The Andreae Group’s 2013 Best of Punta Gorda List

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?

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