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Scenic Views of Beautiful Charlotte Harbor
By Cathy Perry
Welcome to Punta Gorda! There is plenty to do while visiting our wonderful community.
Let’s take a walk through the community on the beautiful 2.4 mile Harbor Walk. Starting at Bayfront Health Hospital, walk west on this scenic route along the shoreline, where you will enjoy views of Charlotte Harbor and the Peace River. With mangrove forests, sweeping vistas, shops, waterfront dining and historical sites, there is always something to see and do.
Along the route is Laishley Park. This park is a true treasure and many events are held here. As you round the corner of the Harbor Walk to the park, take a moment to admire the “Spirit of Punta Gorda” sculpture. It is a reminder of how the community of Punta Gorda persevered after the vast destruction from Hurricane Charley in 2004. As you continue through Laishley Park, take a moment to visit the Vietnam Wall; a tribute beyond words, funded by community donations. If you’re hot, you can cool off in the Interactive Fountain (a real treat for children). Shops, restaurants, ice cream and boating are just a few more things to experience at Laishley Park.
As you continue your journey, you will see historic murals that are part of Punta Gorda’s Mural Walk. Murals are painted on the sides of buildings throughout the city depicting historical events, figures and locations, and each mural was painted by a local artist. Visit the Punta Gorda Historic Society’s website for an interactive map of the murals.
The Harbor Walk continues under the bridges of US 41, where you can see parts of the old Punta Gorda bridge and lots of fish. You will walk past waterfront dining locations and the Charlotte Harbor Convention Center.
A little further, you come upon another beautiful park, Gilchrist Park. Again, the breathtaking views of the harbor and nature are seen at their best. Gilchrist Park is a very popular location from which to watch a spectacular Punta Gorda sunset! There are frequent festivals, picnic tables for social gatherings, musical jam sessions and drum circles in the pavilions and Gazebo. There is also a children’s playground, and several courts for activities like pickleball, tennis and basketball.
As we get to the end of our walk, we find the Military Heritage Museum and Fishermen’s Village:
The Military Heritage Museum is more than a large collection of US military items. The theater hosts movie and live entertainment. You can also enjoy interactive and virtual-reality exhibits, laser shooting, flight simulators and more.
Fishermen’s Village, once a quaint fishing village, is now home to over 40 unique boutiques and restaurants. Fishermen’s Village is also a marina for the boating community, as well as rental suites and amenities for guests. After shopping, enjoy a cruise out on the Harbor with King Fisher Fleet’s Sunset Cruise.