Archive for November, 2013

Shop Small Business Saturday and Find Unique Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

sm bus satIn 2010, the Small Business Association (SBA) named the Saturday after Thanksgiving (November 30, 2013) Small Business Saturday. The day is meant to remind you to support your local businesses when you do your holiday shopping.  Those of us who remember what Punta Gorda looked like 20 years ago, when small business was sparse, hope that you will follow the SBA’s suggestion. Luckily, Punta Gorda now booms with small businesses. You can get all of your gifts without pushing your way through a big box store. And you are sure to find unique, distinctive gift ideas for everyone on your list.

Here are some local ideas to get you started on your small business Saturday shopping spree:

The Arts & Craft Lover

Sea Grape Gallery: Featuring acrylic, pastel, oil, watercolors, colored pencil, stained glass, jewelry and pottery, the downtown gallery has sold some of the most beautiful artwork in Punta Gorda for over 25 years.

Pottery Express: The Pottery Express, located off Burnt Store Road, is five acres of landscape, fountains and pottery from around the world.

The Fitness Fan

The Foot Landing: Stock up on gifts for your favorite athlete at Punta Gorda’s favorite running store, the Foot Landing. The Landing is located in the Herald Court Center downtown.

The Yoga Sanctuary: Around the corner from the Foot Landing at 112 Sullivan Street, you can purchase mats, bricks, and clothing for your favorite yogi. The Sanctuary offers daily classes and gift certificates are available.

The Water Lover

Beneath The Sea: Have a loved one you can’t keep on dry land? You’ll find something for them at Beneath the Sea in Fishermen’s Village. Beneath the Sea carries surf, snorkel, and other water sport equipment.

The Fashionista

Fishermen’s Village shops: With everything from men’s shops to kid’s clothes to ladies wear, you can dress your whole clan in one trip to Fishermen’s Village. In addition, you can dress every mood from contemporary wear for women at Nichole’s collection to J.J. Top end’s creative t-shirts.

Bejeweled by Renee: In the Towles plaza, Renee sells handcrafted, artisan jewelry and gifts. She has pieces for women, men, and children. Make sure to check out her full line of biker jewelry.

The Chef

Pies and Plates: Everyone wants to give their favorite chef something special. They can’t cook for you if they don’t have the right tools. Pies and Plates sells all kinds of culinary helpers and you can sign your chef up for cooking classes in their culinary academy.

Where did I miss? There are so many fantastic local shops in Punta Gorda. Where will you be shopping?

Punta Gorda Thanksgiving: What to Do and Where to Eat (if nobody feels like cooking)

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
Winner! The redhead very unofficially wins the 2012 Punta Gorda Turkey Trot.

Winner! The redhead very unofficially wins the 2012 Punta Gorda Turkey Trot.

What do you get when you cross runners and walkers on Thanksgiving Day? A Turkey Trot! Last year, the Andreae family kicked off Thanksgiving with Punta Gorda’s Turkey Trot. We had so much fun we decided to do it again this year. We suggest throwing on your sneakers and coming to join us. The Turkey Trot is a 5k (3.1 miles) run/walk around the beautiful Edison College campus on Airport road. If you are not up for running three miles, walking is encouraged. However you cross the finish line, your body will be primed up for future stuffing.

Registration closes Tuesday, November 26, 2013. You can register now here.

Eating out on Thanksgiving

Don’t feel like cooking this Thanksgiving? There are several places offering Thanksgiving dinner around Punta Gorda.

The Captain’s Table

The Captain’s Table in Fishermen’s Village is serving its annual Thanksgiving Day buffet. Enjoy turkey, ham, prime rib, jerk chicken, and more while looking out over the Harbor. Cost is $27. The complete menu is here. For more information call 941-637-1177×2 or make reservations here.

Opus

Opus restaurant on Marion Ave will serve a three course meal, including a first course of either Butternut Squash Soup or a Pear Salad; a second course with choice of Ham, Turkey, or Prime Rib and three side choices; and for dessert Pumpkin or Blueberry Cheesecake or Homemade Bread Pudding. See the complete menu here. The cost is $34 for adults and $16 for children under 10. Opus is serving dinner from 12-3:30 p.m. and then again from 5:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. Call 941-575-2352 for more info or make reservations here.

Phil’s 41

Phil’s 41 on Tamiami Trail is serving their full dinner menu, plus a turkey dinner. The turkey dinner costs $16.95 and comes with sides and soup or salad. Call 941-575-7575.

The Charlotte County Cultural Center

The Cultural center in Port Charlotte will offer Thanksgiving dinner from 12-2:00 p.m. Seating is open. Cost is $15 for adults and $9 for children under 10.

Enjoy an after Dinner Drink Out on the Town

If you are already out or feeling like stepping out after you gobble your turkey, head on over to the Celtic Ray. The Ray will be open until 2:00 a.m.

3 Ways to Explore Punta Gorda’s Waterways Without Buying a Boat

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

boat picLast week we showed you how easy it is to get around Punta Gorda on two wheels, even if you don’t own a bike. This week we look attouring one of the most important areas in Punta Gorda—its waterways—without owning a boat. After you live here awhile or visit regularly, chances are you will acquire a few boat-owning friends.

However, Punta Gorda’s beautiful waterways are calling you now. Luckily, you have options to get you out on the water in a jiffy.

1.King Fisher Fleets: For over 30 years, King Fisher Fleets has shown visitors and locals around Punta Gorda. Based out of Fishermen’s Village, King Fisher offers private charters, sightseeing cruises and a Christmas light canal cruise. (If you’ve never been to Punta Gorda in December, our decorated canals and lighted boat parades will make you forget you ever dreamed of a white Christmas.)

King Fisher collaborates with the Chamber of Commerce for Discovery Punta Gorda Tours. The Discovery tours show you the best of Punta Gorda by land and by sea. The tours consist of an hour long, narrated Trolley Tour and 1.5 hour boat cruise around Charlotte Harbor. For Discovery Tour pricing and scheduling information click here.

2. Calusa Queen: The Calusa Queen leaves out of Burnt Store Marina for tours of Boca Grande, Cabbage Key, and Burnt Store harbor. Cruises range from 90 minutes Sunset Cruises up to five and a half hour excursions out to Boca Grande. Whether you want to spend the day aboard the ship or just see the sunset, the Queen has an excursion for you.

You can also charter your own Calusa Queen trip. The boat holds up to 28 passengers. The Queen specializes in eco tours, snorkeling, shelling trips, and lunch cruises.

3. Boat rentals: If you want to take the helm, Holidaze Boat rental in Fisherman’s Village rents eleven different kinds of boats from kayaks to a 31’ party barge. Rental periods start at one hour and go up to 8 hours.

Whatever you choose, you are sure to be impressed. Southwest Florida has some of the most beautiful waterways in the country.

Punta Gorda Biking: Getting Around Town on Two Wheels has Never Been Safer

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

signsPunta Gorda Pathways

Interested in seeing Punta Gorda from a different angle? Want to take advantage of the beautiful weather and get in some exercise?

Thanks to the Punta Gorda Pathway system, it has never been easier to hop on a bike and take a ‘ring around the city.’

Back in 2005, Punta Gorda city leaders set out to make our town the most pedestrian and bicycle friendly town in Florida. They planned to build a “ring around the city” for non-motorized traffic to travel around Punta Gorda safely.

The “ring”, a.k.a Punta Gorda Pathways, is now comprised of trails which link every corner of Punta Gorda from Washington loop down to Tuckers Grade back up to Bal Harbor and across the Peace River bridge.

All over town you see bike friendly signs popping up. Even the League of American Bicyclists has taken notice. In 2009, the League gave Punta Gorda honorable mention as a bike friendly community.

Print your Punta Gorda Pathways map here.

Bike share Program

Don’t own a bike? Don’t worry. You can borrow one. Team Punta Gorda and the city have teamed up to ensure anyone who would like to pedal around town can.

As we have mentioned, Punta Gorda is always winning something. In 2010, the Florida Bicycle Association named Punta Gorda the “Bike Friendly Community of the Year”. The honor was due largely to the active bike share program.

The bike share program is free. You simply need a credit card, an ID, and a helmet. You can pick up a bike at the following locations:

  • Fishermen’s village
  • Four Points Sheraton
  • Laishley Marina
  • Charlotte Regional Medical-Wellness Center
  • Isles Yacht Club

You must return your bike 30 minutes prior to your location’s closing time or sunset.

Peace River Riders

If you are ready to bike to the next level of fitness or want to meet some new people, the Peace River Riders can help you with both. The Peace River Riders welcome cyclists of all abilities to join them on rides around Charlotte County. In July, the Riders host the popular Wheels and Wings ride complete with a speed trap for those who want to test their car chasing abilities.

The Riders encourage adherence to bike laws and general safe practices. If you have ever wondered where you should be riding or how to maneuver in traffic, come out for a ride. The more experienced cyclists are eager to help you.

You will find a list of Florida rides on their website. A calendar of this month’s rides is located here.