Archive for the ‘Things to Do in Punta Gorda’ Category

Your Thanksgiving Could Look Like This If You Lived in Punta Gorda

Monday, November 26th, 2018

While much of the north saw record cold this Thanksgiving, we donned shorts for our local Turkey trot. Every year, this 5k draws hundreds of locals out to support Habitat for Humanity. For the Andreaes, it’s a tradition.

True competitors: Luke and his daughter at the start of the Turkey Trot

Afterwards, we each go home, clean up, and meet up again at Grandma’s, aka Nancy or the blonde woman in our logo. This year, some of the grandkids and their daddy went kayaking. It would never occur to any of us to be stuck inside on Thanksgiving.

What kid doesn’t love a Thanksgiving Day kayak at Grandma’s?

Like most Floridians, we set up a buffet on the lanai and ate outside. Why not? It was a beautiful day.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, I went downtown for Small Business Saturday. Again, it was 70 degrees, so why not?

How was your Thanksgiving? If you spent it stuck inside or had to throw three layers on to go shovel your way out, you don’t have to live that way. Come to Punta Gorda where Thanksgiving weekend is an outdoor event!

What’s Happening in Punta Gorda in December

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

By: Adrienne Andreae

There is so much going on in this town. It’s hard to keep up on it all!

That’s what a recent buyer stopped in my office to tell me. When she said it, part of me filled with pride. I love that Punta Gorda is so active. Our town is a place for doers. People come here eager to get out on the water, go out on the town, and meet people.

Another part of me felt a little guilty. I used to be much better at keeping this blog up with all that was going on around town. I’m starting my resolution early this year to keep you updated every month on what’s going on around town.

This month we are celebrating Founder’s Week. For more info on Founder’s Week check out their Facebook page.

December 17: Don't miss the lighted boat parade!

December 17: Don’t miss the lighted boat parade!

  • Thursday, December 1: Luminaria Night at the History Park, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Shreve Street. Brought to you by Relay for Life. Celebrate by lighting the night, shopping, and have treats.
  • Thursday, December 1: Isaac Trabue Chess Tournament, Punta Gorda Kiwanis–Taking place all over town. To play or watch: Contact: Michael Haymans, (941) 661-5622.
  •  Thursday, December 1: Week long exhibit (December 1-7, 2016) “Then and Now” Monday through Friday-9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Where: Visual Arts Center, 210 Maud Street
  • Friday, December 2: Downtown Christmas Celebration Carol Sing & Tree Lighting, 5 pm to 8 pm, corner of W Marion Avenue & Taylor Street. For more information, contact (941)575-3302.
  • Friday, December 2: Annual Holly Days Home Tours, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Historic Residential Area.
  • Saturday, December 3: 38th Annual Charlotte County Chamber Christmas Parade, from Charlotte High School to Downtown Punta Gorda. For registration and additional information contact (941)639-2222 or
  • Saturday, December 3:  Christmas Tree Yarn Bomb at the Farmer’s Market, 8 a.m. to noon, Olympia and Taylor, Trees at Hector Square decorated with colorful yarn.
  • Saturday, December 3: Celebrate the Holidays with Bella and Luna, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Peace River Wildlife Center, Ponce de Leon Park
  • Saturday, December 3: Down the Street Happy Hour, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at New Operation Cooper Street, 650 Mary St.
  • Saturday, December 3: Founders’ Day Southern Supper, 5 to 11 p.m., Hurricane Charley’s, 300 W. Retta Esplanade
  • Sunday, December 4: Latino Christmas at Cilantro’s Restaurant, 2705 Tamiami Trail. For additional information contact (941)621-4612 or
  • Sunday, December 4: Dare to Dream, an Afternoon with Amelia Earhart” 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Punta Gorda Woman’s Club, 118 Sullivan St.
  • Monday, December 5: Historic Trolley Tours and History Celebration from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tours start at Kays Ponger & Uselton, 635 E. Marion Ave.
  • Monday, December 5: Historic Punta Gorda City Hall Tours, 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. City Hall, 326 W. Marion Ave.
  •  Monday, December 5: Freeman House Tours, 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tour historic Freeman House with docents.
  • Tuesday, December 6:  Historic Walking Tours of Indian Springs Cemetery, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 9500 Indian Springs Rd. Contact: 941-629-7278
  • Tuesday, December 6: Raise the Roof for the Trabue House, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., Punta Gorda History Park, 501 Shreve St. Suggested donation $10. Proceeds help the Homeless Coalition and roof repairs on the Trabue house.
  • Tuesday, December 6: Founders Mural Tour, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Meet at Herald Court Parking Garage Breezeway. Suggested donation $10. Contact: Kelly Gaylord 941-979-2786
  • Wednesday, December 7: Old Time BBQ & Historical Poker Run, 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., starts at Charlotte Community Foundation, 227 Sullivan Street, To register:
  • Wednesday, December 7: 1st Annual Holiday Grub Crawl 5:00-9:00 pm, Downtown Punta Gorda, Tickets are $20 and benefit the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. Call 941-205-9743 for tickets and info.
  • Wednesday, December 7: Final Isaac Trabue Chess Tournament – 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Top of the Herald Court Parking Garage. Punta Gorda Kiwanis sponsors final of tournament with giant chess pieces. Contact: Mike Haymans (941) 661-5622
  • December 14: Ugly Sweater Run, 5:30-8:00 pm., 1-3 mile Walk or Run, Call 941 347-7751
  • December 15: Alive After Five, (Formerly known as the Gallery Walk), Downtown. A great way to taste test local fair and shop as you go! For more info click here.
  • December 16: Third Friday Drive in: This month’s movie is Elf. It starts at 7:30 pm. Check their Facebook page for occasional last minute changes due to weather.
  • December 17: Punta Gorda lighted Boat Parade, begins at sunset
  • December 22: P. Tchaikovsky The Nutcracker (Ballet in 2 acts with an Epilogue) Where: the Event Center  Who: The State Ballet Theatre of Russia 7:00 pm, Call 941-833-5444
  • December 24: Deep Creek Community Church Christmas Eve Services in Laishley Park. For hours and additional information contact (941)235-7325 or

That list should get all of you looking to get out started! As I learn of more events, I try to keep you updated on our Facebook page. If you’re a local hosting an event in January, please email me the info at





3 Upcoming Punta Gorda Building Projects You Should Be Excited About

Monday, August 10th, 2015

Fishermens construction2Have you heard? BIG things are happening in Punta Gorda. Recently, Bloomberg put us on its list of top 18 cities to see economic growth this year.

We love being on any list with a subtitle that begins, “Florida Dominates.” There is also plenty to be excited about around our town.

1. The Fishermen’s Village $40 million Expansion: The expansion will come in two parts: first, an $8 million facelift that will add parking, update the entrance and the center court, and welcome the arrival of Scotty’s Brewhouse. The second phase will take five years and cost $30-35 million. It will include a new space for marina facilities and shops, an additional parking deck, and a sand beach with a negative edge pool.

2. Cheney Brothers Opens in Punta Gorda: Have you driven on I-75 lately and noticed the large building adorned with the letters CBI? It’s a new distribution plant for one of the biggest food manufacturers in the southeast. Since 1925, Cheney Brothers have been feeding Florida. They’ve also won numerous big business awards, such as the 2012 Business of the Year award by the Palm Chamber of Commerce and 11th of top 100 Private companies according to South Florida Business journal.

Their motto is Delivering Southern Hospitality since 1925. We think they’re going to fit in around here just fine!

3. The Peace River Botanical and Sculpture Garden: Coming in September 2016, the Peace River Gardens will feature 27 acres of world class sculptures and botanicals.

In Phase 1 of the project, visitors will experience 7 sculptures from world- renowned artists and a community center. Plans for future expansion include: an art gallery, children’s garden, multi-use facility, and an event stage.

What are you looking forward to in Punta Gorda?

5 Things To Do this Spring Break in Punta Gorda

Monday, March 23rd, 2015


It’s Spring Break time. College students from all over the country flock to Florida this time of year to party.

Visit other coastal towns and you’ll see spring breakers sucking down jello shots, yelling over hotel balconies, and drinking themselves silly.

When I was 17, I wished the jello shots and frat boys would make their way to my hometown. It sounded exciting then. Twenty+ years later, there’s not a midlife crisis severe enough for me to want to live in a spring break destination.

Instead, I prefer to do spring break Punta Gorda style.

Go Clubbin’

Start your day the Yacht Club or the PG Boat Club for socializing and boating.

Yacht club2compress


Then, head to the Turtle Club (where you’ll never see anyone funneling a beer) for a nice glass of wine and dinner.

turtle club compress

Serve up Shots to Your Friends

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Go cruisin’.

Head over to the Muscle Car museum or join one of the many local car clubs. And the best part? You’ll never worry about traffic or where to park in Punta Gorda.

peace river car club

Soak up some rays…on the golf course


Watch the sunset at the Tiki Bar

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8 Great Things to Do in Punta Gorda in March

Thursday, February 26th, 2015


Chocolate and running in one event? Yes! I love Punta Gorda!

Chocolate and running in one event? Yes! I love Punta Gorda!

Well, we made it through our annual three days of winter. If you missed it, we had a couple of chilly days in February. It was awful. We all wore sweaters and closed-toed shoes.

Thankfully, we’ve made it back into spring weather which usually lasts about 360 days. If you’re ready to get out and enjoy paradise, there’s plenty for you to do in Punta Gorda next month.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

March 1 All Corvettes on the River: Everybody loves a corvette. This event showcases pairs some of the most stunning cars with a gorgeous Peace River backdrop. The event is hosted by Corvettes of Charlotte County. Judging starts at 11:00 a.m. Awards are presented at 3:00 p.m. Where: Gilchrist Park

March 6-8 22nd Annual Conquistador Cup Regatta: This year is the Punta Gorda Sailing Club’s 40th anniversary, and the club is ready to celebrate! This year’s regatta includes a little something for every boater, including a “poker run” for the non-race crowd on Sunday. A cocktail party starts the party on Friday night. For more information, go to the Punta Gorda Sailing Club’s website.

March 8 15th Annual Celtic Festival: Start your St. Patty’s day celebrations a wee early! Enjoy live Celtic music from 12:00-7:00 pm. Where: The Celtic Ray Cost: $5 More information at Celtic Heritage Productions.

March 19 Women in the Military Reception: The Military Heritage Museum salutes local women who have served our country. Show your support at the entrance to Fishermen’s Village from 4-7 pm.

March 21-22 Peace River National Art Show: Charlotte County’s largest juried art show happens outdoors. See art glass, jewelry, metalwork, paintings and more from nearly 100 nationally recognized artists. When: 10:00 am-5:00 pm. Where: Laishley Park

March 28 Pedal and Play Bike Ride: With three different routes ranging from 15 to 62 miles, there’s a ride for everyone at this fun event. You can even sleep late and ride in the afternoon’s history tour. Proceeds go towards the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and TEAM Punta Gorda’s Bicycle Friendly Community Initiatives. For more information, check out the website.

March 28 Chocolate Fantasia Run: Pedal and play in the morning. Run for chocolate in the evening. This 7k run starts at 8 pm, so you have plenty of time to get a nap in after your morning bike ride. (At least, that’s what I keep telling myself!) Proceeds go to the Tender Hearts Partnership. For more information and information on other local runs, visit the Foot Landing’s website.

March 5-April 4 Tampa Bay Rays Spring Training: Take yourself out to the ballgame! Spring training is here. You can find game times and buy tickets here.

For more of what’s going on in Punta Gorda, Like our Facebook page.


The One New Year’s Resolution that Can Help You Achieve Your Other Goals

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Your winters could look like this.

Your winters could look like this.


It’s the week of grandiose plans. This year is going to be the best one yet. You’re going to live a bigger, fuller life. You’re going to be healthier, less stressed, and accomplish big things.

You’ve had these thoughts before, and then something happens. The excuses creep in. Your running plan gets snowed in. You try to manage stress better, but you haven’t seen sunshine in a week.

You want to get more sleep, but you have to get up early to shovel the driveway. You’re supposed to be living in the moment, but you’re wearing so many layers it’s hard to walk.

If this sounds like you, there is one resolution that wipes out all of these excuses. This year, resolve to finally get out of those nasty northern winters. Make 2014 the last year you sat inside wishing you were in Florida.

I can’t tell you moving to Punta Gorda will solve all of your problems. It won’t. But sunshine and comfortable weather certainly can help.

I know it feels like making that leap will be hard. Every year I meet people who do what I call the “Florida creep.” They slowly move down here as if they’re tricking themselves. One year they come down for a week. The next year it’s two weeks in October and two in March. Then, it’s the entire months of November and February.

Eventually, they’re just here. They’ve crept in. I’m not sure who they’re fooling. If you’re creeping your way down here, maybe it’s time to just accept it. You never liked the seasons as much as you claimed. Sunshine is a beautiful thing. You like Punta Gorda. We’re a very welcoming community. Everyone here understands why you can’t take the snow anymore. Admitting it doesn’t make you weak. It makes you smart.

A Last Minute Checklist for Your Punta Gorda Christmas

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014


These Punta Gordians are ready for Santa. Are you?

These Punta Gordians are ready for Santa. Are you?

Tomorrow is the big day.

Santa Claus is coming to town.

There’s lots to do in Punta Gorda. You may find yourself making decisions you never thought you’d have to make.

Should you eat dinner on the lanai? Yes.

Should you take the boat out on Christmas day? Sure.

Can flip flops be appropriate Christmas dinner attire? Of course.

Along with these big decisions, there are some unique challenges to spending Christmas in Punta Gorda. As someone whose spent most of my holidays here, I put together a quick checklist to help you have the best day possible.

__Turn on the spa or pool heater early if kids are coming and like to swim.

__Leave a cheeseburger and margarita out for Santa. (Like most people, Santa prefers cheeseburgers in paradise to a few measly cookies in not-paradise.)

__Open all your doors and windows first thing Christmas morning. (It’s expected to be in the 60s tonight, so it’s likely you’ve closed a few.)

__If you’re eating dinner inside, make sure to have some seating on the lanai. Our open-floor plans and sliding glass doors make it easy for guests to meander out onto the lanai without even realizing it.

__Remind everyone to bring a light sweater in case you want to take the boat out for an after dinner canal cruise.

__Play golf or tennis. It’s Christmas after all.

__Remind your spouse and/or children that some of your guests still live up north. It’s not polite to laugh at TV images of traffic stopped in “white Christmases.”

__Don’t panic if those images of sliding traffic remind you that still live up north and have to go back. In my experience, people who leave Punta Gorda come back. You’re down for two weeks this year. Next year it’ll be a month. In a couple of years, you’ll have sworn off snow for good.

__Make sure any outdoor toys for kids and adults (i.e. bikes, golf clubs, boat accessories) are assembled and ready to play with. Nobody waits until spring to have fun around here.

__When selecting Christmas songs, understand that tunes like, I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas and Walking in a Winter Wonderland are considered humorous in Punta Gorda. And yet, Jimmy Buffett’s Christmas Island album is serious art.

I hope this list helps you prepare for tomorrow. If you have items to add to our checklist, please leave a comment on your Facebook page.



2014 Best of Punta Gorda:The Year in Review

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014


Our favorite internet meme of 2014. We survived!

Our favorite internet meme of 2014. We survived!

It’s always fun to do a year in review. The better the year, the more exciting it is to take a look back. 2014 has been a good year for Punta Gorda and the Andreae Group. We’ve had fun putting out this blog for all our residents and potential homeowners. Punta Gorda continues to thrive and make ‘best of’ lists. Plus, I’m writing anything this on a typical December day with the windows open!

Most Popular Blog Posts on the Andreae Group Blog
How to Survive Your First Autumn in Punta Gorda: A must-read for anyone who fears they will miss those first few days of slipping on ice.

6 Truths Most Locals Won’t Tell You About Punta Gorda: The truth comes out. Find out what Punta Gorda residents really think.

Give Back and Get Involved:Exciting Volunteer Opportunites in Punta Gorda: We’re proud that our readers liked this one. They’re a giving bunch.

What it’s like to be a kid in Punta Gorda Then and Now: The kids today have it easy. When I was a kid in Punta Gorda, it got cold once. I still remember the day.

Punta Gorda in the News
Punta Gorda is a go-to town for ‘best place to’ list makers. Over the years, we’ve been named the best place to live, to sail, and to retire. This year the town made it on a few new lists.

Best Place to Open a Small Business: Nancy Andreae knew what she was doing when she opened her small business in Punta Gorda. She was 30 years ahead of this article.

Top 10 Safest Places in Florida: We made it on to this list for our low crime rate.

Charlotte County Ranks #1 as “biggest bang for your travel buck” by Trivago

Charlotte County Sports Park Voted Best Spring Training Spot by USA Today: There’s a lot of competition for best spring training spot. We’re proud to our small town beat out the big cities.

Festivals and annual event highlights:
In October, I wrote a post about the endless stream of fun Punta Gorda festivals. I’m not going to list them all again, but I would like to mention a few favorites from 2014:

9th Annual Wine and Jazz Festival–Not many small towns have Grammy winning musicians play their Jazz festival. Perhaps that’s why ours sells out regularly.

PirateFest: This one makes it onto our list, because it gives us an opportunity to say things like, “landlubbers” and “aaRRR” all weekend.

Haunting on the Harbor: Every year people come from all over to trick or treat in downtown Punta Gorda. Our town puts on a spooktacular affair with rides, haunted houses, and tons of candy.

It’s been an exciting year in Punta Gorda. What was your favorite event in Punta Gorda this year? Tell us over on our Facebook page.

Lighted Boat Parades: Where You Stop Dreaming of a White Christmas and Realize Life is Better than Your Dreams

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

202432_10151565037498496_496639107_oIt’s not going to snow on Christmas in Punta Gorda. There’ll be no icicles hanging from rooftops. No relatives slipping on ice as the try to carry
your presents up to the house. No days of shoveling and scrapping between now and new year.

I’m sorry. I hate to crush your big dreams. But the snow ain’t coming to Punta Gorda this Christmas.

The good news is the white Christmas dream is a tradition that is easily replaced. When you see Punta Gorda’s seawalls, palm trees, and lanais decked out in holiday lights, you’ll quickly forget you once hoped everything would freeze this holiday.

One tradition you won’t want to miss is the lighted boat parade. Punta Gorda holds two lighted boat parades every year. The first happens this Sunday, December 14.  The second on Saturday, December 20th. Both start around 6:00 pm as it starts getting dark.

Which boat parade should you attend?

Both. Go to the one on the 14th and you’ll want to see the one on the 20th. Voila! A new holiday tradition is born. And unlike that silly snow dream, this boat parade tradition happens every year.

There are some differences in the parades. On the 14th, the parade route crosses the Harbor. It’s a stunning sight to see the Harbor aglow with holiday lights. The second parade offers spectators an up close look at the boats as the cruise through the canal system.

What if you miss the coziness of sitting of the holiday season? Can you watch a boat parade with a cup of hot chocolate?

That depends. If you arrive in Florida from Canada the night before the boat parade, you might be too warm for  a hot chocolate. Our December evenings often drop down into the low 60s. But don’t fret. Stay here for one year and you’ll be bundled up like you’ve sailed into the Artic.

Should you cheer, sing, or wave to the boaters?

All three. Holiday cheer fuels the boaters. Many of these boaters come back year after year just to fill up on all the holiday love.

Have you been to a lighted boat parade? Did you enjoy it? Let us know over on our Facebook page.

11 Fantastic Things to Do in Punta Gorda this December

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014


Whoville takes over Fishermen's Village this year.

Whoville takes over Fishermen’s Village this year.

December is a busy time. There are so many fun things to do and only one month to do them. To help ensure you don’t miss any of the fantastic events going on around Punta Gorda, we put together a list of some of our favorites:

  1. Canal cruises—Now through December 31, 2014: Everyone should experience the Punta Gorda canal system during the holiday season. Through December, our residents deck the seawalls and their boats with beautiful lights. Don’t have a boat? Book a lighted canal cruise with King Fisher Fleets. Call 941-639-0969 for more information.
  2. Festival of Lights—Now through December 31, 2014: There’s no prettier place to shop during the holidays than Fishermen’s Village. This year the Village theme is Whoville. The Grinch will be stopping by December 13 and 14th.
  3. Punta Gorda Garden Club Home Tour—December 5and 6, 2014: The 21st annual Holly Days Home Tour starts at 11:00 am in the Punta Gorda Historic District.
  4. Pearl Harbor Day Ceremony— December 7, 2014: Salute the men and women of Pearl Harbor at this annual ceremony. Organized by the Military Heritage Museum the ceremony begins at 5:00 pm in the center court at Fishermen’s Village.
  5. Running of the Elves—December 7, 2014: Take a walking or running tour of the Punta Gorda murals in costume. There will be prizes for best adult and child costume. The event starts at 10:30 a.m. on the lawn of the Sheraton and ends at the Tiki bar.
  6. Toys in the Truck—December 8, 2014: This is one of the coolest ways to donate to Toys for Tots. Bring an unwrapped, new toy to the truck outside Military Heritage Museum from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Let’s fill up the truck!
  7. Mistletoe Ball—December  13, 2014: Dance the night away, eat a fabulous dinner, and do some good. Proceeds from the ball benefit the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition Foundation. Find more information here.
  8. Lighted Boat Parade—December 14, 2014: The first lighted boat parade of the season begins at Edgewater Lake, sails across the Harbor to the Yacht Club over to Fishermen’s Village, and ends after passing by Laishley Park. If you’ve never seen one of our boat parades, you won’t want to miss this!
  9. Ugly Sweater Run—December 17, 2014: Hit the pavement for a 1 to 3 mile run or walk in your favorite ugly sweater. The run starts at the Foot Landing at 6:15 for walkers and 6:30 for runners. It ends at Fishermen’s Village. A Trolley will take you back to the Foot Landing.
  10. Lighted Boat Parade—December 20, 2014: Whether you saw or missed the first boat parade of the year, you won’t want to miss this one. Check out this map to figure out the best place for you to watch these beautiful boats.
  11. The Nutcracker—December 23, 2014: The State Ballet of Russia performs this holiday classic at the Charlotte Harbor Events Center. Tickets are on sale now.

To learn more about what’s going on around Punta Gorda, Like us on Facebook.