Port Charlotte is a city in South Florida located roughly 30 miles north of Fort Myers and 40 miles south of Sarasota on the gulf coast of Florida. Port Charlotte boasts a growing population of 46,451 (2000 census). Port Charlotte became nationally recognized when in August, 2004, Hurricane Charley, took a last minute turn and devastated the area and surrounding city of Punta Gorda.
A town boasting a population of approximately 45,000, Port Charlotte has become a tourist destination for many who want the beauty of Florida, but not the tourist crowds of Orlando or Tampa. Nestled in Charlotte Harbor, visitors can take cruises through the harbor, play a round of mini-golf or swim in the harbor.
Port Charlotte is accessible by boat, plane or car. Located just off of I-75, Port Charlotte's town center is approximately a 5 minute drive. Visitors can also reach Port Charlotte by traveling along Tamiami Trail (US 41), which runs parallel to I-75. From Tampa, travelers must head South. Fort Myers requires travelers to travel North.
By plane, travelers should travel to Punta Gorda Airport, 15 minutes from Port Charlotte. Alternatives include Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, or Sarasota Bradenton Airport in Sarasota. Both of these airports are between a 45 minute - 1 hour drive from Port Charlotte.
Port Charlotte has one primary expressway, I-75, which runs north to south. The major roads within Port Charlotte include the Tamiami Trail (which is the name given to US 41 between Tampa and Miami) running north-to-south, and El Jobean Rd/Veterans' Blvd. (FL-776) running east-to-west.
By boat, visitors can reach Port Charlotte by entering Charlotte Harbor. However, rental spaces for boats are limited and can be expensive.
Red Lobster, Olive Garden, TGI Fridays, Steak Houses and Sea Food Restaurants along with all the major fast food places. There is a wide variety of places to eat in Port Charlotte.
Port Charlotte is quickly becoming a tourist destination for those who want the convenience of being close to major cities, such as Sarasota, Tampa, Fort Myers, and Naples, yet want a quiet place to relax. Port Charlotte is home to several hotels, including Best Western, and also has a fabulous rental company, Port Charlotte Florida Homebuilders, which rents out hundreds of homes in the cities. These homes have their own private pools and are quite large, ranging from 2000 square feet to 3000 square feet.