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
Ponce de Leon ParkAmenities:
- Boat Ramp
- Observation Deck/Area
- Open Air Chapel
- Open Space
- Picnic Tables
- Seating Area/Benches
- Stationary Grills
Ponce de Leon Park is a sixteen (16) acre facility located along Charlotte Harbor. The park contains a boardwalk through a mangrove forest, a non-profit wildlife sanctuary, a fishing pier, a beach area, small children’s playground and boat ramp facilities. The park is effectively buffered from the surrounding neighborhoods by a portion of the Charlotte Harbor State Buffer Reserve.