By Noelle Downey

With spring fever in full bloom and summer just around the corner, it’s no wonder so many of us are experiencing a little latent wanderlust at this time of year. With heavy winter coats and cold days snuggled up by a crackling fire behind us, we’re all looking to shed some layers and show some skin in the sun over the next few months. And, as it turns out, the perfect popular vacation spot may only be as far as the Sunshine State.

Whether you’re searching for the perfect luxury vacation spot to pamper yourself by the pool, a family-friendly adventure for your kids or even a sexy romantic getaway for two, Punta Gorda and Englewood Beach in Florida have just what you’re looking for.

With the vibrant seaside town of Punta Gorda less than 45 minutes away from the sparkling shores of Englewood beach, it’s not hard to imagine that people flock here for a little time in the surf and sand. But a little quality tanning time isn’t the only reason to check out these popular vacation spots. Here are five of the top attractions that will make every moment of your next vacation there one to remember.

1. Watersports: There’s no doubt about it, if you’ve ever dreamt of skimming across the water’s surface on skis or paddleboarding your way to victory in an impromptu boat race against your friends, Punta Gorda is the place to do it. Try kayaking for a gentler form of water travel, or, if you’re feeling extra daring, snorkel beneath the waves for a glimpse into the ecosystems of life under the sea.

2. 20 West Spa: Looking to indulge in some primo pampering during your luxury vacation? Look no further than 20 West Spa, which offers everything from facials, to pedicures to deep-tissue and Swedish massages. Enjoy their specialty organic treatments and take a long, deep breath as you relax and let the stresses of your “real” life melt away.

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3. Boca Boat Cruises: Ready for someone else to take the helm while you soak up the sights on the water? Take a romantic sunset journey offshore with your partner and share a kiss while watching dolphins splash and play in the water. What could be a more perfect opportunity for a romantic getaway that will send sparks flying between you and your favorite first mate?

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4. Wading Adventure: Looking to introduce your kiddos to the wonders of ocean life? The Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center can help, with an aquatic adventure that’s fun for the whole family. Children and parents alike can wade out into the water and make new friends while catching cool marine life specimens in their nets. The best part? The experts at the environmental center make sure each little creature makes it safely back to their ocean home at the end of the experience.

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5. Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary: Get a little wild at this popular vacation spot, the Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary. Walk within five feet of lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!) at this sanctuary that protects and helps animals that have previously been abused or mistreated. Hear about their stories and enjoy their exotic beauty as you take a break from sea life for a day and enjoy another side of the animal kingdom.

What do you think? Are Punta Gorda and Englewood Beach the next luxury vacation spots on your list to visit? Let us know which attraction sounds most fun to you in the comments!