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Where to stay in Florida’s Charlotte County

Campers love to explore the lakes, forests, rivers and more meandering through RV parks and campgrounds in Florida’s Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf Islands.

CHARLOTTE HARBOR AND THE GULF ISLANDS, Fla. – If memories of a family road trip pulling the pop-up camper or an overnight outing with a group of scouts harkens, consider an excursion to Florida’s Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf Islands to both recapture the past and create new memories for the future.

Campers love to explore the treasures of the great outdoors here in Southwest Florida where there’s a bounty of lakes, forests, rivers and more meandering through RV parks and campgrounds. In the great outdoors of Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf Islands, nestled along the coast between Sarasota and Ft. Myers, the joys of RVing can be found in abundance.

Many of today’s amenity-laden parks are destinations in and of themselves and include swimming pools, lakes with boat/canoe/kayak rentals, game rooms, movie rentals/screenings, fishing ponds, bike paths and rentals, miniature golf, arts and crafts classes and more. These venues and nearby nature preserves also serve as the perfect canvas for wildlife photography, painting and soft adventure excursions, too.

Whether you’re renting a cabin or turning up in a luxury RV, it’s time to hit the road. Winter camping in Florida finds parks and campgrounds filled with friendly snowbirds without children in tow, which makes for a more relaxing getaway for boomers/seniors. However, families take note, in summer, the outdoor lifestyle here is great for those with kids, as the little ones easily make friends with other campers’ offspring affording mom and dad a well-deserved respite in the great outdoors.

Which camping park you choose depends on what outdoor activities you enjoy. Rent a cabin, pitch a tent or hook up your RV to one of 10 campground and camping resorts in Charlotte County. They are located close to shopping, beaches, restaurants, game fishing, dinner theaters and golf courses. Most feature a variety of recreational amenities and they’re reasonably priced. Following is a listing with brief description of the campgrounds/RV parks you’ll find in Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf Islands:

* Alligator Park, Inc.
6400 Taylor Rd., Lot 112
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
941-639-7000
www.alligatorpark.com

Alligator Park is an age 55+ RV and mobile home community. All sites are full hookup with 30 + 50 amp service. Swim in the heated pool, or stroll by the 30-acre lake, where fishing is allowed. Don’t be fooled by the country setting, with easy access to nearby Route 75 and U.S. 41, restaurants and shopping are within two miles. Enjoy dances in the new clubhouse or select a book from the free library. Clean laundry facilities, hot showers and Wi-Fi are available.

* Gulf View Encore RV Resort
10205 Burnt Store Rd.
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
941-639-3978 or 877-237-2757

Situated on Alligator Creek, you’ll find immediate access to great fishing off the dock or from a boat. Open year-round, the resort’s top features include: 200 sites, full hookups, hot tub, pool, showers, horseshoes, shuffleboard, and pets on leash are allowed.

* Harbor Lakes
3737 El Jobean Rd. (S.R. 776)
Port Charlotte, FL 33953
941-624-4511 or 800-468-5022

Enjoy a tropical lifestyle at Encore-Harbor. Numerous in-park activities are planned each season and besides 528 sites, there are resort cottages available. Activities: fishing, horseshoes, shuffleboard, swimming, tennis court, volleyball court. Facility amenities: big rig hookups, covered pavilion, dump station, Elec. 30 + 50 amp, exercise/fitness facilities, full hookups, hot tub, ice, laundry, parking, paved pads, phone hookup, picnic shelter, pool heated, pool outdoor, propane sales, rec hall/clubhouse, recreational area, restaurant nearby, restrooms, showers and tables.

* Myakka River Motorcoach Resort
14100 Myakka Avenue
Port Charlotte, FL 33953
941-740-2599
www.myakka-river.com

This is a new Class A motor coach resort on the shores of the Myakka River in the unincorporated community of El Jobean.  The 30-acre resort features three lakes, a clubhouse with library and billiards room, pool with 75’ swimming lanes, whirlpool spa, waterfront boardwalks and fishing pier, putting green, tennis courts, fitness room, large entertainment area and an activities calendar featuring water aerobics, yoga, crafts, and movie nights, plus a sunset patio to catch Florida sunsets. The resort offers brick-paved motor coach pads and patios, sidewalks and lots of grassy areas for pets. Nearby are bike trails along with the Charlotte Sports Park, ballpark home to the Charlotte Stone Crabs AAA team in summer/fall and the Tampa Bay Rays spring training camp.

* Palms & Pines Riverside RV Resort
5400 Riverside Dr.
Punta Gorda, FL 33982
941-639-5461
http://www.palmsandpinesinc.com/

Located on the juncture of Peace River, Shell Creek and Charlotte Harbor, Palms and Pines offers an extraordinary opportunity to enjoy the panoramic view and natural resources of the region.  Shopping, restaurants, and medical facilities are within a few miles.  Relax beneath the palms, enjoy the sunshine and participate in the many activities such as bingo, cards, crafts and potluck dinners. There are boat docks, a boat ramp, fishing pier, shuffleboard, horseshoes, and mini-library, too. Rental spaces have complete hookups and grassy lots with concrete patios and are available for short or long term rental. Apartments feature full kitchens, air-conditioning, and screened porches.

* Peace River Mobile Home, RV Park, & Fishing Camp
29208 Snook Cir.
Punta Gorda, FL 33982
941-639-2819

There are 30 sites and 30 units/cabins for visitors’ accommodations.  Facility amenities include: boat dock, boat ramp, cable TV hookup, Elec. 30 + 50 amp, full hookups, hot showers, laundry, phone hookup, restrooms, showers, and water access.

* Punta Gorda RV Resort
3701 Baynard Dr.
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
941-639-2010

This friendly adult park offers 221 sites, full hookups, pool, hot tub, bicycling, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and is ADA-compliant. Shuffleboard, horseshoes, a rec hall, convenience store and laundry plus dial-up Internet rounds out the facility amenities.

* Shell Creek Resort Inc.
35711 Washington Loop Rd.
Punta Gorda, FL 33982
941-639-4234

With 239 sites, facility amenities include: boat ramp, cable TV hookup, convenience store, Elec. 30 amp, exercise/fitness facilities, full hookups, groceries, hot tub, ice, laundry, parking, pay phones, phone hookup, picnic area, pool outdoor, propane sales, rec hall/clubhouse, recreational area, restrooms, showers, tables, and water access for fishing and swimming.

* Sun-N-Shade
U.S. 41 S., 14880 Tamiami Trail
Punta Gorda, FL 33955
941-639-5388
http://sunnshade.com/

Fishing, horseshoes, shuffleboard, and swimming are top activities found in this lovely country setting. Facility amenities: full hookups, hot showers, patio, phone hookup, outdoor heated pool, rec hall/clubhouse, restrooms, showers dump station, Elec. 30 + 50 amp.

* Water’s Edge RV Resort
6800 Golf Course Blvd.
Punta Gorda, FL 33982
941-637-4677 or 800-637-9224

A resort for bicyclers, swimmers and those with a need for big rig hookups. Amenities include 167 sites, covered pavilion, dump station, Elec. 30 + 50 amp, full hookups, hot showers, hot tub, laundry, patio, phone hookup, picnic area, picnic shelter, pool heated, pool outdoor, propane sales, rec hall/clubhouse, recreational area, restaurant nearby, restrooms, showers and tables.

About Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands

Located halfway between Tampa and Naples on the Southwest Florida Gulf coast, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands is a collection of nine coastal communities surrounding the state’s second largest harbor. One of Florida’s year-round eco-tourism destinations, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands offers unspoiled beauty that has served as the backdrop for seven major feature films as well as countless memorable vacations.  A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands has been named to SAIL magazine’s “10 Greatest Places to Sail in the United States,” ranked by Golf Digest as “Third Best Place to Live and Play Golf in America,” and rated by MONEY magazine as one of the “Best Places to Live in the South.” The city of Punta Gorda was named as one of “Top Ten Places to Retire Healthy” by U.S. News & World Report. Englewood was named as No. 2 of the Top Ten emerging travel destinations in the U.S. by TripAdvisor.com.

For information about area events, activities and attractions, contact the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau, 18500 Murdock Circle, Suite B104, Port Charlotte, FL 33948; 941-743-1900, or call toll free at 1-800-652-6090 for a free Visitor’s Guide; or visit the Web site at www.charlotteharbortravel.com/

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About Rebecca Kanable

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