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Charlotte Harbor & The Gulf Islands, the name representing the diverse areas served by the Charlotte County Visitor’s Bureau, is located halfway between Tampa and Naples on the Southwest Florida Gulf coast.

  • Established in 1921; population approximately 154,438
  • 701 square miles; 448,640 acres
  • Florida Marine Research Institute relays shoreline mileage for Charlotte County at 830 miles including river passages, mangrove edged aquatic preserve and 28 miles of sandy beaches
  • Approximately 84% of the Charlotte Harbor estuary shoreline is preserved upland with 38% of county land set side for conservation. Conservation Charlotte, a legislative initiative passed by area voters in November 2006, will generate $77 million to purchase additional lands for conservation.
  • Canoe/Kayak Charlotte Harbor Blueway Trails – 53 trails for a total of 197.8 miles
  • 365 miles of canals: 190 miles of saltwater and 175 miles of freshwater
  • Charlotte Harbor, fed by the Peace and Myakka rivers is the 17th largest estuary in the nation and the 2nd largest estuary in the state encompassing 270 square miles
  • The 105-mile long Peace River is one of the longest rivers in Florida which finds its terminus in Charlotte Harbor. The Spanish are credited for naming the waterway in 1544 as Rio de la Paz - river of peace.
  • The Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park is the 4th largest state park of which 30,000 acres are in Charlotte County. Enjoy the vast hiking opportunities including the Old Datsun Trail
  • Babcock/Webb Wildlife Management Area encompasses 79,013 acres or 124 square miles of the largest undisturbed pine flatwoods in SW Florida and the 7th largest wildlife management area in the State
  • Designated one of the top ten sailing destinations by SAIL magazine
  • Ranked 3rd "Best in America" to live and golf by Golf Digest, August 2005; "…golf has surpassed baseball as the national pastime for a generation of Americans now more intent on playing than watching sports."
  • 256 species of fish (salt and freshwater). Charlotte Harbor "…one of the most popular sport fishing locales in Florida." Report study by National Wildlife Federation and the Florida Wildlife Federation (June 2006)
  • Charlotte Harbor's fishing and birding experience is bolstered by the vast protection of Harbor upland and marine sanctuaries including Island Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Island Bay is only 1 out of 4 coastal marine wilderness areas in the United States. The Refuge was established as a "…preserve and breeding ground for native birds" on October 23, 1908, by President Theodore Roosevelt and signed into Public Law in 1970 by President Richard Nixon.

About Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands

Florida's premier year-round eco-tourism destination, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands is known for its pristine, unspoiled beauty. The area has hosted seven major feature films, been featured on SAIL magazine's list of the "10 Greatest Places to Sail in the United States," ranked by Golf Digest as the "Third Best Place to Live and Play Golf in America," and rated by MONEY magazine as one of the "Best Places to Live in the South." For information about area events, activities and attractions, contact the Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf Islands Visitor and Convention Bureau, 18500 Murdock Circle, Suite B-104, Port Charlotte, FL; 941-743-1900, or call toll free at 1-800-652-6090 for a free Visitor's Guide; or visit the Web site at CharlotteHarborTravel.com.