Travel | Top Instagrammable Spots in Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach
Are you planning a vacation to Florida? There’s still plenty of summer left and Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach has appointed their top spots in the destination to snap your Instagram-worthy summer memories in partnership with thier Summer Memories Photo Contest where guests can submit their photographs for a chance to experience the destination firsthand. Set on the Gulf Coast, halfway between Sarasota and Fort Myers, Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach is the optimal shore holiday full of classical Old Florida beauty, dramatic outdoor activities and plenty of things to do and see. The destination provides ample photo opportunities for Instagrammable shots that will dazzle for years to come. Here are some stunning places in Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach to experience summer and make some post-worthy memories of your own.
Situated on the roof of The Wyvern Hotel, Perch 360 is a delightful restaurant and bar boasting magnificent views of downtown Punta Gorda and the scenic Charlotte Harbor. Visitors can enjoy refreshing cocktails and a tapas style meal as they observe the sun disappear below the horizon. A farm-to-table menu allows Perch 360 to present the highest-quality elements, either garnered from local merchants, or picked straight from the hotel’s rooftop herb garden. And with a vegan chef who has created menu items catering to most dietary restrictions, Perch 360 is the ideal place to gather and feel welcome among friends and family.
Housed in a traditional Old Florida Cracker Shack, Peace River Seafood Restaurant & Market is an unassuming eatery that is a legend and a favorite among those in the know. The restaurant and adjoining market are supplied daily with freshly caught seafood from the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding waters. Peace River Seafood’s menu offerings change frequently, at the will of the sea, but they are most well-known for their Florida Blue Crabs. With a blue shell that turns red once cooked, the All You Can Eat Blue Crab Special is a delicious meal and perfect photo op that sells out every day the restaurant is open. Call ahead to make sure they have plenty of blue crab available before you visit.
With 100 housing contracts signed, and expanding daily, the sustainable community of Babcock Ranch has much to offer for visitors and locals alike. Home to the largest solar-plus-storage system in the U.S.A., this sustainable city has many ways it utilizes renewable energy to provide their residents with power. They have a massive solar panel field, a gym with work out machines that produce energy and pump it back into the system and solar trees scattered throughout the community. The solar trees are a great photo op and are an innovative combination of technology, functionality, and art.
As Florida’s second-largest marine estuary, the Charlotte Harbor offers visitors over 200 miles of mapped out aquatic pathways perfect for exploration. One of the best ways to explore Charlotte Harbor is with a stand-up paddleboard or kayak rental from Hooked On SUP. Go on your own or with a guided tour, a favorite excursion is the Don Pedro Island Guided Mangrove Tunnel and Beach Paddle. Glide through a mangrove tunnel that leads into a hidden lagoon and then continue on to the remote Don Pedro Island State Park Beach. This beach is only accessible by boat, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard and is one of the most unspoiled and private islands in Florida.
Sift Through the Sand for Fossilized Shark Teeth
The Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach area has some of the most natural and pristine beaches in all of Florida due to the off the beaten path nature of the destination. The sugar-soft sand is dotted with fossilized shark teeth, which wash up on shore from the prehistoric days. Keep your eyes open, as it is easy to find many fossilized shark teeth within the first 10 minutes of being at the beach. They are exciting to find among the shells and a perfect natural souvenir to bring home to your friends and family.
Stump Pass Beach State Park is a place where locals and visitors alike can dip their toes in sugar-soft sand, splash in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and enjoy a beautiful stretch of undeveloped Florida coastline. Scattered throughout the park, you can easily spot the famous Stump Pass Shell Trees, which are old tree stumps or pieces of driftwood that have shells hanging on their branches. There are many legends surrounding the Shell Trees, the most widely accepted being that beach-goers place shells on the tree to make a wish. Join in the fun by finding a shell, placing it on the tree and fulfil your dreams!
Experience Old Florida by sea with a Riding The Waves aquatic eco-tour. Perched atop a personal motorized catamaran, guests can experience the unparalleled beauty and wonder of Florida’s Gulf Coast as they navigate the pristine waters surrounding the Lemon Bay Aquatic Preserve. These eco-tours are held often and can be booked individually, with each outing allowing for guests to soak in the warm sunshine and salty breeze as they explore mangrove estuaries, seagrass flats, sandy beaches and the wildlife that call these habitats home.
Located on the beautiful waters of Charlotte Harbor, this unique one-stop-shop is a fun combination of waterfront restaurants, boutiques and full-service marina. Spend a leisurely afternoon strolling the boardwalk, admiring the waterfront view and exploring the many unique boutique shops. Fishermen’s Village is a lively cultural hub in Punta Gorda where visitors can get lost in the plentiful offerings available through every door. Perfect for souvenir shopping, Fishermen’s Village also offers a collection of free annual events and concerts open for public enjoyment.
There are many perfect opportunities to catch a dazzling sunset in Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach. From one of the area beaches, private islands or aboard a sunset cruise with King Fisher Fleet, there is no wrong way to watch the bright, golden sun dip below the Gulf of Mexico and transition the day into twilight.
Surrounded by colorful flowers and greenery, Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens is an outdoor oasis that provides one of the best places for visitors to relax, unwind and become fully immersed in nature. A wooden pedestrian boardwalk weaves throughout the garden, and while visitors are exploring, they are encouraged to keep an eye out for the many sculptures dotted along the path. The property spans 27 acres, 17 of which are developed with manicured shrubbery and modern art, while the other 10 acres remain as natural waterways, marshland and heritage mangroves. Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens is relatively new to the public having opened their doors in Fall 2017. It is set to become one of the largest sculpture and botanical gardens in the state of Florida.
Florida is well-known for its marine life, but for a more unique Old Florida experience, take a wildlife adventure with Babcock Ranch Eco Tours. A refurbished school bus takes visitors through the working Babcock Ranch surrounded by indigenous wildlife, Florida cracker cattle, citrus groves, prairies and improved pastures. Babcock Ranch is beautiful and among the last undeveloped expanses of wet pine flatwoods in Southwest Florida. Plenty of wildlife can be seen from the safety of the swamp buggy including alligators, the resident Florida panther, snakes and more.
With all of these fantastic locations to capture your summer memories, it is no surprise that KAYAK recently selected the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach one of the trendiest destinations for 2018. If you would like to visit the area, we are currently hosting a Summer Memories Photo Contest where you are encouraged to submit a photo that best captures your favorite summer memory for a chance to win a one-week vacation for four to Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach. Winners, will receive complimentary airfare through Allegiant Air, which offers nonstop service to over 40 cities, a seven-night stay at Palm Island Resort and dining/activity gift cards.