Charlotte County, Florida, was named after Charlotte Harbor, which already existed when the County was organized. The Harbor’s name came from several sources: “Carlos” (Spanish), “Charles” (English), or “Calos” (Calusa Indian). In 1565, the first Spanish explorers named it “Carlos Bay,” but when the English took it over in 1775, they re-named the area “Charlotte Harbor” in tribute to Queen Charlotte Sophia, wife of King George III.
Maybe the best way to sum up Charlotte County is this interesting fact: There are as many registered boats as there are pick-ups in Charlotte County.
According to the 2000 census, Charlotte County has a total area of 859.12 square miles, of which 693.60 square miles (80.73%) is land and 165.51 square miles (19.27%) is water. This coastal community boasts 219 miles of natural shoreline, and most of the folks living here spend time on or near the water on a regular basis.
With its twelve miles of beaches and fifteen public beach access areas, Charlotte County gets a lot of visitors who also enjoy the coastal life daily. It boasts twenty eight marinas and thirteen boat ramps for local boaters to store and use their water craft. Commercial fishing boats are common across the area, providing millions of pounds of fish, crab and shrimp yearly for local restaurants, stores and individuals.
Established in 1921, Charlotte County is relatively young, but it has grown steadily as people from other areas discovered it and purchased land here. It has a pleasant climate, with 2 basic seasons: winter, which runs from January to March, and summer, which makes up the rest of the year.
Because of the warm winter temperatures, the County has a unique population, with as many as 30% being part-time winter residents. Called “snowbirds,” these folks only live in the county for 3-6 months, spending the balance of their time “up North.”
Charlotte County relies heavily on tourism for income, so there are a variety of stores, art and craft studios, libraries and activity-focused businesses available. Also attractive to guests are the large variety of natural eco-resources and preserves. In fact, Charlotte Harbor includes one of the world’s largest protected marine estuaries, which is 270 square miles! Charlotte County also offers 70+ parks and recreation areas, featuring 4 state parks and 1 federal wildlife refuge.
Education is important in the county, as evidenced by its 10 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, 3 senior high schools, 4 tech centers, 2 colleges and 2 universities.
One of the largest roadways in the state, US 41 (better known as Tamiami Trail), is the main highway running through Charlotte County. The road system in general is well-planned and well-maintained. With no snow and ice to freeze the road surfaces, pot holes are few and far between.
Although the median age is 57 years, with 34% of the population aged 65 or older, Charlotte County has the distinction of being the county with the highest percentage of people over 65 in America. Retirees folk to the area every year to find their own little piece of paradise.
But no statistics can capture the wonder of living in Charlotte County, Florida. The people are friendly and helpful, the weather is wonderful and the natural beauty is beyond compare. No wonder the County attracts more and more visitors every year, with many ending up as full-time residents within a few years.
Reference: Charlotte County