Last Tuesday we moved our bus, the Dawntreader, to Punta Gordo, a small historic town nestled on the shores of Charlotte Harbor, a large estuary off the Gulf of Mexico. Since then, by means of walking or biking, we've been learning the layout of the town.
Conquistador Ponce de Leon landed here in 1521 and named the harbor, Florida's second largest after Tampa Bay, Charlotte in honor of King Carlos of Spain.
Finding murals such as The Conquistadors painted on the buildings around town was a fun scavenger hunt for us. Along the way, we gained a glimpse of Punta Gorda's commerce and history.
Cattle Drive Downtown
Hotel Punta Gorda's Famous Guests (Pictured are Clarence Darrow, Henry Ford, Daniel Beard, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone and Andrew Mellon.)
What we also found remarkable were the canals that flow through the community's neighborhoods right out to the harbor.
Fifty-five miles of canals! Boating and fishing are huge here.
On Friday just for fun, we toured Punta Gorda's Parade of Homes. A realtor there told us that the length of time it takes to reach the harbor is factored into the cost of a property. For the neighborhoods within shouting distance of what we might afford, that could be as much as an hour.
So instead of purchasing property here perhaps we should be satisfied with claiming a brightly colored beach chair at TT's Tiki Bar on the harbor.