The soft Gulf beaches stretch for miles and never seem to be crowded. Most beaches have public amenities and those around Englewood are safe for young and old alike. If you prefer something with a more Caribbean setting, take a trip over the toll bridge onto Gasparilla Island. Caught in a time capsule, this beautiful little island hosts multi-million dollar properties and exciting beaches sharing their treasure chests of shells and fossiled sharks teeth with collectors. These beaches are perfect, but be aware that swimming is not permitted at the end of the island and most beaches do not have lifeguards on the island. You swim at your own risk.
The reason for the swimming ban at the end of the island will be apparent when you visit Boca Pass which is the main exit point for both the Myakka and the Peace rivers into the Gulf of Mexico. They come together and force their way through the pass creating racing currents which are beyond the average swimmer but dolphins love it there!
Fishing is a 'must' for the enthusiast and each year, the Tarpon game fish gather in the Boca Pass and offer great sport to both local and international anglers. The competitions are held just offshore and spectators get a marvelous view of the boats from one of the lighthouses situated at the waters edge. For a more peaceful day, anglers will find plenty of opportunity to take a boat out into the Gulf or the inter-coastal waterway with local experts and enjoy catching a wide range of large fish. Water enthusiasts will be in heaven with the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the secret world of the intra-coastal waterways. You will share the Gulf with pods of dolphins passing happily along the coast. The Intracoastal waterway separates the land from the sea in many places and is a boaters paradise playing host to a wide range of wildlife including the gentle manatee and particularly birds such as the 'white pelican', cormorants and the 'osprey'. They are actively encouraged to nest along the waterways and you can see dozens of them while you are enjoying the pleasures of boating.
Golf is a 'must' for many Americans and in an area where the weather is good and life is for enjoying, golf courses come as standard and you will be spoilt for choice.
There are currently 6 courses within the Rotonda Development and upwards of 30 outside within a 15-20 mile radius. From May to October the courses are quiet and tee times can often be arranged the same day. (See our Golf Scoop promotion for more details). Many of our rentals offer the 'Golf Scoop' promotion which gives you 'free' golf in low season and a minimal charge of $50 per person (max 2) in high season. See www.golf-gulf-florida.com for full details
Restaurants are everywhere and you can experience friendly and attentive service while enjoying a spectacular sunset or simply basking in the warmth of Florida's weather. It is not expensive eating out here, but if you are prepared to pay a little more, there are some excellent restaurants in the area, particularly in Port Charlotte and Boca Grande.
Shopping? Port Charlotte has its own mall (covered shopping center) which can be enjoyed by everyone. Venice is just a few miles up the road and has some very pretty shopping areas around the coast. There are 2 discount outlets, one to the north and one to the south. Between them they offer over 400 outlets!
Attractions are available, but don't miss the relaxed and leisurely pace of life in Charlotte, voted best small place to live in the South of the USA. You can kayak up the Myakka River, visit the Shell Factory, take a day to tour Captiva and Sanibel islands, visit nature reserves or even take a trip on a swamp buggy. You will leave Florida with more things on your list to do next time than you started with at the beginning of your visit.