Surrounded by natural beauty, Oyster Creek Golf and Country Club is one of Englewood’s most attractive gated communities. Named after the rivulet that runs through the neighborhood and flows into Lemon Bay to the west, the area was developed by the Vernon Group, which has been involved in building upscale communities in Florida for decades.
Located to the south of South McCall Road, the main east-west artery that runs through Englewood from Port Charlotte, Oyster Creek conveys a sense of ease, serenity and laid-back Florida lifestyle. Large, mature oaks, pines and palms line undulating fairways and scenic ponds. Wildlife from nature preserves in the community and a nearby sanctuary include birds, alligators, bobcat and an occasional Florida panther.
There are two entrances to the community. Oriole Boulevard, a divided roadway with a tree- and shrub-filled median, runs a quarter-mile from South McCall Road to the main gate, which is guarded 24/7. The side entrance off San Casa Drive, which marks the western boundary of the neighborhood, can be accessed by residents with a gate clicker.
Most of the 404 home sites are arranged along curved lanes and back up to fairways, ponds or preserves. The initial development occurred in the early 1990s, but around 2006, a section of attached villas was added. The architecture has Mediterranean influences throughout. The two- and three-bedroom residences, ranging in size from around 1,300 to 2,000 square feet, are reasonably priced in the $200,000s.
The Oyster Creek Golf Course is a separate entity and open to the public. Homeowners are welcome, but not required to join. The 18-hole executive course was designed by famed links architect Ted McAnlis in 1993. Covered with Bermuda grass, every fairway is either lined with mature oaks, pine trees and palms, or bordered by sand traps or water hazards. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy the paved cart trails, a putting and chipping green, a practice bunker, and a pro shop and café.
Sandy Hilton, a Realtor with Tall Pines Realty, has lived in Oyster Creek for 14 years and handles about 90 percent of the home sales in the community. She currently has three listings and loves the place for its sense of community and neighborliness.
“The best thing is the people who live there,” said Hilton, who seems to know most residents by name. After all, each house has a sign in the front yard with the residents’ name on it.
“Everybody gets along. We get together and have lots of fun. There are plenty of parties and activities at the clubhouse.”
Although Oyster Creek is not a 55 + community, Hilton said no children live there at this time. “The majority of residents are retirees and people that still work,” she says. “Quite a few are snowbirds.”
They are an active group. “I have never seen so many people walk in a neighborhood,” she insists.
A Herald-Tribune photographer was greeted by waves from just about every one of them during a recent photo shoot.
The clubhouse has a library, and residents take advantage of the large, heated pool, workout room and spa. The two tennis courts are always busy. For those preferring less-strenuous workouts, Oyster Creek has bocce, ping pong and pool.
Charlotte County’s Ann Dever Memorial Regional Park is within easy walking distance. The 420-acre sanctuary of pines, scrub habitat and mangroves along Oyster Creek offers extensive nature trails, a skate park, basketball courts and a dog park.
Oyster Creek is centrally located. A Walmart is at the entrance of Oriole Drive. Numerous shops and restaurants line South McCall Road. Further shopping opportunities, not to mention movies and live theater, are within easy driving distance to the east at Port Charlotte Town Center, to the northwest at Jacaranda and on Venice island. The Englewood beaches are close by, too.
Homeowner association fees are $178 a month and cover upkeep of the gates, club house, facilities and preserves, and include yard care throughout the community. Residents are responsible for maintaining their own houses.
According to Zillow, four homes are on the market, ranging in price from $234,900 to $245,000. Another house is “active with contract.” Hilton has the listing.