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Charlotte County Attractions at a Glance

By Staff | Oct 27, 2009

Charlotte County has a lot to offer when it comes to family recreation and entertainment. With 70 parks and recreation areas and 12.5 miles of coastal beaches, those interested in outdoor leisure and sports have found their favorite place. For those with interests in kayaking, canoeing or boating, fishing, finding out about Florida history or taking in the fine arts the area has to offer, there is something for everything in Charlotte County.

Babcock Wilderness Adventures

Babcock Wilderness Adventures is a sure bet to satisfy the whole family. Located at 8000 State Road 31 in Punta Gorda, Babcock is true old Florida at its finest. Eco tours show visitors true Florida cowboys at work, many native species such as bobcats, panthers, alligators and more roam the acreage.

n All Tours by Reservation Only

n Peak season is November through May. Tours run daily 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

n June through October are morning tours only, call for availability.

n Tour rates are: $19.95 for adults and $12.95 for children (3-12).

Discounts are offered for groups of 20 or more. Call for additional information, directions, travel time, or information regarding the tour.

Toll Free – 1-800-500-5583 or e-mail adventure@babcockwilderness.com.

Charlotte County Historical Center

The Charlotte County Historical Center, at 22959 Bayshore Road on beautiful Charlotte Harbor, offers information that is sure to leave people saying, “I never knew that!”

The center’s focus is the rich history of the Charlotte County area. Permanent exhibits include information from pre-historic to World War II to current history. Smaller traveling exhibits also pass through its doors. The Live Oak Emporium, located in the museum, will delight visitors with a wide variety of old-fashioned toys, gifts and educational books.

The Charlotte County Historical Center is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., with additional office hours Monday – Friday from 8:30 – 10 a.m. They are closed Sundays and Mondays and most legal holidays.

Call (941) 629-PAST (7278) for information. You can also e-mail parks@charlottefl.com.

Charlotte Harbor

Environmental Center

Visitors to the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center can spend the day exploring trails and learning about native animals and plants. A beautiful building on the property has been set aside specifically as a gift shop and nature exhibit in itself.

But CHEC has a lot more active role in the community than that. The program takes a lot of time every year to educate youngsters on water quality issues in southwest Florida, as well as on boating safety.

The Alligator Creek Preserve is over 3,000 acres of state-owned land (Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park & Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves) of which the Center leases 20+ acres to provide recreational activities and environmental education opportunities to the citizens of the greater Charlotte Harbor area. The Alligator Creek Preserve is located in Punta Gorda at 10941 Burnt Store Road.

The Cedar Point Environmental Park is a 100+ acre section of land owned by the Charlotte County. CHEC has a contract with the county to provide the land management for this special and significant area. CHEC also makes available recreational activities and environmental education opportunities to the public via this site. The Cedar Point Environmental Park is located in Englewood Florida on Lemon Bay at 2300 Placida Road.

CHEC, which is located on Burnt Store Road in Punta Gorda, can be reached weekdays at 575-5435. You can also reach them by e-mail at chec@sunline.net.

Fishermen’s Village

Fishermen’s Village is Punta Gorda’s Premiere Shopping Destination that local Florida residents as well as international travelers put on their agenda as the place to visit! With a multitude of shops, restaurants and beautiful views of Charlotte Harbor, Fishermen’s Village is the perfect place for a fun, relaxing day!

Bring the boat and dock and dine at Harpoon Harry’s, The Captain’s Table, Bella Luna, The Village Fish Market or The Village Oyster Bar. With ample parking, Fishermen’s Village is convenient and easy to access. Christmas shopping is one-stop with over 33 boutiques and specialty shops making it easy to find that perfect gift for family and friends.

Shops are open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday 12 – 5 p.m. The Village also features Daily/Weekly Villa Vacation rentals, Boat Dockage, Fuel, Sunset/Out Island Cruises, Kayak and Boat Rentals, Military Museum, live entertainment and special events year round.

Fishermen’s Village is located at 1200 W. Retta Esplanade, off Marion Avenue, Punta Gorda, 941 639-8721. Visit on line at www.fishville.com.

Florida Military Heritage & Aviation Museum

This museum contains over 30,000 military and aviation artifacts, including medals, uniforms and equipment is located at Fishermen’s Village in Punta Gorda. All donations to this non-profit organizations are 100 percent tax deductible. They are open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from noon until 5 p.m. They are closed on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. They can be reached at 575-9002, info@mhaam.org or visit: www.mhaam.org.

Port Charlotte Town Center

A shopping dream, the Port Charlotte Town Center is located in the heart of Charlotte County, a convenient drive for everyone. With over 100 stores and restaurants and anchor stores Beall’s, Dillard’s, JC Penney, Macy’s and Sears, the largest Sam Goody in Florida and a huge food court, it may take more than a day to take it all in. Regal 16 Cinemas also has its home within the mall.

They are located at 1441 Tamiami Trail in Port Charlotte and can be reached at 624-4447. Their Web site is ww.simon.com.

The Visual Arts Center

Fine arts are on display again in southwest Florida at The Visual Arts Center. Founded in 1961, this collaboration of artists grows every year as more lovers or art move to the area.

Many talented artists are unveiled at any given time, with programs to enhance the lives of visual artists and art lovers The group holds classes, programs, workshops, lectures and open studio opportunities. Exhibits are held throughout the year.

The offices of The Visual Arts Center are located at 210 Maud St. in Punta Gorda. They can be reached at 639-8810, vac@daystar.net or on the Web at: www.visualartscenter.com.