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
- Grilling Area
- Observation Deck/Area
- Open Space
- Pet Friendly
- Picnic Tables
- Seating Area/Benches
- Punta Gorda Pathways
Laishley Park contains seventeen (17) acres originally developed in 1993 within the Downtown District. In 2005 redevelopment of the park began with the construction of new docks, a boat ramp, parking facilities, and a marina building containing a Harbor Master’s Office and a community room. Additionally, construction of a restaurant, open pavilions to facilitate a fresh market, and an outdoor concert area/festival space were completed in 2010. This facility hosts a variety of festivals and events from chili bake-offs to concerts and is host to a 4th of July celebration.