6 Communities in Punta Gorda
Punta Gorda is a quaint coastal town in Southwest Florida near Fort Myers. Retirees can enjoy year-round warm weather, local downtown amenities, and boating. The local charm of this old port town with easy access to nearby larger communities make it an attractive community for active adults.
Climate & Geography
Located on the southwestern coast, Punta Gorda experiences a subtropical climate, with very hot summers and warm and dry winters. Based in the south bank of the Peace River and the eastern shore of the Charlotte Harbor off the Gulf of Mexico, most residential areas are on the water. As with much of Florida, summers are part of the wet season, where the city receives more rainfall than the rest of the U.S. However, there are still approximately 267 days of sunshine a year, and Punta Gorda receives no snow or frost.
The city does experience a small breeze from the Gulf of Mexico, but between the harbor and inland swampland, the air tends to stay more humid. Surrounding city Port Charlotte is a large, built-out planned community.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
Punta Gorda is known for its emphasis on wildlife and outdoor recreation. Three centers, the Peace River Wildlife Center, Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary and Rehabilitation Center, and the Babcock Ranch Preserve all offer wildlife tours and education. There are plenty of parks with walking and biking trails, including the Harborwalk and Laishley Park.
Rather than a traditional downtown, Punta Gorda’s main city center is the Fishermen’s Village, which boasts over 30 small boutiques, five restaurants, and water cruises and tours on a waterfront marina. Fans of history can also visit the Muscle Car City Museum.
Cost of Living & Taxes
The overall cost of living is higher than the national average because of the cost of housing. Health care, utilities, and transportation are all far below the national average, whereas groceries tend to match the rest of the U.S.
Without income tax in Florida, residents only pay sales and property taxes. The local sales tax is 7 percent, which is typical of the state, and property taxes are below average. Punta Gorda has not raised property taxes in over 5 years.
The Fort Myers metro area usually scores very well on Gallup’s Well-Being Index, ranking just last year in the top 6 metro areas across the country.
Although Punta Gorda does not have any nationally ranked hospitals, it does have one hospital within city limits: Bayfront Health Punta Gorda. In surrounding Port Charlotte, Fawcett Memorial Hospital and Bayfront Health Port Charlotte are both ranked by U.S. News as high performing. Nearby Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers is ranked the No. 14 hospital in Florida, as well.