Welcome to Charlotte County

Charlotte County MapWelcome to Charlotte County, including Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands, a tranquil getaway on Florida’s Southwest Gulf Coast. Florida’s premier eco-tourism destination, we are off the beaten path and away from the crowds. A place where the pace of life moves with the rhythm of the tides and hospitality is measured in warm, friendly greetings.

Charlotte Harbor offers world-class boating, fishing, and sailing in one of SAIL Magazine’s “10 Greatest Places to Sail.” Abundant nature explorations, include paddling on hundreds of miles of Blueways trails, exploring five National Wild Life Refuges and discovering prime birding opportunities for spectacular photography excursions. Relax on our uncrowded beaches and enjoy unique shopping and dining experiences and a thriving arts community.

Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands – Come take advantage of our good nature.

Fast Facts

  • Established in 1921; population approximately 157,000
  • 701 square miles; 448,640 acres
  • Florida Marine Research Institute relays shoreline mileage for Charlotte County at 830 miles including river passages, mangrove-edged aquatic preserve and 28 miles of sandy beaches.
  • Approximately 84% of the Charlotte Harbor is preserved land.
  • Canoe/Kayak Blueway Trails – 53 trails for a total of 197.8 miles throughout Charlotte Harbor
  • 365 miles of canals; 190 miles of saltwater and 175 miles of freshwater
  • Charlotte Harbor, fed by the Peace and Myakka rivers, is the 17th largest estuary in the nation and the 2nd largest estuary in the state encompassing 270 square miles.
  • The 105-mile long Peace River is one of the longest rivers in Florida; it finds its terminus in Charlotte Harbor. The Spanish are credited for naming the waterway in 1544 as Rio de la Paz, “river of peace.”
  • The Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park is the 4th largest state park, of which 30,000 acres are in Charlotte County. Enjoy the vast hiking opportunities including the Old Datsun Trail.
  • Babcock/Webb Wildlife Management Area encompasses 79,013 acres or 124 square miles of the largest undisturbed pine flat-woods in SW Florida and the 7th largest management area in the state.
  • Designated one of the top ten sailing destinations by SAIL magazine
  • Ranked 3rd “Best in America” to live and golf by Golf Digest; “… golf has surpassed baseball as the national pastime for a generation of Americans now more than intent on playing than watching sports.”

Charlotte County TodayIncome Demographic Snapshot

Charlotte County is known for its outstanding medical services. Having one of the highest health care providers to population ratios in the U.S. plus 3 major regional hospitals, there is no need to look elsewhere for almost any health need.

Whatever your interests, whether they be in water sports, the natural environment, music and the arts, or just plain fellowship, Charlotte County has it all plus a safe, friendly environment at a most reasonable cost.

The Best Place to Live in the South

Charlotte County boasts an unbeatable combination of reasons that make it “The Best Place to Live in the South”.

  •  Sunny, sub-tropical climate
  •  Clean air and water
  •  125 square miles of open, navigable waters
  •  Affordable housing
  •  Projected job growth nearly triple the national average
  •  Wide variety of recreational activities
  •  Low crime rate (59% below the national average) Port Charlotte

Charlotte County Schools

Charlotte County is host to over 25 public and private elementary, middle and high schools. Florida elementary and middle schools are graded by the Florida Department of Education according to the FCAT results. High school grades are computed on FCAT and several other factors [graduation rate (overall and at-risk populations), participation and performance in rigorous advanced courses, college readiness (Reading and Math)]. The scores compiled from the FCAT testing during the 2010-2011 school year earned our school district the designation of an “A” district as well as being an Academically High Performing District.


  • Ponce de Leon arrived in Charlotte Harbor in 1513, after landing in St. Augustine and returned again in 1521.
  • Punta Gorda was the southern-most stop on Florida’s west coast railroad system in 1886.
  • Esso produced an upside down map (South at the top, North at the bottom) from New York to Florida in 1961 to make it easier for tourists to get to Florida.
  • Teddy Roosevelt fished in Charlotte Harbor in March, 1917, and caught a 16 foot manta ray.
  • Charlotte Harbor was named after the British Queen Charlotte by surveyor, Bernard Romans in a 1774 visit.
  • Gasparilla Inn on Boca Grande has been host to famous visitors, John F. Kennedy, J.P. Morgan, and Presidents George H. and George W. Bush.
  • Punta Gorda hotels have had notable visitors Thomas Edison and Al Capone.
  • How did Tamiami Trail get its name? It runs between Tampa and Miami. It was completed in 1928 for a cost of $13 million.
  • In the 1700s, there were Cuban fishing villages throughout the islands in the Harbor, know as “ranchos” to facilitate the commercial fishing trade with Cuba.
  • Punta Gorda was described as a “small tourist town” in March, 1921, on a postcard that John Licht sent to his daughter in Michigan, describing bathing and splendid fishing.
  • Films shot in the Charlotte Harbor area include: HOOT starring Jimmy Buffet and Logan Lerman, Out of Time starring Denzel Washington, Just Cause starring Sean Connery and Lawrence Fishburne, Palmetto starring Woody Harrelson, Pink Cadillac starring Clint Eastwood and Gone Fishin’ starring Joe Pesci and Danny Glover.

Call our Customer Service Center at 1-800-890-4018 or Contact Us today!