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Capt. Tommy Thompson's Saltwater Angler's Guides

Tag: sheraton harborside

Resurrection at “Fat Point”–Punta Gorda Has Come A Long Way Since Hurricane Charley!

by on Aug.11, 2013, under TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA, Upper Charlotte Harbor

I remember driving from Gainesville to Fort Myers in the fall of 2004 and seeing nothing but blue tarps and crushed mangroves alongside I-75 south of the Venice exits.  That was the year we had to postpone the annual meeting of the Florida Outdoor Writers Association, and push it back to October.  And even two months later, when we finally had the Conference at Venice, much of southwest Florida was still in ruin.  Punta Gorda, or “fat point” as its name translates in Spanish, took the worst hit.  Many historic building were destroyed and the downtown was literally flattened and flooded.  Only a few structures remained, and those that did struggled.  Only after a huge community effort (and millions of dollars!) did Punta Gorda become what it is today.  Extremely walkable and bikeable, with over 50 independently-owned restaurants, shops and 4 very nice harbor-front hotels, Punta Gorda has become an excellent destination for anglers and sportsmen wanting to take advantage of Charlotte Harbor’s bounty.

The rooftop bar at the Wyvern Hotel is a great place to watch the sunset.

I can’t think of many more communities  the size of Punta Gorda that are more angler-friendly.  There are excellent boat ramps, marinas, and the city’s location at the mouth of the Peace River, in upper Charlotte Harbor, makes running to some great fishing spots easy.  You can read about fishing in The Saltwater Angler’s Guide To Tampa Bay and Southwest Florida, but now take a visual tour of “Fat Point”

Sunset along the waterfront at Punta Gorda

Dinner's great at Laishley Crab House, on the Peace River

Punta Gorda's bikes are free. Just be sure to return yours!

Laishley Park, Marina and Boat ramp complex is just upriver from town

Feeling old? Take a sip from Punta Gorda's Fountain of Youth. Just hold your nose!

Some original structure remains from pre-Hurricane Charley days.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night fun at Dean's Tex-Mex

Punta Gorda has over 50 independently-owned restaurants

The Sheraton Four Points Hotel is conveniently located harborside.

Fishermen's Village offers lodging, shopping, bars, restaurants, dockage and access to great charterboats!

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