Archive for December, 2013

The Andreae Group’s 2013 Best of Punta Gorda List

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

This year has been eventful in Punta Gorda. Our small town was recognized in national contests, added transportation routes, and saw real estate boom, all while residents celebrated the good life.

Let us take a look back at some of the highlights:

Punta Gorda Received National Attention

For years, Punta Gorda has repeatedly shown up on “Best of” lists. This year was no exception. RealtyTrac placed Punta Gorda on its 15 Retirement Spots for Investing. Punta Gorda was a finalist in the Rand McNally Best of the Road competition, and our town is currently the cover story for Where to Retire magazine. If you have never visited Punta Gorda and wonder why it receives such accolades, watch the video below for a glimpse of why we win time and time again.

Real Estate Buyers Came to Punta Gorda

PGI/BSI real estate annual pending contracts

PGI/BSI real estate annual pending contracts

As the graph shows (click to enlarge), the real estate market started looking like 2004 boom times in 2012. Buyers kept coming throughout 2013.  Back in August, we showed you this chart comparing the first 6 months of the last three years. The chart below reveals home prices rising in the beginning of 2013 while sales stayed strong.

chart

Allegiant Air Added Heaps of Direct Flights To and Fro

Allegiant Air announced in July it would add 8 more cities to its list of direct flights in and out of Punta Gorda. Here is the current list of direct destinations out of Punta Gorda:

  • Allentown, PA
  • Asheville, NCallegiant air
  • Bangor, ME
  • Branson, MO
  • Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Columbus, OH
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Fort Wayne, IN
  • Greenville, SC
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Lexington, KY
  • Moline, IL
  • Niagara Falls, NY
  • Peoria, IL
  • Plattsburgh, NY
  • Portsmouth, NH
  • Rockford, IL
  • Ronkonkoma, NY
  • South Bend, IN
  • Springfield, IL
  • Toledo, OH
  • Youngstown, OH

Punta Gorda Pathways Drew a Cycling Ring Around the City

While traveling to and from Punta Gorda got a lot easier this year, so did two-wheeled touring around town. The Pathways system connected every corner of Punta Gorda with bike paths. Signs went up all over town notifying motorists and cyclers of the cycling paths. Click here for a map.

The Foot Landing Got the Town Running

The Foot Landing running store hosted free Wednesday night run/walks. The runs often drew in crowds of up to 100 people. The 2-3 mile runs ended at the Celtic Ray’s front door where athletes refueled with beer and pub grub. Check out the The Foot Landing’s event calendar for their current running schedule.

Punta Gorda Celebrated the Holidays with Tradition and Enthusiasm

The Fourth of July started with the Freedom Swim and festivities in Laishley park.  And came to a close with a firework show put on by world champion firework purveyors, Garden State Fireworks.

Halloween downtown attracted folks from all over southwest Florida, as the neighborhood filled the streets with over-the-top decorations and buckets of candy. The week leading up to halloween, the harbor was haunted and the grown-ups got to party at the boo ball.

Thanksgiving started out with Turkey Trot. As many of our residents are part-time, many of our local restaurants and clubs served Thanksgiving dinner for those who had retired their aprons.

Finally, December brought lighted-boat parades, Santa at Fishermen’s village, the Christmas parade, and Mistletoe ball.

If you feel like you missed out on any of these holiday events, don’t worry, Punta Gorda residents like to celebrate. You are welcome to be apart of our traditions in 2014.

Do you have a 2013 ‘best of’ list? What made your list?

5 Resources to Help You Decide if the Punta Gorda Lifestyle is Right for You

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

It is clear that the Andreae group loves the Punta Gorda lifestyle.cover

And we love to show it off.

However, it is always nice to hear different perspectives, especially if you are thinking of moving to a new town. This week I put together a list of ways you can get a variety of viewpoints on Punta Gorda. I hope these resources help you dream big when you think of Punta Gorda.

  1. The January/February issue of Where to Retire: Punta Gorda garnishes the cover of the current issue. The story inspired this post. It tells the story of several people who moved here looking to fulfill their dreams of the good life.While we are proud when Punta Gorda consistently shows up on the “Best Places to…” lists, those lists don’t always paint a clear picture of why Punta Gorda wins repeatedly. Hop on over and read the article to envision yourself living in paradise.
  2. EverythingPuntaGorda.com: The Everything Punta Gorda blog lives up to its name. This blog gives you a quick look at events, local restaurants, hotels, and small businesses in Punta Gorda. If you can’t decide where to eat or what to do with your Saturday, EverythingPuntaGorda.com offers excellent suggestions.
  3. YouBelonginPuntaGorda.com: While Everything Punta Gorda gives you fact-based snippets, You Belong in Punta Gorda offers reviews, editorials and blogs posts about our town. Posts feature photos and sometimes video of our beautiful town and its residents.
  4. NanettesNewLife: Nanette Crist is one of the women featured in the Where to Retire cover story. Crist moved to Punta Gorda from New York and reports on the local theater and arts scene.

    In the Where to Retire article, she says, “I’m not an artist, I’m not a teacher, I’m not a boater and I am not a writer. But somehow now I do all of this.” Her blog gives you a personalized view of who you could be in Punta Gorda.

  5. Sail Eagle’s Wing: If your Punta Gorda dreams include boating, you will want to check out this blog based on life aboard a Catalina 350 sailboat moored in PGI. The owners write about their adventures boating all around Florida and to the Bahamas. The blog is a snapshot of local boating life.

    Of course, the Andreae group blog will continue to report on real estate, events, and local business. You can also check out our Facebook page for more local news.

9 Punta Gorda Holiday Happenings that are More Fun than Shoveling Snow

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013
Punta Gorda boat parade watchers

Crowds gather to watch the 2012 lighted boat parade

Occasionally (and a bit humorously), northerners will ask me if I miss snow. It seems we, Floridians, have it easy. All year long, I drive out of my driveway without stopping to scrap ice or shovel a path. There are no layers to put on every morning or take off at night. I skip the weather report. This time of year it is chilly in the morning (in the 50s or 60s usually—brrr!) and in the 70s or 80s the rest of the day. You’d think I’d be bored.

However, the holiday season in Punta Gorda keeps everyone busy. It is hard to keep up with it all. So you don’t miss anything, I have compiled a list of Punta Gorda holiday happenings that will distract you from missing your snow shovel.

  1. Festival of Lights—Throughout December, you can experience over one million lights and decorations at Fishermen’s Village. The Village is gorgeous this time of year, make sure you stop by.
  2. Sit on Santa’s Lap and Visit the Grinch—Every Saturday and Sunday, Santa and the Grinch in Whoville visit Fishermen’s Village. The times vary a bit, so check the schedule here to ensure your little one doesn’t miss out.
  3. King Fisher Canal Cruises—See the canals lit up with holiday cheer from a boat. For reservations, call 941-639-0969.
  4. Lighted boat parade #1—Lighted boat parades are a big holiday tradition around here. There are two in Punta Gorda. The first one happens on December 15, 2013 at 6:00 pm. You can watch this parade from Fishermen’s Village, the US 41 bridges (no chairs are allowed on the bridges), or Laishley Park Marina. Download a parade map here.
  5. Charlotte County Chamber’s 35th Annual Christmas Parade—This year’s theme is Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child. The parade starts at noon on December 14 and travels from Charlotte High School up Taylor Street to the Events Center.
  6. A Christmas Odyssey—At the Performing Arts center, the Charlotte County Chorale will perform their annual holiday concert on Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 4:00 pm. Tickets cost $20 for adults and $10 for students. To purchase call 941-whale204-0033.
  7. The Mistletoe Ball—Benefiting the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition, Inc., the ball begins at 6:00 pm on December 14, 2013 at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference center. Dance the night away and help an excellent cause. This year’s theme is A Christmas in Paris. For ticket information, call Tina Figluelio at 941-627-4313 ext. 118.
  8. The Gallery Walk—Every third Thursday of the month, downtown shops stay open late for the Gallery Walk. There is live music, demonstrations and samples. The December 19 Gallery Walk is special, because the town is lit up in holiday style. The walk starts at 5:00 pm and ends at 8:00.
  9. Lighted boat parade #2—If you missed lighted boat parade #1, you are in luck! On Saturday, December 21, a second lighted boat parade will cruise through Punta Gorda. I recommend watching them both. The second parade starts around 6:00 pm. You can find more tips on where to view the parade here.

Did I miss any? What is your favorite Punta Gorda happening this time of year? Let me know in the comments below or hop on over to our Facebook page and let us know.

Love Hot Rods and Hogs? Punta Gorda Shows off its Muscle

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

muscle carIt’s no wonder people say Punta Gorda is “a small town with big happenings”. This Saturday, December 8, 2013, the Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center will hold the largest single day car and bike show in the state of Florida. The Florida Hot Rods and Hogs show will feature live music, food, vendors, motorcar sports celebrities, and acres of vintage cars and motorcycles. The show opens at 9:00 a.m and closes at 4:00 p.m. Entrance is $15 for adults and free for children under 10.

Punta Gorda is the perfect place to host the show. Our town already attracts car lovers and historians with the Muscle Car City Museum on the corner of Tamiami Trail and Monaco Dr. For over 40 years, Rick Treworgy collected GM cars from the 1950s through 1970s. In 2009, he put his collection on display. Now his museum, which replaced a Wal-Mart, is 99,000 square feet of pure muscle car history. With over 200 cars on display, Muscle Car City houses one of the largest collections of GM cars in the country. And it is right here in Punta Gorda.

You can check out vintage Corvettes, Impalas, Camaros, Pontiacs, and more at the museum Tuesday-Sundays from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Plan to stay for lunch. The museum diner offers up a 1960’s style atmosphere with good ole’ American hamburgers, hot dogs, and floats.

For you local diehards, the Muscle Car City is more than a museum, it is a community. You can get help with restoration, new parts, and repairs in the Hot Rod and Speed Shop. In addition, the MCC holds several monthly events. From a corvette club to the PGI car club breakfast meeting, the Muscle Car City brings car lovers together. Every third Saturday of the month the MCC holds a monthly car and bike show with live music and trivia. This month the car and bike show is happening early on December 14, 2013 and is collecting Toys for Tots. Bring an unwrapped toy to be eligible for a door prize. Last year, this event set a record for most toys collected and MCC is trying to beat their own record.

Whether you are an enthusiast or just want to remember the days when you knew the year and the make with one glance, Punta Gorda is the place to get your classic car fix.