Sailing in Charlotte Harbor: Top 10 SAIL MAGAZINE Greatest Places To Sail

SAIL magazine has listed Charlotte Harbor as one of the top 10 greatest places to sail in the United States. The June issue of SAIL describes in a “Heavenly Harbor” article the Charlotte Harbor as 20 miles long and 10 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, and “provides cruising options galore.” Lined with mangrove forests and protected by barrier islands, the harbor offers wide-open sailing areas, limited boat traffic, an abundance of anchorages, an (unusual for some parts of Florida) a lack of bridges. Gasparilla Island, the historic town of Punta Gorda, and Cayo Costa State Park on Pelican Bay are three of the area’s cruising hot spots. Charlotte Harbor’s sailing season is year round. Local cruisers and trailersailors are spoiled by water temperatures that top 85 degrees in summer and sea breezes that register 12 to 15 knots.

Once your’re out of the harbor, the gulf is your playground. “it’s wide open once you get past our red marker two,” says Mike McCartan of the Burnt Store Marina. There’s Venice to the North, Naples to the South, and scenic Captiva and Sanibel Islands.


When you think about world class fishing some area’s that come to mind might be places like the Florida Keys and the Bahamas, etc . Well you need to add Charlotte Harbor to that list as it is one of the best kept secrets in the world.

As a pristine destination for countless numbers of redfish, snook, and tarpon Charlotte Harbor and its surrounding waters are becoming an anglers dream . With endless shorelines of the backcountry to the world famous Boca Grande pass this area has it all. Charlotte Harbor is the second largest naturally occurring bay on the west coast of Florida.

With over 129 square miles of sparkling, protected waters you can spend hours fishing or just exploring new ground without ever having to enter the Gulf of Mexico or the intra-coastal. Charlotte Harbor is a large estuary comprised from the outpourings of two rivers, the Peace River to the east and the Myakka River. Charlotte Harbor and adjacent Gasparilla Sound comprise 80,000 acres of some of the most productive coastal areas in Florida and comprise an incredible network of barrier islands and mangrove forests.

Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands have emerged as one of the world’s top sport fishing destinations. With over 75 square miles of pristine grass flats and miles of mangrove shorelines, Charlotte Harbor’s incredible diversity of great fishing is hooking anglers from around the world. Tarpon, snook, redfish, barracuda, cobia, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, pompano, bluefish, jacks, sheepshead, numerous species of grouper and many other species of sport and game fish regularly traverse between the Gulf of Mexico and Charlotte Harbor.