Placida and ‘Old Florida’ fishing village
Placida is perhaps the center of the compass for this segment of the Gulf Coast. From the docks of this tiny but colorful fishing village, charter boats and nature cruises head out into Gasparilla Sound and Charlotte Harbor. Visitors can head south over the Boca Grande Causeway to the shops, beaches and superb fishing of Gasparilla Island or head north to the commercial and residential areas of Englewood and Port Charlotte.
Without question, however, Placida is old Florida. Surrounded by water, the area is scattered with cottages, shops and restaurants, all painted in the happy colors of the Caribbean. It also offers tropical art, whimsical gifts and fresh local seafood.
From the docks and fishing piers one can spot manatees, dolphin, white pelicans, egrets, great blue heron and dozens of other indigenous Florida species. At the same time, a parade of boats, both commercial and recreational, are known to pass by at idle speed.
Placida is a working waterfront community without chain stores or restaurants, but rather funky and unique gift shops.
Condos and marinas have attracted more residents and visitors to Placida every year. The area is known locally for two huge events that take place in March and October. The Placida Rotary Seafood Festival takes place in March at The Fishery Restaurant. For more information call the Fishery Restaurant at (941) 697-2451. The Placida Rotary Nautical Flea Market takes place in October. For more information call (941) 697-2271 ext. 2. Crab races, fresh seafood, island music and cold beverages are the main attractions at the annual festivals.
Placida visitors should stop a bit and take in the view before deciding how the rest of their day should pan out. The easy decision of heading north or south to the beach will be the hardest decision you will have to make while visiting this piece of paradise.