Sun Realty, Punta Gorda, FL 33950June Poliachik, Realtor and Michelle Brisendine, Realtor
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Charlotte Harbor Makes SAIL Magazine’s ‘10 Greatest’ List


            PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.- (May 27, 2004) - The world’s premier sailing magazine has recently announced its top 10 list of greatest places to sail in the United States – and Charlotte Harbor is among the elite.           

            SAIL magazine – calling itself  "the largest circulation sailing magazine in the world," with a circulation of 180,000 – published the list in its June 2004 issue. The article, titled “Heavenly Harbors,” prominently displays Charlotte Harbor and elaborates on why the area – in Charlotte County, located halfway between Sarasota and Naples on the Southwest Florida Gulf coast – is considered such a top-notch destination.           

            “Indecisive sailors may want to avoid Charlotte Harbor,” the article says. “Twenty miles long and 10 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, it provides cruising options galore.”          

            “Lined with mangrove forests and protected by barrier islands, the harbor offers wide-open sailing areas, limited boat traffic, an abundance of anchorages, and (unusual for some parts of Florida) a lack of bridges.”           

            The article also highlights Gasparilla Island, the historic town of Punta Gorda and Cayo Costa State Park on Pelican Bay as three of the area’s “cruising hot spots.”           

            What makes the Top 10 list so impressive is the more popular areas it excludes.           

            “We found that some renowned sailing towns – Newport, Rhode Island (busy boat traffic), Key West, Florida (more for fishermen than sailors), and Hood River, Oregon (more for speedsters than cruisers) – have a notable flaw,” the authors explain. “We think the towns we selected deliver more. Stop by and be assured of a welcome.”           

            “This is hugely significant for the exposure that it provides as well as recognition by one of the nation's premier sailing publications,” said Becky Bovell, Charlotte County’s tourism director. “SAIL Magazine’s accolades about the crown jewel of Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands are being broadcast loud and clear and will resonate with boaters around the country.”   

            Bovell, as head of the Charlotte County Visitor’s Bureau, has been marketing the area nationally as “Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands,” with the slogan, “Florida’s Best-Kept Secret.”           

            But it seems lately that the secret is getting out.          

            The bureau recently released figures showing revenues from the tourist development tax – a 3 percent levy on all lodging facilities – reached an all-time high in March, topping out at $295,223 – this represents a cumulative increase of over 11% over the first six months of 2003. In addition, there was a dramatic increase in the number of inquiries received at the Visitor’s Bureau official Web site,, with user session traffic increasing an average of 140 percent the past four months over that of last year.           

            And this is not the first time Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands has received national attention for being featured on prominent “best of” lists.           

            Forbes magazine’s Milken Institute has rated the Punta Gorda metropolitan statistical area – which comprises Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands – as among the top five “Best Small Places for Businesses and Careers.” Money magazine named it “Best Small Place to Live in the South,” and the area has also been ranked near the top by Men’s Journal, MSN, Florida Trend magazine and Sperling’s BestPlaces, creators of “Cities: Ranked and Rated.”           

            For more information on how you can enjoy Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands, visit the Charlotte County Visitor’s Bureau Web site at or call 1-888-4PUR-FLA.


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