Charlotte County, Florida Will Make You Relaxed and Blissful
Thinking of buying land in Florida near beaches? There’s lots of affordable quality Florida land for sale - you just need to know where to look.
Lucky for you, you’re looking in the right place! I’m going to share with you a sweet spot in southern Florida that boasts fantastic prices for vacant and undeveloped land.
How Florida got its Name
Let’s do a really quick overview of the state level, and then we’ll dive into Charlotte County! In the year 1513, Juan Ponce de Leon, a Spanish explorer, landed on the eastern shores of Florida. He was supposedly searching for the Fountain of Youth. He called the area ‘la Florida’ in honor the Spanish festival ‘Pascua florida’, the feast of the flowers.
Florida still has abundant wildflowers, but now it’s most commonly known by its nickname the Sunshine State. Florida is also known for its many alligators, the Everglades, oranges, and of course - beaches!
Charlotte County, Florida
Charlotte County is located on the Gulf Coast of southern Florida. This area of Florida has a colorful history. It was settled by the Spanish in 1565, who named it ‘Bahia de Carlota’, or Charlotte Bay. In 1775 the English claimed the area from the Spanish and named it ‘Charlotte Harbor’ in honor of Queen Charlotte Sophia, wife of King George III (the monarchs at that time).
The current land size of Charlotte County is 680 square miles and 178 square miles of water. Charlotte County has been growing steadily in recent years, and its current population is approximately 175,000 people.
Charlotte, Florida Weather
Southern Florida is known for its beaches. Vast, beautiful, sandy beaches! This makes it a popular worldwide travel destination due to its promise of sunshine, heat, and beaches all year round. Charlotte County will not let you down. Summer temperatures average around 91°F!
This is the perfect weather for lounging on the beach and taking a dip in the ocean to cool you off. Pure bliss. Winter temperatures average around 51°F, and here’s the best part – with 0 inches of snowfall! Why torture yourself with ice-covered cars, cold bones, and snow-ridden driveways?
This area of Florida is popular with ‘snowbirds’ escaping the harsh winters. ‘Snowbird’ is a North American term for a person who migrates from the higher latitudes and colder climates of the northern United States and Canada in the southward direction in winter to warmer locales such as Florida, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, or elsewhere along the Sun Belt and areas of the Caribbean.
Although snowbirds used to be associated with retired or older persons, snowbirds increasingly are of all ages. Many residents in the colder areas of the USA and Canada vacation in warmer southern locations to escape the winter weather. It’s not just the 8-month summer climate that draws people to Charlotte County, it’s the landscape!
Southern Florida is blessed with a multitude of beaches, Everglade-like parks, and picturesque treasures such as the Florida Keys. Charlotte County is on the Gulf Coast, which usually has warmer ocean temperatures than the eastern Atlantic coast. Enjoy a cold drink on the beach, in a hammock, under a palm tree. Explore national parks in the area by kayak, sail, or motor-boat. Southern Florida offers one of the most relaxing and tranquil scenes in all of the U.S., hang out here to recharge and refresh yourself, let the beach wash your worries away!
Why Florida Man
Florida Man became a phenomenon as an Internet meme in 2013. The meme typically consists of links to news stories and articles about unusual or strange crimes or events occurring in Florida, particularly those where the headline refers to the subject as "Florida Man" calling attention to Florida's apparent notoriety for strange and unusual activity.
Even with all the hype and attention of Florida Man, Florida is a great place to live, and sees a high number of internal immigration every year, around 1.56% or 375,000 people! This means that many people are paying for over-priced real estate and living conditions, just to get a sport in the sunshine state.
If you’re looking to move to or establish a vacation home in Florida, Charlotte County may be the perfect place for you. There are a handful of larger cities in the county to choose from: Port Charlotte (population: 69,754), Punta Gorda (population: 65,520), Englewood (population: 15,631), Rotunda West (population: 8,306), and Placida (population: 2,157).
Charlotte County offers plenty of shopping opportunities, with some fantastic nearby outlet malls (Promenades Mall, Port Charlotte Town Center, Bealls Outlet Stores, Sanibel Outlets). A great place to walk around on those few rainy days.
The cost of living in Charlotte County is less expensive than the U.S. average and less than that of its neighbors Fort Myers and Sarasota. In Charlotte County, you get the benefits of nearby big cities, without the increase in taxes and costs. The savings may draw you to Charlotte, but the community will keep you here. This is a community that cares about its environment and has initiated several Community Redevelopment Agencies to encourage local initiative to revitalize older downtowns and declining neighborhoods. Some examples include the Charlotte Harbor, Murdock Village, and Parkside.
There is also the Charlotte Community Foundation. This is a nonprofit organization that is focused on the well-being and quality of life for its citizens. They address resident needs, issue scholarships, and promote growth in the region. The Charlotte Community Foundation works towards its goal:
Our goal is to enhance the quality of life for Charlotte County residents by nurturing a community of givers and connecting them to the causes that make a difference. We want to help build an enduring community of philanthropy that addresses community needs now and in the future.
In order to help promote growth, Charlotte County has worked towards becoming more progressive and open-minded, and the result is the Charlotte 2050 Comprehensive Plan. The Plan documents how the county will grow in the future, complete with goals, objectives, and policies to help guide development.
This progressive mindset transcends property ownership. Charlotte allows you to customize your land in a multitude of ways. Some properties allow for tiny homes, manufactured and container homes or a custom developed home. Good news - in most areas mobile homes are allowed! Just make sure that you install them on a permanent foundation. And, although it is rare for the county to allow it, there are a few areas where you can RV or camp on your property.
When evaluating the property in any county, it’s best to check with the County’s Planning and Zoning Department or equivalent to get the zoning classification. In Charlotte County, the best place to contact would be the Planning & Zoning Division. They will be able to tell you what a property is zoned for, and what activities can be done or structures can be built on it.
If you’re planning on building, the Building Construction Division of Charlotte offers services for plan review, permits, code compliance, and contractor licensing. Additionally, Charlotte County offers a Green Building Program complete with energy saving tips. At a bare minimum, any development or construction site in Charlotte County must have the following:
Approved Plan and Building Specifications
Charlotte, Florida Things to Do
There are a ton of activities to do in Charlotte County! Florida is an amazing travel destination, and Charlotte is no exception. Whether you’re looking to vacation or relocate to the south, you won’t run out of things to do.
Being on the Gulf Coast and surrounded by rivers and waterways provides the area with dozens of different fishing sites. This list is a great resource provided by the county to tell you which sites have boat ramps, piers, and are good for kayaks or canoes.
Some of the most common species for fishing are:
If you’re willing to venture out a bit farther and do some deep-sea fishing, you will find snapper, amberjack, cobia, kingfish, different shark species, and tuna. Let your angling expertise grow with every throw of the line!
Along with a fantastic fishing scene, Charlotte County also offers a competitive hunting environment. Per the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, a license is required to hunt or fish recreationally. Nearby Fort Myers offers some of the best trophy boar hunts in the state of Florida. Some common game in Florida is:
Bird and waterfowl
Dove and quail
An extremely popular activity for locals and tourists alike is sailing. You can charter a boat, rent one, or use a boat ramp to take your own craft out on the water. A lot of people will sail down to the Caribbean, and this is a great starting point. If you’re looking for some local sailing trip ideas, check out this article from Viator. You’ll see that their most popular tour is sail, snorkel, and kayak around Key West.
Naturally, Florida also offers an extensive selection of beaches. Unspoiled and free from crowds, the naturally beautiful beaches near Port Charlotte range from the barrier islands along the Gulf of Mexico to the shores of Charlotte Harbor. Port Charlotte beaches off Charlotte Harbor are also a perfect spot for swimming, sunbathing, shelling, and simply relaxing.
This area is world-renowned for tarpon fishing. If you are eager to see fish up close, charter a boat and enjoy the sport first-hand. Port Charlotte Beach Park has clean sand, sheltered waters, and spectacular sunsets. Amenities include a boardwalk with a fishing pier, boat ramp, kayak launch, bocce ball courts, basketball courts, tennis courts, beach volleyball courts, a playground area, restrooms, and a recreation center with a heated swimming pool.
Englewood Beach offers white sand, sea oats, blue waters, a boardwalk with covered lookouts, restrooms, showers, beach volleyball courts, basketball courts, horseshoe pits, a playground area, food vendors, and pavilions with charcoal grills.
Other popular beaches in Charlotte County include Port Charlotte Beach Park, Englewood Beach at Chadwick Park, Manasota Key, Placida, Punta Gorda Beach, and Cape Haze.
Florida is blessed with one of the longest golf seasons in the US, plenty of time to perfect your swing! There are over 20 golf courses in Charlotte County alone to choose from, some of these are private clubs, and others are open to the public.
One of the best is the Port Charlotte Golf Club, a premier course located in the heart of Charlotte County. A golf haven practically at your doorstep!
Some other great activities that you can enjoy in Charlotte County are:
MLB Spring training
Museums (Historic Center, Military Heritage Museum, Blanchard House, Lisa L Gallery-Studio, Muscle Car City)
Punta Gorda Downtown Farmer’s Market
Youth Sports Leagues
Community Events (Boat Shows Booze Cruises, Mango Mania, Chalk Festival, Shark Coast Tactical, Sarasota Highland Games and Celtic Festival, Knights of Columbus Car Show)
What is Florida Known for?
Aside from the other great benefits and feature we discussed, when you think of Florida, you can’t help but think ocean and surf. And you’re not wrong. But, Florida is also popular for it’s many state parks and forests.
The Myakka State Forest is a must visit in Charlotte County. The Myakka River flows through the northeastern portion of the forest, dividing it into two tracts. This ensures plenty of recreational activities such as biking, camping, horseback riding, fishing, hiking, hunting, paddling, and picnics.
Myakka State Forest is an excellent park with much to see and wildlife to observe (with active alligators!). Enjoy a walk, tree bathing in this peaceful environment, and press the reset button on your day.
Another great way to reset and get in touch with nature is to explore nearby Stump Pass Beach State Park and Gasparilla Island State Park.
At Stump Pass Beach you can expect beautiful remote beaches with white sand. An awesome spot for fishing, swimming, and beachcombing! Stump Pass is located at the southwest corner of Charlotte County, where there is a mile of beach where seashells and shark teeth wash up and where anglers fish the surf for prize catches.
Floria State Parks points out that shelling here is best in the winter months. You can explore the hiking trail, or launch a kayak to enjoy the West Indian manatees, gopher tortoises, snowy egrets, least terns and magnificent frigate birds.
Gasparilla Island State park is a sportsman’s paradise! Tarpon and other prized fish call the blue waters here home. Gasparilla is separated from the mainland by Charlotte Harbor and Pine Island Sound, it’s part of a chain of Gulf Coast barrier islands. Be sure to check out the iconic Port Boca Grande Lighthouse while you’re there.
As mentioned by Florida State Parks, swimming, snorkeling, fishing and nature study are popular activities which can be accessed at any of our five parking lots. Shelling is particularly good in the winter months along the Gulf. There are two picnic areas that offer pavilions for shade and scenic views of the surrounding water.
Charlotte County is filled with beaches, shorelines, and activities. It’s an incredible opportunity for those looking to establish a vacation home, move, or retire to Florida without overpaying. Charlotte County is an undiscovered paradise in between larger cities and metropolitan areas, but it won’t stay that way for long - so don’t miss your opportunity to get some Florida land at great prices!
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