Should You Move to Punta Gorda, Florida?

Aerial shot of Punta Gorda

Located on the shores of Charlotte Harbor in Southwest Florida, Punta Gorda offers an idyllic setting for folks contemplating a change of scenery. Known for its pristine waterways, fantastic fishing, and charming small-town ambiance, Punta Gorda is a magnet for those looking for the perfect blend of leisure, a laid-back lifestyle, and plenty of job opportunities. This comprehensive guide, brought to you by Hide-Away Storage, explores the key benefits (and a few minor drawbacks) of moving to Punta Gorda, including the weather, job market, education system, housing, local attractions, the dining scene, and more. Read on to get the full scoop and decide whether moving to Punta Gorda should be part of your plans.

The Weather is (Almost) Perfect

Sunsetting behind cityscape

With an average of about 270 sunny days per year, Punta Gorda is delightful for those who love the outdoors. It offers long, hot summers, often sweltering hot and humid. However, it offsets those two or three months with beautiful spring and fall seasons and a winter that can easily be described as mild and pleasant. One minor drawback is that, like most cities and towns in Florida, Punta Gorda has a hurricane season from June through November. If you live here, you must be prepared for hurricanes.

Job Market is Diverse and Growing

There’s no denying that Punta Gorda’s economy and job market have historically leaned on tourism, and quite heavily at that. However, over the last few years, there’s been significant growth in several other sectors, including education, healthcare, and retail. Many small businesses are thriving in Punta Gorda as it’s a very welcoming community that the local Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce well supports. Punta Gorda offers a promising job landscape for various professions and has shown growth instability over the last decade. In short, finding a new job when you arrive will be easier than in many other American cities.

Housing in Punta Gorda is Relatively Affordable

While it would be an exaggeration to say that housing is truly affordable in Punta Gorda, it’s cheaper than many other US towns and cities. The housing index in Punta Gorda is 107.6 out of 100, a mere 8 points above the United States average. The median home price is $388,800, slightly higher than the US average but not in the extreme.

However, you should note that renting an apartment is slightly more expensive in Punta Gorda than in other parts of Florida and the country. On average, a 2-bedroom apartment rents for $1629 a month, about 9% higher than the national average.

The Public Schools are Excellent

If you have children who are still in school, you’ll be glad to know that the public school system in Punta Gorda gets excellent grades. For example, it gets an A- grade from Niche, which is genuinely remarkable. Notably, only 1 of the 8 public schools in Punta Gorda receives a grade lower than a B.

Within the Punta Gorda area, several excellent educational institutions exist, including Western Michigan University, Florida SouthWestern State College, and Florida Gulf Coast University. Additionally, there’s Charlotte County Technical Center, which provides programs in multiple disciplines, including a partnership with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University through the Charlotte Aerospace Institute.

There are Many Fun and Exciting Things to Do

Ponce De Leon Park with cloud skies

In this part of southern Florida on the Gulf Coast, you’ll find a wide variety of activities, attractions, and fun things to do! That includes fishing, boating, biking, sailing, and walking on the area’s pristine beaches. Below is a short list of the many fun and exciting things in Punta Gorda!

  • Dolphin and Manatee Tours: See Florida’s most famous residents, manatees, and dolphins on the Peace River Nature Cruise, a day trip to Boca Grande, or a cruise to Cabbage Key!
  • Peace River Wildlife Center: A rehabilitation center dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating local wildlife, this center is an inspiring place to learn about the importance of conservation in Florida.
  • Punta Gorda Nature Park and Alligator Creek Preserve: Both locations have beautiful trails that traverse diverse habitats, perfect for a leisurely hike and lots of wildlife spotting. The enclosed butterfly garden at Alligator Creek Preserve is a must-see for nature enthusiasts!
  • Punta Gorda Pathways and Biking Trails: Explore the city’s scenic beauty on Punta Gorda’s world-class biking trails, including the picturesque Punta Gorda Pathways. (Be sure to bring plenty of water and sunblock!)
  • Fishermen’s Village: This waterfront hub encapsulates the spirit of Punta Gorda’s maritime lifestyle and offers fishing, dining, shopping, and boat rentals.
  • Military Heritage Museum and Muscle Car City Museum: For those who prefer outdoor and indoor activities, these museums offer fascinating insights into military history and classic American muscle cars.
  • Hit the Beach: Like many Florida cities on the Gulf Coast, Punta Gorda offers world-class beaches. They include Englewood Beach, Don Pedro Island State Park, Little Gasparilla Island, Port Charlotte Beach Park, and Stump Pass Beach State Park.

The Top 10 Restaurants in Punta Gorda

Steamed Crabs
  • River City Grill: Located downtown, this popular eatery is known for its diverse menu and use of local, organic ingredients.
  • Riviera Bar and Grill: Casual dining, a famous surf-and-turf menu, and live music make Riviera an excellent place for food, fun, and family.
  • Toula’s: Greek cuisine, great deals, and a friendly atmosphere for vegans and vegetarians? Yes, please!​
  • Laishley Crab House: Situated on the waterfront, Laishley’s is famous for its crab dishes and stunning views, making it the perfect spot for a romantic evening.
  • Carmelo’s Italian Ristorante: Authentic Italian cuisine in a romantic, casual setting​ sets Carmelo’s apart from the rest in Punta Gorda.
  • Celtic Ray Irish Pub: For an authentic taste of Ireland, the Celtic Ray is perfect. It’s beloved in Punta Gorda for traditional Irish cuisine, craft beers, and lively entertainment.​
  • Pioneers Pizza: They offer stone-oven-baked pizzas with a variety of toppings to please the palate of everyone in your family and other Italian favorites​.
  • Dean’s South of the Border: A Mexican restaurant with a vibrant atmosphere and an extensive menu of fantastic cocktails. Ay, caramba!
  • TT’s Tiki Bar: TT’s is famous thanks to its tropical cocktails, fresh seafood, and fabulous Rum Punch!​

When You Arrive, Store Your Belongings With Hide-Away Storage

If, after reading this guide, you’ve decided to move to Punta Gorda, great choice! As we’ve seen today, it’s a lovely town with a lot going for it! If you need a place to store your things in Punta Gorda while you search for your new home, Hide-Away Storage is also a great choice! Hide-Away offers safe, secure storage units in Punta Gorda in various sizes that can handle practically anything. That includes boat and RV storage, too.

Until then, we hope that this guide has given you the information you need to make an educated decision about whether or not you should move to lovely Punta Gorda, Florida!(Hint: You should! It’s a fantastic place to live, work, and raise a family!)