Florida is one of the best states to live in the US. Its sunshine and beaches are renowned throughout North America. If you’re planning to move here, one of the cities to consider is Punta Gorda. The small city has a lot to look forward to. So, what’re the pros and cons of living in Punta Gorda?
Punta Gorda has a livability rating of 83, which shows how great the city is. Its positives include its location, beautiful neighborhoods, safety, low cost of living, the opportunity for outdoor activities, and low traffic. But there are a few issues like the slow pace of life and minimal amenities.
However, it’s easy to look past its few cons, especially as they’re not deal-breakers. Here, we discuss the pros and cons of living in Punta Gorda, leaving you to decide if it’s right.
Pros of living in Punta Gorda
There are several things to love about Punta Gorda. They include:
1. Minimal Traffic
There are multiple transportation options here, ranging from roads to canals. Punta Gorda has an airport that connects it to major cities in the US. While it’s car-dependent, the average commute time of 26 minutes is shorter than the national average.
2. Great Location
Punta Gorda itself is quite laid back. But it’s close to other slightly bigger communities that offer better entertainment options and amenities. The closest is Port Charlotte which has more shopping and restaurant facilities. There are also parks, malls, fairgrounds, and other activities in Port Charlotte. Port Charlotte is also closer to the gulf beaches, so you can easily access the beaches even if you’re staying in Punta Gorda.
While the city is self-sufficient in many ways, its proximity to bigger cities means that whatever you can’t get in Punta Gorda, you can get it with less than an hour’s drive from there to another city. For example, you can easily go to Venice if you want to access the beaches. Other close cities include Fort Myers and Cape Coral. If you want to visit a major city, Tampa, Orlando, Miami, and the likes are only a few hours away by car and even shorter if you choose to fly.
3. Opportunity for Outdoor Activities
Punta Gorda might be for you if you enjoy being outdoors and close to the water. The city has a lot of outdoor entertainment options such as Tennis Courts, basketball courts, fitness stations, restaurants, parks, fishermen’s village, etc. you’ll even find places where you can loan bikes for free so you can take advantage of the several biking parts that the city has to offer. The only blemish here is that it doesn’t have a beach.
4. Beautiful Environment and Great Neighborhoods
Punta Gorda is a beautiful place to live and has a beautiful environment with waterfront access. There are many outdoor activities you can get involved in here, and many areas are quite walkable. The most popular neighborhood here is the Punta Gorda Isles, which is almost completely waterfront. If you enjoy boating, you’ll enjoy living here. The height of the bridges is about 12 to 14 ft above the water, ensuring that your boat can pass under the bridge.
Another great thing about this place is that your taxes cover the repair of the seawalls, which means that if there should be damage to the sea wall in front of your home, the government comes to fix it, and you don’t have to worry. They dredge the canals. The canal systems in the city are quite amazing, making it possible to get to different parts of the city more easily. The average commute through the canal system is about 15 minutes. Other communities are close to Punta Gorda and offer incredible amenities such as golf courses, restaurants, etc.
The people here are also very friendly, which you’ll find great as a newcomer trying to navigate your way through a new city. If you want a city that offers small-town vibes with a laidback environment and incredible environment, you don’t need to look past this city. The city is usually sunny, and it doesn’t snow here. But it can get a bit hot for some months in the city. Humidity is also quite high.
5. Safe City
This is one of the safest cities in the country. With around 21,000 people, it’s the second safest city in Florida. The rates of violent crimes and property crimes are below the national average. So, you have little to worry about when living here. No matter the part of the city you choose to live in, you can be sure of your security.
6. Fairly Affordable for Residents
The cost of living here is also below the national average, which makes it a fairly affordable place to stay. Even the real estate prices in the city aren’t so bad given how lovely it is. The average price of homes here is $405,581, and it’s only this high because of a 38.7% increase in the past year. So, the cost of living is gradually climbing up too, mostly because of the price of real estate. The average monthly rent for a one-bed apartment in the city is $1,800 due to a 13% rise since last year.
Cons of Living in Punta Gorda
There are few issues despite the many great qualities of living in Punta Gorda. They include:
1. Quite Boring
Punta Gorda isn’t exactly a vibrant city. It’s mostly a place for retirees and tourists to enjoy the warm weather. Many people own properties here that they only come to for a few months in the year while leaving it vacant for the rest of the time. So, it might not be the best place for a young person. But the job market isn’t so bad as the income per capita and household income here are slightly higher than the national average. So, the economy is quite great.
2. Fewer Amenities
If you need access to shopping facilities and other amenities such as hospitals, restaurants, and parks, Punta Gorda doesn’t have many. The city has just one hospital and is also low in other amenities. For your shopping needs, you may have to head out to Port Charlotte, which is the neighboring city and has more stores and is more commercialized. So, if you don’t mind having to drive some minutes to a neighboring city before you can get some of the necessities you need, Punta Gorda shouldn’t be so bad for you. Of course, the downtown area of Port Charlotte is like living in Punta Gorda, as it’s only a short drive away. So, there isn’t much difference, and the proximity to Port Charlotte might turn out to be an advantage for you.
Punta is a family-friendly community that ranks high on almost all livability factors. This makes it one of the best cities to stay in Florida or even the US. Of course, it’s a matter of your preference.