Here is my very quick take on a few of the parks located here in Punta Gorda, Florida. Each one unique and each on offering so much to locals and visitors. I hope this inspires you to plan a day visiting one or all!
400 W. Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda, FL 33950
If you love to people watch, Gilchrist Park is a great option! Set on 11 waterfront acres it draws many visitors each day. Encouraging these visitors are the park’s many amenities including a large playground; basketball, tennis and pickleball courts; fishing pier, gazebo, picnic pavilions, and lost of open green space.
While walking or lunching in the park, I have watched a group practicing Tai Chi, at that time it was only a $10 drop in rate if you wanted to join, artists set up their easels and paint beautiful pictures of the landscape, multigenerational families playing together on the playground and friends best each other on the pickleball court. It really does have something for everyone.
100 Nesbit Street, Punta Gorda, FL 33950
Laishley Park will make you wish you were a kid again! It’s interactive fountain, proximity to Scoops Ice Cream and clean bathroom facilities makes it an ideal spot to bring the littlest littles in your life. For the big kids, it’s a great place to check out all sorts of boats in the marina and those trekking across the harbor. With 16 beautiful acres and well defined walking paths, it is also a great place for a stroll or jog. Take the time to walk down the 400 foot fishing pier, feel the breeze in your hair and watch the breathtaking sunsets we enjoy so much here. If you catch the right weekend, local students gather at Laishley Park before the Punta Gorda Middle School farewell dance, Charlotte High Prom and formal night to take pictures with family and friends making memories that will last them a lifetime. The park also hosts many concerts and festivals throughout the year providing plenty of opportunity for family fun all year.
THE PUNTA GORDA NATURE PARK
1555 Aqui Esta Blvd., Punta Gorda, FL 33950
For real, I got lost here!! It is 21 acres, no judgements please! Located in middle of Punta Gorda Isles, it is known for its beautiful topiaries. You can’t miss the large butterfly and the dancing dolphins as you pass by. Pull on into the parking lot and you will see just how much you can learn from the dedicated group, PGI Green Thumbs, that keeps this park in tip top shape! No only is there an opportunity to learn about all of the plants located in the park through educational programs and on site placards, it is a great place for bird watching and taking photographs. If you do decide to venture down the paths, wear sneakers! You will likely come across some wet areas, ants and the like.
PONCE DE LEON PARK
3400 Ponce De Leon Parkway, Punta Gorda, FL 33950
Looking to stick your toes in the sand, but don’t want to travel. Look no further than Ponce Park. This park has so much going on! The man made beach is a great location to bring your beach chair and a book. Look out over the harbor and watch the boats come in and out of the the inlet. They have a large covered picnic area, playground, a fishing pier, boat launch, and mangrove boardwalk. And of course it is home to the Peace River Wildlife Center. Stop in for an up close and personal look at bald eagles, pelicans, pink flamingos and many other birds who are enjoying their time there. This is a very popular spot to watch the sunset. If you go to see the sunset during season, get there early as parking fills up fast!
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