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Florida’s Gulf Coast - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Other Florida

After the hustle, bustle and excitement of Orlando, Mickey Mouse and a trip to Kennedy which I can assure even those of you which are not technically-minded is a very interesting trip, why not stay next time in the south-west of Florida?

Englewood, still small-town America has a great beach, many lovely restaurants to suit all tastes and is an excellent base to discover ‘unknown Florida’.

Rental villas are in the Rotonda West circle, an area once the property of the Vanderbilt family who used it as a ranch, hence the 30 miles of freshwater canals which many of the properties back onto. Just a few miles into Englewood for a visit to Wal Mart and then onto the beach which stretches for miles. Stump Pass Beach is a State Park and offers tranquillity and about a mile-long beach which backs onto the Stump Pass Inlet.

Back to Rotonda with its quiet, flat roads perfect for walking and cycling. Largely a residential area but also popular with snow-birds from Canada and the Northern US States as well as British visitors who do want Orlando-by-the-Sea. Apart from villas that back onto the alligator occupied canals there are golf courses and conservation areas to be admired. Armadillos, bobcats, osprey, wood storks, turtles, numerous varieties of fish and birdlife are there to be seen.

Restaurants of all kinds from McDonald’s and Denny’s to fine dining at La Stanza or Gulf Grill on the beach, Mama’s with her renown pizzas to Howard’s with the best salad bar I have seen can be found in Englewood.

To the east of Englewood is the ‘metropolis’ of Port Charlotte having passed the Charlotte Sports Stadium where Spring Training takes place along with many events during the year. 16 screen cinema, shopping mall with all the major stores, as many restaurants as I am sure there are weeks in the year!

Across the Peace River Bridge to the south marks the division from sub-tropical to tropical region and the olde worlde town of Punta Gorda which suffered so badly in the hurricanes of 2004. Now restored to its former charm this is an interesting area of older property and the ‘quiet life’. Fisherman’s Village is the home of small boutique shops, restaurants and the inimitable King Fisher boat trips of which I cannot speak too highly.

Leave Mickey and Universal – come to the Real Florida of old, it is still here in Englewood and the surrounding area!

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