Derived from the Spanish name for “fat point,” Punta Gorda is a picturesque town situated along the Charlotte Harbor in southwest Florida. The quaint and quiet town is well-known as a fishing mecca, and anglers flock to this region of Florida in hopes of catching tarpon, snook, red drum, grouper, and spotted seatrout in the Peace River, Charlotte Harbor, or Gulf of Mexico. Ideally located between Sarasota and Fort Myers, Punta Gorda is pleased to protect its small town charm and characterization as a sleepy, friendly fishing town. Residents appreciate the peaceful lifestyle and Old Florida charm.
The history of Punta Gorda dates back to two Native American tribes, the Calusas Indians and later the Seminole Indians. For a period of time, European settlers and the Seminole Indians lived peacefully side by side in Punta Gorda. However, pride, egos, and chicanery proved deadly when the tribe’s leader, Billy Bowlegs, who was angry at actions of surveyor Lt. Gill Harstuff, set ablaze the trading post. Many Native Americans and settlers lost their lives, and the trading post was never rebuilt. Today, the road leading to the historic site is known as “Burnt Store Road,” and the trading post is “Burnt Store Marina,” a waterfront complex with 525 boat slips, ship store, tennis courts, swimming pool, golf course, clubhouse, and popular restaurants including Cass Cay and Linkside Cafe.