Located at 400 W. Retta Esplanade in historic Punta Gorda, Gilchrist Park contains 11 acres stretched along the waterfront between the downtown and Fishermen’s Village.
Gilchrist Park provides sweeping views of the Charlotte Harbor. Park amenities include a large playground; basketball, tennis and pickleball courts; fishing pier, gazebo, picnic pavilions, and lost of open green space..
Smaller events including weddings, craft shows and impromptu concerts known as Guitar Army every Tuesday and Thursday evening are held in the park as well.
The park is named for Governor Albert Gilchrist, a real estate broker, surveyor, and political leader and one of the founding fathers of the City. Governor Gilchrist was well loved in Punta Gorda with a lifetime of public service first on City Council, then in the State Legislature culminating as Governor of Florida from 1909 to 1913. Always a community benefactor, Governor Gilchirst in his will established a $5,000 endowment to the City for the provision of ice cream to all the children of Punta Gorda on Halloween. This tradition continues annually with the assistance of many community partners.
Also located within the park is the Bayfront Center operated by the YMCA of Charlotte County. This facility hosts YMCA programs including a sailing center. This waterfront facility is also available for event rental through the YMCA.
Other City Parks & Facilities
- Basketball Court
- Grilling Area
- Open Space
- Pickleball Court
- Picnic Tables
- Tennis Court
- Punta Gorda Pathways
Gilchrist Park provides approximately twelve (12) acres of Charlotte Harbor waterfront just west of US 41 hosting a variety of active recreation opportunities, including, basketball, pickleball, tennis, and a children’s playground area. Additionally, passive recreational activities include picnic pavilions, waterfront gazebo, and a fishing pier. As part of the Harborwalk Project, Gilchrist Park is undergoing renovations to include a new seawall, 20’ promenades along the harbor to complete the connection between the commercial anchors, Punta Gorda Waterfront Hotel and Fishermen's Village, on either side of the Park. The Harborwalk is a key factor in increasing the economic viability and sustainability through the connection of important pedestrian components to the downtown area. The connections include the small businesses, restaurants, shops and stores, which service the local residents as well as the tourist community. The completion of the Punta Gorda Pathways, a strategic series of multiuse paths encircling the City, will link key destination points, improve pedestrian and bicycle connectivity, and enhance economic viability of the core commercial areas.