The Port Charlotte area was first inhabited by nomadic Paleo-Indians who hunted big game like the woolly mammoth during the last ice age. At the time, the Florida peninsula was much wider and the city was not a coastal community. The shape of the Sunshine State changed as the glaciers melted and sea levels rose to create a new coastline. It was the Calusa, or shell people, who greeted Spanish explorers in the 16th century. The Seminole would later arrive from the north and establish their home in the area.
Located at the head of glacially formed Charlotte Bay on Florida’s Gulf Coast, the city was named as one of the top 25 places to retire by Forbes magazine in 2015. The community has also been highly regarded as a place to retire by CNNMoney and U.S. News and World Report. The community features a humid subtropical climate that produces long sultry summers and short mild to warm winters. While summer highs reach into the 90s, winter temperatures average in the mid-50 degrees. In addition to Charlotte Harbor, the city borders the Peace and Myakka Rivers. More than 165 miles of waterways, access to the Gulf of Mexico and the stretches of sand like those in Port Charlotte Beach Park make the community perfectly positioned for a wide range of water sports. These include swimming, sailing and snorkeling as well as kayaking and fishing.
Residents can also enjoy a variety of other leisure activities as well. Along with the Charlotte Stone Crabs minor league baseball team, the community hosts spring training for the Tampa Bay Rays at the Charlotte Sports Park. Tippecanoe Environmental Park provides numerous scenic hiking trails for viewing wildlife in this 380-acre natural habitat. The community is also home to seven premier championship golf courses and the Culture Center of Charlotte County, the local performing arts venue offering concerts and stage productions. In addition to art, culture and recreational opportunities, Port Charlotte also features a range of shopping opportunities and a vibrant restaurant scene. Along with retirees, the community is ideal for nature lovers, art connoisseurs, families and young professionals.