water
Boating at the Jetty in Venice florida on a beautiful summer day

Dining & Restaurants in Port Charlotte

up close photo of tacos al pastor plate at a restaurant

Port Charlotte is home to many of your favorite food chains. From Chick-fil-A, Buffalo Wild Wings, Moe’s, and such.

Food Trucks & International Cuisine

Surprisingly, you will also find some really fantastic local food trucks around town!  From the popular Danny’s Food Truck, Cesar’s Tacos (which. we highly recommend), Uncle Frank’s Hot dogs – a local favorite!

If you enjoy international foods, then for a small town, Port Charlotte actually has a pretty great selection of eateries such as:

Seafood, Waterfront and Fine Dining

With Port Charlotte being situated along the coast (and Punta Gorda just over the bridge), there is no shortage of quality seafood restaurants in the area. You will also find higher-end dining options around town as well as some spectacular waterfront dining. 

Popular Restaurants Include:

up close photo of plate with steak and potatoes fine dining cuisine

Shopping and Stores in Port Charlotte

woman walking down street holding shopping bags over her shoulder

Port Charlotte is your typical small-town with a suburban feel. The primary areas of town where you will find most shopping and major stores are along highway 41 and 776. In particular, the intersection of these two highways is really where you will find most of the commercial areas of town. 

Port Charlotte offers the convenience of shopping with major stores that you’ll find in larger towns. In addition to your typical Walmart and Target, you’ll also find specialty stores such as Best Buy, Bed Bath and Beyond, as well as numerous furniture stores.

When it comes to boutique and thrift shopping, you will find many small and locally-owned shops around Port Charlotte. But you can also just hop across the highway 41 bridge and explore the historic downtown area of Punta Gorda and their specialty shops too. And don’t miss the Punta Gorda Fisherman’s Wharf for more specialty shopping!

Outdoors and Recreation

admiring a beautiful blue heron bird perched on a hand railing in florida nature

Port Charlotte is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. There are State Parks nearby as well as recreation areas for things such. as biking, wildlife spotting, hiking, kayaking, and much more.

Popular Outdoor Activities in Port Charlotte Include:

  • Enjoy wildlife spotting and hiking in nearby Tippecanoe Environmental Park
  • Make a visit to the Audubon-Pennington Nature Park
  • Boating on Charlotte Harbor
  • Going kayaking or paddleboarding on the Harbor or exploring some of the waterways and mangroves around town and up the Peace River.
  • Viewing wildlife – from birdwatching, spotting manatees in the Harbor, dolphins, alligators and more. 
  • Play some golf – there are over 20+ golf courses in and around town.

Festivals, Events and Music

guitarist, guitar, play

Just because Port Charlotte is a small town doesn’t mean there is a lack of events. The Cultural Center of Port Charlotte holds art fairs, concerts and other events. 

Port Charlotte Beach Park is also a popular venue for local events. Here you will find things like outdoor movie nights under the stars, neighborhood events and other low-key local activities.

Lastly, nearby Punta Gorda holds a number of events all year in their historic downtown district, including weekly Farmers Markets and frequent downtown arts and craft fairs. Many of the restaurants in Punta Gorda’s downtown area and even their Fisherman’s Wharf offer live music on different days of the week.