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About The Area

Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands is nestled along Florida's Southwest Gulf Coast, between Sarasota and Naples, about 100 miles south of Tampa.

The area covers a diverse landscape of cities and towns. Choose from four island escapes: the barrier island community of Boca Grande; Palm Island, with its serene beaches accessible by ferry; secluded Don Pedro Island; and Little Gasparilla Island. For a small city experience, visit historic Punta Gorda, Englewood, or Port Charlotte. Picturesque and waterfront describe the towns of El Jobean; Manasota Key; Cape Haze; and Placida, a quaint fishing and arts village.

At 5 to 25 feet above sea level, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands enjoys a climate characterized as sub-tropic where extremes of temperature in both summer and winter are checked by the tempering influence of the Gulf of Mexico. Prevailing winds are an easterly average of 12 to 18 mph. The mild winter season lasts from January to March.

Numerous upland and aquatic preserve areas are yours to explore. Charlotte Harbor includes one of the world's largest protected marine estuaries encompassing 270 square miles with 219 miles of natural shoreline. Its confluence of the Peace and Myakka rivers comprises some of the most vibrant coastal areas in the state and a unique network of barrier islands and mangrove forests.

In addition to the preserves, natural amenities include miles of beaches; more than 70 parks and preserves; and fishing, paddling and sailing. For athletes and sports fans, the area is home to 16 golf courses and numerous annual sporting events and recreational facilities. Cultural pursuits take the forms of visual arts, theater, dance and music, perfect complements to the area's spas, dining and nightlife.

About the Charlotte Harbor Gulf Island Coast

Florida's premier year-round eco-tourism destination, Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach, The Charlotte Harbor Gulf Island Coast, 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 Gulf Island Coast 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.