Developed in the 1950s as part of a series of planned communities scattered throughout the Florida peninsula, Port Charlotte is the most populated area in Charlotte County. According to 2006 estimates, the population of just over 45,000 is spread over an area of roughly 24 square miles. The area also includes roughly 2 miles of waterways.
Port Charlotte relies heavily on tourism and beach-related services and businesses to fuel the local economy. Lesser sources of business revenue were associated with general retail and telecommunication services.
The Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce, located on the Tamiami Trail, promotes business development in the city, as well as networking opportunities between members.
Major employers in Port Charlotte include Charlotte County Offices, Peace River Regional Medical Center, Fawcett Memorial Hospital and Wal-Mart Supercenter.
Port Charlotte is located off Interstate 75. The community is also accessible from the Tamiami Trail, a highway that more or less follows the Gulf Coast coastline south of Tampa Bay. The community currently does not provide public transportation opportunities offered in larger and incorporated municipalities.
The network of waterways in and around Port Charlotte provides a practical source of local transportation as well as easy access to the Gulf of Mexico and Charlotte Harbor.
Airport service is provided at the nearby Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport. Tampa Bay International Airport is also within an hour's driving distance.
Bus and air charters are also available.
The Port Charlotte community is served by three institutions of higher learning, which are located in neighboring towns and cities:
The Murdock section of Port Charlotte has developed into a shopping district in the north part of the community. Port Charlotte Town Center Mall offers all the amenities and shopping opportunities of malls in large metropolitan areas, including national chains, local shops, and a wide selection of restaurants. Smaller locally-owned craft and general stores are found around the community.
Port Charlotte contains a number of recreational and entertainment facilities for both residents and visitors. Some of the more popular spots include:
Historic Homes and Buildings include:
Popular recurring community events include:
Beginning in 2009, Port Charlotte became the official spring training home for the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays utilize Charlotte Sports Park for the training.
Port Charlotte is served by several radio stations owned and operated by Clear Channel Communications:
WINK-TV and Radio also provide the community with local television coverage and radio programming.