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The beaches of Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach(27.3 miles) line miles of the Gulf coast. Most are easily accessible yet quiet and remote. Our beaches attract our local treasure of abundant birds, dolphins, sea turtles and other wildlife. There are usually no big crowds here, just plenty of white sand lapped by gentle waves from the Gulf of Mexico and decorated with colorful shells and fossilized shark teeth. Beachfront park facility featuring pavilion, boardwalk, grills, picnic shelters, playground, volleyball and basketball courts, fishing, horseshoes and restrooms. Beach necessities (chairs, umbrellas, etc.) available via on-site vendor "The Beach Guy"
Everyone should go there at least once when visiting the area, don’t go just for the food, enjoy the beach bar after or during your beach visit. You never know what you’re gonna get from an entertainment perspective, but the drinks are good and the people watching can be outstanding!
Located an hour’s drive south of Sarasota on Lemon Bay, Englewood is known for its mellow beaches, birding, and any and every activity related to being on the water. On the mainland lies Old Englewood Village, a classic old Florida main street with pastel cottages and sidewalk cafes, while over the bridge, you’ll find the white-sand beaches of Manasota Key. These barrier islands and the surrounding area are riven with waterways just begging to be explored by kayak or canoe. Cast a line to catch a snook and bring your binoculars to spot an osprey, or, if you’re lucky, catch a glimpse of the elusive manatee. In the summer, loggerhead turtles nest on the island. Should you tire of the waterfront, there’s plenty more to do in the area: hit the golf course, visit the mineral springs in North Port, catch a spring training baseball game at Port Charlotte, or drive past the curious planned community of Rotonda West.
Most major airlines fly into Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), about an hour’s drive to the north. You might also try the smaller Punta Gorda Airport (PGD), which is a little bit closer (45 minutes east) but has more limited routes, served mostly by regional and low-cost airlines. You’ll likely want to rent a car at the airport, especially if you want to explore nearby destinations like Nokomis (20 minutes north) or Siesta Key (45 minutes north).
As the tourist brochure likes to say, it’s always summer in Sarasota County. Most people prefer to visit Englewood in the fall, winter, and spring, when temperatures are almost always in the 70s Fahrenheit and Gulf breezes bring maximum comfort. In the actual summer, though, the region is less than ideal, weatherwise. It can be rainy and hot, with temperatures in the 90s, not to mention humid and buggy. The water temperature is good for swimming all year round, rarely dropping below 68 degrees.
Just across the bridge from historic downtown Englewood, Manasota Key is home to some of the Sarasota area’s least crowded beaches. You can go for a birding walk through secluded Stump Pass Beach, looking out for frigate birds as well as gopher tortoises and manatees, or hunt for shells and shark teeth at low tide on the busier Englewood Beach.
Waters from seven tributaries converge in this long, shallow bay that separates downtown Englewood from Manasota Key. Surrounded by seagrass, marsh, and mangroves, this biodiverse ecosystem supports some 150 bird species and 200 species of fish. You can charter an eco-tour or explore on your own with a rental kayak.
These adjacent islands offer miles of beachfront to explore, as well as the sand dunes and mangrove forests of Don Pedro Island, a 230-acre state park that’s accessible only by ferry boat. Don’t forget your rod and reel, swimsuit, and SPF — and watch out for nesting sea turtles.