Cortez Beach offers 140 feet of serene sandy beach on the southwest side of Anna Maria Island, good for sunbathing, swimming, picnicking, snorkeling, hiking, biking, and wildlife watching.
Cortez beach encapsulates the Old Florida charm and boasts a picture-postcard setting, with its native grasses, tall trees, sandy dunes, and bright blue waters of the Gulf. This is truly a beach to enjoy the Florida sun, sand, and surf for the whole day. The disadvantage is the absence of facilities and lifeguard stations.
Location and Access
Cortez Beach is located at 1506 Gulf Drive South. Go down the street slowly until you see a proper parking spot in the roadside parking area. The beach is open from 7 a. m. to 10 p. m. and there is no admission fee.
There are no public restrooms, or showers, or volleyball areas, or children’s playgrounds, or beach chair rentals... Overall, Cortez Beach lacks tourist facilities. Nevertheless, there are restrooms nearby and lots of restaurants, bars, and tourist shops within walking distance.
Sand and Water
The beach features powdery white sand, very soft and great for walking. The Gulf waters are clear, strikingly blue, warm and calm compared to the Atlantic Ocean. With such gorgeous sand and spectacular water, Cortez Beach feels very much like the Caribbean! There are no lifeguards on site, so please exercise caution in the water.
Cortez Beach is a great surfing spot. The hurricane season lasts from June through November. During this period, there may be storms and sometimes even hurricanes in the area, so some large waves start to appear. That’s the best time to exercise your surfing skills.
The place boasts rich wildlife. In the water, you can see dolphins, manatees, and various fish species. There are various sea birds as well – you can watch pelicans dive for fish. In the turtle season, sea turtles hatch on Cortez Beach and you can run into marked turtle nests on the shore.
Children and shell collectors will duly appreciate the abundancy of shells on this beach. For more active recreation, there are hike and bike trails nearby. Conversely, if you want to just sit down and relax, Cortez Beach offers glorious sea views and colorful sunsets to watch. Enjoy!
- 1 hour 5 minutes from Tampa, FL
- 2 hours 10 minutes from Orlando, FL
- 3 hours 45 minutes from Miami, FL
Additionally, there's a number of beaches near Cortez Beach which you can visit: