Monday, April 8, 2013

Punta Gorda . . . a jewel in the sun

Although the Sarasota area is by far my favorite Florida destination, The Captain and I were pleasantly surprised with a sweet jewel in the sun, Punta Gorda, located approximately one hour south of Sarasota.

The Captain's parents and brother invited us on their spring break adventure to the southwest Florida resort . . . the guys wanted a deep sea fishing adventure and I was very pleased to find a beautiful little town to relax and take in some sun with our dog Kiki.

We stayed at the Four Points by Sheraton Punta Gorda Harborside which is located on the edge of the Charlotte Harbor waterfront in beautiful Punta Gorda.

The grounds were beautifully landscaped in a tropical setting, the hotel itself was decorated with a pleasant nautical theme, the rooms were super comfy with especially comfortable beds/fluffy pillows and the staff was friendly and helpful.  I was very surprised that they accepted dogs and Kiki was very happy in her familiar kennel in a new room.

A huge complaint about the hotel is that it is 100% non-smoking, which can be a form of torture for two smokers who had to escape to the vehicle in the middle of the night and in the midst of a rainstorm for a smoke (even though we tried to go smoke free with patches).  If we return to the area, that one inconvenience may be the thing that keeps us from staying at the hotel again.  It is my belief they could accommodate both smokers and non-smokers with their own areas.

Another negative was no microwave or refrigerator, but available for an additional charge.  A nice coffee/tea bar was included in the room.

The pool area was very relaxing and perfect for what we were looking for . . . relaxing in the sun . . . the surrounding landscape was awesome!  I appreciated that our dog Kiki was welcome at the pool area.

Photos of Dean's South of the Border, Punta Gorda
This photo of Dean's South of the Border is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Dean's South of the Border was another pleasant surprise!  The Captain and I ordered an overflowing plate of Nachos Supreme loaded with meat and cheese that was reasonably priced and very tasty and delicious.  The portions were so generous that we took home a doggie bag to enjoy later.  The service was friendly, but slow.  The atmosphere was awesome and so festive!  A live band was playing in the outdoor dining area.  I would definitely recommend this restaurant and dine there again and again.

Laishley Crab House advertises waterfront dining and the freshest seafood available.  The atmosphere was absolutely awesome . . . sadly, the food was very pricey and not so great . . . the service was less than desirable.  

For example, I ordered the Fried Shrimp plate which was just OK at the steep price of $18.00 for a moderate amount of shrimp.  It included a skimpy portion of french fries and a shriveled little piece of frozen corn on the cob . . . no salad included.  Others dining with us left most of their food because it lacked flavor.  Huge disappointment!  I do not recommend this restaurant!

Unfortunately, it rained all but one day of our stay, so we did not take our own photos and we didn't get to venture out much to explore this wonderful little town.  However, I would love to return and explore more!

The guys chartered an all-day deep sea fishing boat and came back with what equated to a freezer full of fish . . . it was worth the trip and the guys had an awesome time out on the Gulf of Mexico.  They wanted to do it again another day, but the weather did not permit another fishing adventure.

Most of the photos were taken from The Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce website.