Englewood is an unincorporated community that is partly in Sarasota County and partly in Charlotte County on Florida's West Coast.
The population of Englewood was about 15,095 in the 2020 census. It is about 12 miles south of Venice on State Road 776.
If you are heading south out of Venice on US-41, take SR-776 due south near the bend where US-41 turns to the east.
The closest airport is in Charlotte County at Punta Gorda about 30 miles away.
William and Mary Goff were the first settlers in the area in 1878. They bought 60 acres of land fronting on Lemon Bay.
The Nichols brothers were early developers who first platted the town in 1896, naming it after their hometown of Englewood, Illinois.
The town slowly grew over the years with its main enterprises being fishing, farming, and lumber.
Now old Englewood is surrounded by many developments, including two great big ones.
The first thing that happened to change Englewood's isolation was General Development's expansion of their Port Charlotte community northward from Charlotte County into Sarasota County.
This expansion was initially called North Port Charlotte, and it was incorporated that way in 1959.
Residents changed the name to North Port in 1974 so people wouldn't confuse it with Port Charlotte. Over 55,000 people now live in North Port.
Port Charlotte is adjacent to the south and has about the same population as North Port.
The next big thing that happened was Rotonda, called Rotonda West by the Cavanagh Communities Corporation.
It was given that name to differentiate it from Rotonda East they intended to develop on the east coast in southern Martin County and northern Palm Beach County.
Rotonda East never happened, but Rotonda West now has nearly 8,000 people scattered around its uniquely circular layout.
Cavanagh Communities went broke some time ago, but there are many thousands of lots still available for homes.
The communities around Englewood are of mixed styles, with several neighborhoods consisting of houses on canals with waterfront views.
Once you get past these sprawling communities with thousands of scattered homes of standard Florida design dating from the 1960s to modern times, you get into Englewood proper.
It is a typical old Florida town nestled along the shores of Lemon Bay, an estuary of the Gulf of Mexico.
The old part of town, the historic district, is centered along West Dearborn Street west of SR-776, also known as Indiana Avenue in this area.
Dearborn Street began as a path and oxen trail used by the early settlers and was the original downtown.
The downtown area is nicely painted with plenty of pastel colors and a nice mural here and there. It is not a fancy gentrified area, but a real working village.
There are historic buildings, many nice shops, local artists, and several neat little restaurants with plenty of outside dining.
One popular dining spot is the Mango Bistro, which has live entertainment on the weekends.
West Dearborn Street also holds the Lemon Bay Playhouse if you want to catch a live show.
For many years, the Englewood Farmers Market was a mainstay, although now it has closed down (hopefully temporarily.)
The town has a dry storage marina with a few boat slips among many older and modern neighborhoods with canals and boats behind the homes.
Manasota Key is located across Lemon Bay from Englewood, and is an easy drive for a day at the beach. Englewood is a great place to while away a day or a week.
There are several wineries in the area: Catania's Winery in Englewood is a small operation and one of the best places to start a wine tasting tour.
For outdoor adventures you will find an abundance of activities.
Englewood and nearby cities throughout Southwest Florida are well-known for beautiful beaches where you can relax and enjoy the warm water.
In addition to the popular Englewood Beach, you'll find Manasota Key Beach, Blind Pass Beach, and Stump Pass Beach State Park.
The beach is a quiet public beach and is the least busy of all beaches in the area.
Blind Pass Beach State Park is unique, with its mile-long secluded beach featuring white coarse sand.
You will also find an amazing array of many seashells and shark teeth that wash ashore.
There are also natural habitats for a variety of wildlife.
A nature lover's delight, you can venture down a hiking trail to explore the natural beauty of five different habitats.
West Indian Manatees, gopher tortoises, and snowy egrets are among them. In the winter months, the park offers guided nature walks.
Lemon Bay Park has 104 acres on Lemon Bay.
Cedar Point Environmental Park is a favorite for nature and wildlife lovers.
You can enjoy a garden visit to the butterfly garden or take an eco-tour of Lemon Bay.
Nearby Myakka State Forest has wooden walkways through the forest canopy and a high observation tower you can climb.
You can also visit the scary Deep Pond at nearby Myakka State Park for alligator viewing with a special required permit.
There are over 40 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, bird watching and small game hunting.
History enthusiasts will enjoy the area as well.
Along this coast is Indian Mound Park, a significant site with its rich indigenous culture, nature trails, and a boat ramp.
It is also known for its great bird watching.
Depending on the time of year you visit, you may be pleasantly surprised by the wide variety of birds and ducks and other Florida birds.
The Englewood area also has many nice golf courses in the surrounding communities.
One of the best things about Englewood is its interesting mix of old and new, along with beautiful skies, water and many attractions.
It has something to offer just about anyone.