Charlotte Harbor

History

Charlotte Harbor was home of Native Americans of the Timucuans Calusa tribe. During the Spanish era, Ucita, an Indian village, was thought to have been located in today’s Tippecanoe Bay in the north part of Charlotte Harbor, and west side of Port Charlotte. Historians still debate about this.

It was said that Ponce de Leon was the first European to have visited the harbor in 1521. It was believed that he was shot with a poisoned arrow, and the site is located in Ponce de Leon Historical Park, located in East Punta Gorda. It was also believed that Charlotte Harbor was visited by Juan de Anasco in 1538. In 1539, Hernando de Soto came and began his expedition in North America. Again, his landing site is still a topic of debate among historians.

Pedro Menedez D’Aviles of the order of St. Agustine created the San Antonio mission-fort in 1565. The fort was established in an unnamed place out of Charlotte Harbor. They later gave up the mission two years after fighting and ceasefire with the natives.

The name “Charlotte” was derived from “Carlos” or “Calos” (Calusa Indian). The Spaniards named the place “Carlos Bay” in 1565. In 1775, the English explorers named the area Charlotte Harbor in honor of Queen Charlotte Sophia, who was the wife of King George III.

18th to 19th centuries saw Charlotte Harbor as a refuge to pirates. Several shipwrecks with treasures were also noted.

The present Charlotte Harbor is primarily only for fishing boats. The area survives, thanks to tourists who came to enjoy the beaches, especially during winter.

Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf Islands are comprised of Boca Grande, Little Gasparilla Island, Port Charlotte, Manasota Key, Palm Island, Punta Gorda, Don Pedro Island, El Jobean, Englewood-Cape Haze, and Placida.

Getting There

Tourists to Charlotte Harbor have the option to land at Punta Gorda Airport, which is located off I-75. They can also opt to land in Charlotte County Airport.

For those wanting to travel by car, Charlotte Harbor is accessible via I-75, US-17, or US-41. For rental car needs, the companies Hertz and Enterprise will be of service.

Weather

Average high temperature is 91.9°F on July and an average low temperature of 52.1°F on January. The average annual precipitation in Charlotte Harbor is 49.68 inches. Summer is considered a wet season, with June as the wettest, having an average rainfall of 8.45 inches.

What to Wear

During summer months, it is advisable to wear light-colored and cool clothing, especially those made from cotton. Women can wear skirts and cool sundresses. Flip flops are definitely something to bring. If you plan to stay outdoors for longer hours, bring along a hat, a pair of shades for eye protection, and apply a generous amount of sunblock with a high SPF, applying every 2 to 3 hours.

When on business meetings, wear appropriate clothing made of light-colored and cool materials. For night outs, it is advisable to wear appropriate outfits.

During the rainy and cold seasons, be sure to have a jacket or sweatshirt.

Fishing

Located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Charlotte Harbor is the second biggest estuary. It gets a huge supply of saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico, while Peace River and Myakka River provide freshwater to the estuary. A lot of fishes of different species take refuge in the reefs. Charlotte Harbor is one of the favorite destinations of anglers. Listed are some of the fishes anglers may find in the estuary.

*tarpon
*snook
*redfish
*mangrove snapper
*cobia
*grouper
*Spanish
*King mackerel
*pompano

BEST MONTHS TO FISH
Some fish are available whole year round, while some are found in the waters at different seasons of the year. Check out the best months to catch those coveted fishes at Charlotte Harbor.

*tarpon – May to September
*snook – May to August, middle of December to February
*redfish – all year round, best time is spring and fall
*mangrove snapper – July to October
*cobia – March to July
*grouper – May to July
*Spanish – March to April, October to November
*King mackerel – March to April, October to November
*pompano – November to May

WHAT TO BRING AND WEAR WHEN FISHING
The following are the most appropriate outfit when going for a fish:

• hat
• sunglasses
• light long sleeves, cool light-colored cotton outfits
• jacket or other rain gear
• boat shoes
• sun screen with high SPF

The following should also be in your A-list:

• camera
• cooler
• water or your preferred beverages
• food
• medicine kit

Attractions and Activities

There are a lot of things to discover in Charlotte Harbor. One can go fishing, shopping, visit historical places, go to the beach, go to parks, compete in golf competitions, or have some pampering at the spas. Check out some of these attractions in Charlotte Harbor.

*A Christmas to Remember
1200 W. Retta Esplanade Ave., Ste. 5, Fishermen’s Village
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
(941) 575-9627
http://www.achristmastorememberllc.com/

*Paradise Gifts
2200 Kings Hwy., Unit 1D, Mapleleaf Plaza
Port Charlotte, FL 33980
(941) 627-2664

*Charles of the Village Salon & Day Spa
Fishermen’s Village
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
(941) 639-6300
http://www.charlesofthevillage.com/

*Emmett’s Day Spa
1221 S. McCall Rd.
Englewood, FL 34223
(941) 475-3310
http://www.emmettsspa.com/

*Blanchard House Museum of African-American History & Culture
406 Martin Luther King Blvd.
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
(941) 575-7518

*Charlotte County Historical Center
22959 Bayshore Rd.
Charlotte Harbor, FL 33980
(941) 629-7278
http://www.charlottecountyfl.com/historical/

*Blue Heron Pines Golf Course
29200 S. Jones Loop Rd., Lot 28
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
(941) 637-6191
(800) 579-6191
http://www.solsticecommunities.com/blueheron/

*Bobcat Trail Golf and Country Club
1350 Bobcat Trl.
North Port, FL 34288
(941) 429-0500
http://www.bobcattrailgc.com/

*Port Charlotte Beach Park
4500 Harbor Blvd.
Port Charlotte, FL 33952
(941) 627-1628

*Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center
75 Taylor St.
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
(941) 833-5444
http://www.charlotteharborecc.com/

Where to Stay

Tourists can either choose to spend their vacation in room accomodations or in campsites when in Charlotte Harbor. Listed are as follows.

Accomodations:

*Banana Bay Waterfront Motel
23285 Bayshore Rd.,
Port Charlotte, FL 33980
(941) 743-4441
www.bananabaymotel.com/

*Harbor Pointe
5121 Melbourne Street,
Port Charlotte, FL 33980
(941) 627-9930

*Four Points By Sheraton Punta Gorda Harborside
33 Tamiami Trail,
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
Phone: (941) 637-6770
Fax: (941) 637-6775

*The Wyvern Hotel Punta Gorda
101 East Retta Esplanade,
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
(941) 639-7700
www.thewyvernhotel.com/

*Fishermen’s Village Villas
1200 W Retta Esplanade,
Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Camping Grounds:

*Alligator Park, Inc.
6400 Taylor Rd., Lot 112
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
(941) 639-7000
http://www.alligatorpark.com/

*Gulf View Encore RV Resort
10205 Burnt Store Rd.
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
(941) 639-3978
(877) 237-2757
http://www.rvonthego.com/

*Harbor Lakes
3737 El Jobean Rd. (S.R. 776)
Port Charlotte, FL 33953
(941) 624-4511
(800) 468-5022

*Peace River Mobile Home, RV Park, & Fishing Camp
29208 Snook Cir.
Punta Gorda, FL 33982
(941) 639-2819

Where to Eat

Tourists in Charlotte Harbor have a lot of dining choices—seafood restaurants, waterfront eateries, restaurants for fine dining, and corporate-managed food chains. Dining hotspots in Charlotte Harbor include Punta Gorda, Fishermen’s Village, and Dearborn Street. Listed here are some of the restaurants that one may want to try.

*Bella Luna Italian Restaurant
1200 W. Retta Esplanade, Fishermen’s Village
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
(941) 575-4544
http://www.bellaluna-restaurant.com/

*Benedetto’s Steakhouse
300 W. Retta Esplanade
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
(941) 639-9695
http://www.benedettosmartinibarsteakhouse.com/

*Captain’s Table
1200 W. Retta Esplanade, Fishermen’s Village
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
(941) 637-1177
http://www.smugglers.com/

*The Celtic Ray
145 E. Marion Ave.
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
(941) 505-9219

*Cubby’s Deli & Ice Cream
264 W. Marion Ave.
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
(941) 637-9600

*Daniels Steak & Seafood
3745 Cape Haze Dr.
Rotonda, FL 33947
(941) 697-4077

*Elenas South Restaurant
615 Cross St., Ste. 1101
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
(941) 575-1888

*Fishery Restaurant
13000 Fishery Rd.
Placida, FL 33946
(941) 697-2451
http://www.sunstate.com/fishery/

*Harborwalk Scoops & Bites
150 Laishley Ct., Unit 1111
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
(941) 505-8880
http://www.scoopsandbites.com/

*Harpoon Harry’s
1200 W. Retta Esplanade, Fishermen’s Village
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
(941) 637-1177

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