How to get to Punta Gorda, Florida?
The best way to get to the beaches of Punta Gorda and Englewood, FL is by flying directly into the Punta Gorda Airport, which is served by Allegiant Air, with flights from over 40 destinations in the eastern United States.
You can also fly into Southwest Florida International Airport, which is a 45-minute drive from to Punta Gorda and 90-minute drive to Englewood.
Since I was meeting the rest of the Men Who Blog group at the hotel, we did not each need a car for the weekend. From the Southwest Florida International Airport I took Charlotte Shuttles in a private town car. With 24-hour service and set pricing, it was the same price as Uber when I arrived, just with guaranteed service and no worries about surge pricing.
Six Things To Do in Punta Gorda in Two Days
Two days or a weekend getaway in Punta Gorda makes for the perfect guys weekend full of fun, food, and adventure. You can honestly spend a full week relaxing at the beach and enjoying a relaxed paced vacation, but a two day vacation in Punta Gorda is enough to experience it all.
1. Tarpon Fishing in Boca Grande Pass
No trip to Florida is complete without enjoying the marine wildlife. We woke up before dawn to embark on a Tarpon Fishing charter with Fish On Charters. The relaxing morning started off with sunrise over Boca Grande Pass before dropping our lines.
We spent several hours on the water trying out several different locations to catch our own 150 pound tarpon fish. While we did get many nibbles and a few bites, these massive fish can take an hour to reel in.
You can target Tarpon from March through October, but Captain Jordan Ingman runs charters throughout the year for smaller catches including Snook, Redfish and Trout.
2. ATV Rental at Florida Tracks and Trails
Get behind the wheel of an ATV and UTV and get ready to get muddy at Florida Tracks and Trails. Find that need for speed that you are missing on our ride to work.
They offer three intense off-road trails that provide enough excitement to beginner and advanced riders alike. Even if you pack light can enjoy this adrenaline pumping day as Florida Tracks & Trails provides on-site rentals with Florida Motorsports in Naples.
Read more about ATV riding at Florida Tracks and Trails on our complete experience guide.
3. Babcock Ranch Swamp Eco Tours
Climb aboard the Swamp Buggy for a tour back to old Florida at Babcock Ranch Swamp. The open air converted school bus winds its way through the historic Babcock Ranch, where the active cattle ranch has preserved thousands of natural acres.
We made our way through the flooded Telegraph Cypress Swamp, caught a glimpse of alligators at play, fed some wild hogs and said hello to the unique Florida Cracker cattle still being raised on the active ranch.
Babcock Ranch is also home to the Gator Shack Restaurant for some of the best home cooked fried fish in Punta Gorda, the perfect spot for lunch before your Eco Tour.
4. See Classic Cars at the Muscle Car City Museum
The Muscle Car City Museum is a private collection of over 200 classic cars making it one of the largest GM muscle car collections in the nation. The collection ranges from vintage corvettes to modern muscle cars and everything in between.
Since the museum is always rotating the collection, every time you visit Punta Gorda you have the chance to see a new hot rod.
5. Sample Florida Beer and Rum
A great guys vacation is not complete without tasting locally brewed beer and rum from Florida. Punta Gorda has several breweries, but my favorite is Fat Point Brewing. Enjoy a cold beer in a retro vibe and take guided tours offered by their Head Brewer every Saturday from 1-3pm.
Two blocks away is Alligator Bay Distillers, a craft distillery making rum and hooch with 100% Florida molasses. Owned and operated by brothers Alex and Ben, they offer a first hand look at the rum making process combined with their own personal story. Cheers to the local business of Florida!
6. Enjoy Stump Pass Beach State Park
Stump Pass Beach State Park is made up of three islands at the southern end of Englewood. Get your bathing suit on and get ready to enjoy some sun and sand. The mile long white sand beach is the perfect spot to hunt for seashells and shark teeth that have washed ashore.
The Best Restaurants in Punta Gorda
Located on the Gulf Coast of Florida, Punta Gorda has an abundance of fresh seafood to try at every meal. You will find a variety of fish, crabs and sometimes alligator on almost every menu. There .are also many local beers to try and cocktails to enjoy
Some of my favorite restaurants include Farlow’s On The Water, Peace River Seafood and the Gator Shack Restaurant at Babcock Ranch. Check out our complete guide to the five best restaurants in Punta Gorda.
Where to Stay in Englewood/Punta Gorda?
Rather than stay in the busier city of Punta Gorda we stayed on the laid back beachfront of Englewood along Florida’s Gulf Coast. We stayed at the WannaB Inn just steps from mile long Stump Pass Beach State Park.
I stayed in The Nautilus building on the complex, in a one-bedroom facing Lemon Bay. The room is decorated with retro-styled furnishings for a colorful and fun step back in time.
The room is equipped with a small kitchen with everything you need to prepare your own meals, a dining area and living room with an open floor plan, and of course the separate bedroom.
Steps from the elevator door is 900 feet of white sandy Gulf-front beach with several cabanas to get out of the sun and two relaxing pools if you are looking to stay out of the sand.