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Tue, October 24, 2006
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One county, many communities

Rainbow Photo

From beautiful beaches to historic downtown, Charlotte County thrives on its diversity.

On one end of Charlotte County, you can visit pristine beaches. Drive to the other end, and you'll be in the midst of farmland, with both crops and cattle as far as the eye can see. And between the farms and the beaches is a historic downtown, industry, schools and entertainment, and nearly two dozen parks.

It's no wonder that the county is one of the fastest growing in the state. People have discovered Charlotte County's unspoiled beauty, climate and its livability, making it a destination of choice for both full-time residents and vacationers. (NOAA has a local weather forecast and live satellite picture of the area). The influx of residents has kept an already active Chamber of Commerce busy, welcoming people and helping new businesses get started. And the Charlotte County Airport has seen a rise in traffic.

From 1970 to 1979, the county's population more than doubled, from 27,000 to 58,000. During the 1980's, the population increased to more than 90,000. In 1994, the population neared 125,000. Enrollment of school-age children has soared, especially in the past five years, as families with younger children discover the county as an ideal place to raise a family.

One of the key ingredients of the county's success is its rich history and the uniqueness of its various communities. Punta Gorda, Englewood, Port Charlotte and the small communities between each have their own distinctive flavor, where single family homes under brilliant skies (see photo on right) can be the trademark or where events by clubs and organizations and art festivals flourish that attract both adults and kids alike. And if you're lucky, you'll get to see a Florida rainbow (such as the one spanning Fishermen's Village, above left).

In recent years, low-rise condominiums, townhouses and villas have been tastefully incorporated into the community to provide a variety of attractive and carefree living situations.

In recent years, low-rise condominiums, townhouses and villas have been tastefully incorporated into the community to provide a variety of attractive and carefree living situations.

But it's Charlotte County's diversity - as shown in the following summaries of its communities - that has become its hallmark and what makes it a delightful place to live, work and vacation.

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