Cortez is a small Gulf Coast fishing village located near Anna Maria Island and was founded in the 1880s by settlers from North Carolina. You will still find that it still has that old-fashioned charm but with a couple of modern amenities. Located near the mainland shore of Sarasota Bay, just over the glittering Gulf of Mexico, Cortez is a timeless community completely enveloped in traditional maritime heritage. You won’t find any high rises here! Just small beach bungalows, cottages, and single family homes. The strong ties with the maritime traditions run deep through Cortez’s streets where you will find restores boats proudly displayed along with crab traps stacked out front of many homes.
The people of Cortez Village are quite proud of their history and preserving the legacy of this area which is why they are firmly entrenched in the National Register of Historic Places. Cortez Beach is known for its ability to continue off the beaten path unlike many other areas in Florida that have become overdeveloped for tourism purposes. Cortez is one of the last remaining fishing villages on the southwest coast of Florida. You can also enjoy many activities such as parasailing, kayaking, and jet skiing. If you find yourself stuck inside on a typical Florida rainy day, check out what the Florida Maritime Museum!
Another Cortez highlight that many visitors love to do is to walk around and see the remaining fish houses that belonged to the original founding families of this village. Most of these are still standing today, and some of them sell fresh grouper and shrimp to area restaurants and locals alike. Walking through Cortez is like walking through a time machine. This is an ideal fishing spot for many because the deep water surrounding the area that’s also being buffered by the barrier islands. You will find that some of the original families still have representatives in the fishing business here.
You will find Cortez right off Cortez Road and hidden away from all of the major shopping centers, apartments, and chain restaurants. Most of the vibrancy is still around after all these years because of the community’s strong ties to its historical roots. Cortez is the epitome of what Old Florida used to be. You will hear many locals talk about local legends and tales from the olden days so grab a drink beforehand because you might be there awhile.
Most people today don’t know what traditional life was even like in sun-drenched Florida before the tourism industry took over but Cortez has kept it alive. Cortez may be small in size, but it definitely makes up for it with the size of its character. Where else can you experience all that Florida has to over without having to battle the hordes of other visitors. Cortez Beach is truly a magical place filled with charm and opulence. If you want to experience the Florida that used to be, you should consider booking a trip to Cortez today! You never know what awaits you on this side of the Gulf coast!