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Florida Maritime Museum

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Address: 4415 119th Street West, Cortez, FL 34215
Phone Number:
+1 941-708-6120
09:00 - 16:00
Open now
See all hours
Tue - Sat 09:00 - 16:00

The schoolhouse was constructed in 1912. It was the second schoolhouse to...

The schoolhouse was constructed in 1912. It was the second schoolhouse to be built in Cortez, a small fishing village that was established in the 1880’s. For many years, it served not only as a school, but also as a community center and hurricane shelter. After the school closed in 1961, it was eventually sold to master weaver Robert Sailors. Sailors made the building his home and studio. As a resident he made some lasting contributions to the property, including the “surprise fountain”. It was not until December of 1999, with assistance from the Florida Communities Trust, that Manatee County purchased the schoolhouse and an adjoining parcel to create the Cortez Nature Preserve. Residents of the Cortez community are passionate about preserving the past and ensuring that both residents and visitors of Manatee County understand the significance of the village and this schoolhouse. Because of their passion, the building was reopened as the Florida Maritime Museum in 2006.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 45 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 25
  • 14
    Very good
  • 2
  • 3
  • 1
A real diamond...

A great little museum, with something for everyone. It depicts the history of Cortez, the sleepy little fishing villiage.

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 weeks ago
Sarasota, Florida
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45 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 45: English reviews
Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

A great little museum, with something for everyone. It depicts the history of Cortez, the sleepy little fishing villiage.

Thank homesolution825
Cortez, Florida
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 January 2017

Great assistance from staff members. This place tells the story of how it used to be before the Yankees and other Northerners started their quest to ruin the south. A very worthy experience to witness simpler times.

Thank Henry K
Longboat Key, FL
Level Contributor
31 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2017 via mobile

A fun and tasty stop in the midde the desert...just off old Route 66. Great for families and rock n roll music fans. Hearty breakfasts, handcrafted pizzas, and creamy ice cream. Fun staff too. .

Thank amberbach
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 November 2016

This little museum impressed us with the quality of the exhibits and detailed descriptions. My young daughter and older parents really enjoyed it.

Thank Kim W
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 October 2016 via mobile

This little Museum goes into both the maritime history as well as the trade and indigenous population from the area. It's not too large, easy to spend less than an hour it also has a cute little kids section ... And free!

Thank afgm87
Kitchener, Canada
Level Contributor
325 reviews
166 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 September 2016

A little gem somewhat off the tourist track. Very enjoyable displays of the local history, including vintage photos of the founding settlers and the local economy. Very fascinating display of maritime artifacts and technology. Very passionate volunteers. Interesting photographic opportunities.

Thank Brian S
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2016 via mobile

They have some really interesting stuff, and staff is very nice and will try to answer any questions you have.

Thank Terry H
Bradenton, Florida
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 August 2016

I visit the maritime museum 6 times a year or so. The detailed displays and items that have been curated are intriguing and reflect very accurately the life that still exists here in the unique fishing village of Cortez. They are pretty good about changing up the exhibits and keeping things fresh. Very educational, beautiful grounds to walk around, and... More 

Thank FirestoneGallery
Bedford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
174 reviews
83 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 July 2016

The museum is housed in an old brick built schoolhouse in the pretty fishing village of Cortez. Our volunteer guide was interesting, knowledgeable and friendly. He told us about the history of the founding of Cortez settlement, telling us about the native Americans, Cubans and settlers from North Carolina, who all played a part in the history of the area.... More 

Thank w0tcha
Allison Park, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
165 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 June 2016

My wife and I went here to explore the museum. It had numerous displays on the nautical history of the area. It is a nice little museum all contained in a historical building that once served as a school house and then a private residence. If you like nautical history the stop is worth it. Expect to spend 30 to... More 

Thank 697billm

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?