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Punta Gorda is a great day tripping destination if you are staying anywhere in Southwest Florida. It's centrally located between Tampa and Naples and is less than an hour from Sarasota and Ft. Myers.
The best source of tourism information about Punta Gorda is the web site www.puntagordashopping.com. This is a community sponsored web site is loaded with information for Visitors!
Any day is a great day to visit Punta Gorda but Thursdays are special. Every Thursday there are special events scheduled all over Punta Gorda from morning until night as part of the Think Thursday Tourism Initiative. Most if not all of the events are free and open to the public.
Go early while the weather is cool and take one of the self guided walking tours through historic downtown Punta Gorda. At the end of the day make sure to enjoy "Music in the Park" at Gilchrist Park. You'll find hundreds of musicians and music fans filling the park starting at about 7 pm. It's on of the largest free jam sessions in the country and features artists from all over the United States and all genres of music, including local folk music. If you have an instrument bring it along and join in, everyone is welcome.
This quaint little town offers several historical museums and many art galleries. You can easily spend a whole day and wish you had more time! The new Four Points by Sheraton Harborside Hotel in the downtown waterfront offers great accomodations if you want to spend the night. Punta Gorda's new City Marina at Laishley Park makes Punta Gorda a great boating destination, also located next door to the Sheraton. Plan to spend the night, there's a lot do within walking distance of the Marina.