Many families plan their beach vacations in the summer because their children are out of school, but local families and now many travelers are discovering that fall is a wonderful time to be in Punta Gorda and Englewood Beach!

In the fall, the weather and the water are both still warm, there is room to move in popular tourist spots, no long wait times at restaurants, and there are lots of fun events and things to do for the whole family almost every weekend. 

These are a few reasons why it is easy to fall in love with Punta Gorda and Englewood Beach this fall! 

The Beach
The beach is always a fun place to visit. It’s a great place to let the kids splash and explore. Throughout the fall, the water is still warm and there is still some elbow-room on the beach for your family to spread out and play frisbee, swim and look for shells. 

Also, once we set back the clocks in November, the sun will set earlier so it’s easier to bring the kids out for the sunset without staying out too late. The weather starts getting a little cooler, and the humidity drops so it’s the perfect time to head to the beach for a beautiful sunset. 

Some excellent beaches to head to this fall are Englewood Beach, Stump Pass Beach State Park, and Port Charlotte Beach Park

Things to Do

Babcock Ranch Eco Tours
If you have never been on the famous swamp buggy at Babcock Ranch Eco Tours, you are missing out! This fall is the perfect time to experience the 90 minute tour because the weather is cooler and the swamp waters are up so you get that exclusive experience. 

The whole family will enjoy seeing unique, local animals and reptiles. Plus, a majority of the fun is riding through the swamp, and there is plenty of swamp after the summer rainy season. 

Laishley Park
What’s not to love about Laishley Park? From the gorgeous waterfront view to the amenities, you just can’t go wrong with stopping by for a family picnic one day this fall. Laishley Park is right on the harbor, and it is just gorgeous. The kids will love it, too, because there is a splash park and small playground to play on. 

Laishley Park is located at 120 Laishley Court in Punta Gorda. 

Peace River Wildlife Center
The Peace River Wildlife Center is home to small animals and birds that have been injured in the wild and cannot return to their natural habitat. It’s a definite must see! In the fall, it is not as crowded so there will be room to move from exhibit to exhibit without a lot of people blocking your view of the birds and animals. Also, it’s free to the public, and it’s next to an adorable park, beach, and nature trail. 

The Peace River Wildlife Center is located at 3400 Ponce de Leon Pkwy. in Punta Gorda. They are open from 11AM-4PM Sunday through Saturday.

Fall Events Around Town

Florida International Air Show 
The Florida International Air Show will be at the Punta Gorda Airport October 13-15th, 2017. Gates will open at 4:00 PM on Friday and performances are 5-9 PM. On Saturday and Sunday the gates open at 10:00 AM and the performances are from 12-4 PM. There will be several talented performers you will not want to miss. It's going to be an incredible show to watch. 

Dearborn Street Halloween Safe Walk
A fun tradition that many Englewood families have enjoyed for years is the Dearborn Street Halloween Safe Walk. The entire street is closed from 4:30-7:30 PM on Halloween night and businesses and community groups hand out candy along the street. Children, adults, and even pets show up in costume and walk up and down  Dearborn Street enjoying the festive atmosphere, candy, and activities. 

It’s a tradition you will want to start this year if you haven’t done it in the past! 

Haunting on the Harbor
Smuggler’s will be presenting it’s 8th annual Haunting of the Harbor this fall! This Halloween Festival and Haunted House is a treat for the whole family to enjoy. There will be kid’s rides and games, shows, bounce houses, laser tag, music, food, costume contests, and more! 

This exciting event will take place October 27th, 28th, and 31st from 5:00 - 11PM and on Friday, October 29th the haunted house is the only available attraction which will be open from 7:00 -10:00PM.

This will be located at 150 Laishley Ct. in Punta Gorda. Admission is $3 and children 3 and under are free. . 

These are just a few of the many reasons why southwest Florida is the place to be in the fall!