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I am going on a family vacation tomorrow (havnt had a vacation in over 15 years, huzzah!)
We are going to be renting a house in Port Charlotte (between Sarasota and Ft Meyers)
I wanted to hear from some locals, any places to check out?
Good local food?

Going with 2 young ones (3 and 9), so anything that would be good for them?
And something for a "date night" with the Mrs?

It will be so nice to leave this chicago weather behind for a week. Its actually snowing slightly now.
 

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If you feel like driving an hour maybe a bit more north you could take the kids to Bush Gardens and the wife to the Salvador Dali museum... I'm sure there is something closer but I wouldn't know.
 

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Let's see. Ft Myers you have the Edison and Ford homes. Sarasota you have The Selby Gardens (I love that place) The Florida Railroad Museum and Sarasota Bay fishing. Pt Charlotte is great for fishing too as is Boca Grande. Sarasota is a beautiful city to visit.
 

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Be sure to visit downtown Punta Gorda. Quaint little area, always something on both sides of the bridge on the weekends - and the weekends 9-2 there is a farmer's market that also sells jewelry, plants, and so on. At 2:00 on Sundays there are tours of the gardens there.

Punta Gorda has free bicycles, look for the yellow ones and just take it where you want to go. Don't know about kids' bikes as I don't have any but I'm sure there's something.

Restaurants: We like Manatee Pizza (kid friendly) and Ice House, also kid friendly and right behind Manatee. Laishley Crab House if you're into expensive dining, Harpoon Harry's if you want on the water but casual.

In Port Charlotte, try Wally's for the best barbecue. I haven't found a great seafood place over there. We spend most of our time at Harpoon Harry's, as we are casual and only 2 miles away.

Go to the beach at Englewood and be sure to eat right across from it at Lock & Key.

For a longer drive, go down to Sanibel Island and spend the day. Tons of great beaches, shells at Bowman's Beach, and the Bubble Room is a must-go for meals. Or try Trader's --we've eaten there the last 2 times.

If any troubles, pm me. :)
 
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