Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach, Florida: 5 Dream Beaches and Islands
Explore 17 kilometers of unspoiled, crowd-free beaches perfect for beachcombing, watersports and getting away from it all.
If you’re looking for award-winning Florida beaches without the big crowds, you’re going to love Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach. Located on Florida’s southwest coast near Charlotte Harbor, the region's 17 kilometers of beaches are replete with colorful shells, fossilized sharks’ teeth and warm Gulf of Mexico waters as far as the eye can see.
Englewood Beach – Great for Families & Watersports
For a full-service, family-friendly beach, visit Englewood Beach. This fantastic destination has all of the amenities that make for a great Florida beach vacation: picnic pavilions, a playground, water sports such as WaveRunner rentals and parasailing tours, chair and umbrella rentals, and a short walk to nearby shopping and dining.
Don Pedro Island State Park – Off the Beaten Path
Escape to the private-island feel of Don Pedro Island State Park. This unspoiled beach has conveniences such as restrooms, a picnic pavilion and an outdoor shower, but its remote location, reached only by boat, kayak or passenger ferry, makes it feel worlds away. Collect fossilized sharks’ teeth along the shore, hike the sandy trails amid native vegetation and snorkel in the Gulf of Mexico. Watch for gopher tortoises, dolphins, bald eagles and manatees.
Little Gasparilla Island – Remote & Peaceful
Little Gasparilla Island is a remote, tucked-away beach treasure. There is no bridge connecting this island to the mainland – no cars, roads or commercial establishments. It is only reached by private boat, kayak or water taxi, so plan to make a reservation. On the island, you can spend the day sunbathing and listening to the waves. Or rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the Gulf of Mexico. Plentiful trees, nesting turtles and singing birds make this island a favorite for nature lovers.
Kayaking amid the mangroves of Little Gasparilla Island
Palm Island Resort on Knight Island – Resort Vacation, No Crowds or Traffic
A beach resort without the crowds? Yes, it exists. Palm Island Resort on Knight Island is one of Florida’s hidden gems. The resort has private villas and cottages for rent, a pool, resort activities and more than 3 kilometers of private, unspoiled beach. The island is accessible only by boat or car ferry, so there are few cars and no crowds – perfect for an uninterrupted getaway.
Stump Pass Beach State Park – Unspoiled Florida Coast
At the southern tip of Manasota Key is Stump Pass Beach State Park, a beautiful stretch of undeveloped coast. This is one of those dreamy shores where you can take long walks on the beach, search for shells, watch dolphins swimming nearby and feel the Gulf breeze on your face as you enjoy a picnic under a shaded shelter.
A woman collecting shells on the beach
Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach is easily reached from Punta Gorda Airport, which offers non-stop flights from numerous cities across the U.S. International airports in Tampa and Fort Myers are a short one- to two-hour drive away, and provide direct flights from international destinations.