Once a booming port town, today’s downtown Punta Gorda centers around the Peace River with historic and new buildings filled with restaurants, galleries, and shops. Historic murals cover a number of the buildings.
Recently expanded Laishley Park has a full-service marina, huge seafood restaurant, riverwalk, and playground with interactive fountains. Must-try restaurants include The Perfect Caper for utmost ingenuity.
Away from downtown, shop at Fishermen’s Village on the way to Ponce de Leon Park and its wildlife rehab center. Monuments pay lip-service to the theory that the youth-seeking explorer met the poisoned arrow here that eventually ended his life.
About a one-hour drive from the Sanibel Causeway