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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
Website
Monday
Closed
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Hours:
Tue - Sat 09:00 - 16:00
Description:

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 42 reviews
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    Excellent
  • 12
    Very good
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Great little slice of old Florida history

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

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 week ago
Kim W
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42 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 42: English reviews
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

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

Helpful?
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!

Helpful?
Thank afgm87
Kitchener, Canada
Level Contributor
277 reviews
134 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 97 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.

Helpful?
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.

Helpful?
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 27 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 

Helpful?
Thank FirestoneGallery
Bedford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
163 reviews
78 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 73 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 

Helpful?
Thank w0tcha
Allison Park, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
160 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 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 

Helpful?
Thank 697billm
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 April 2016 via mobile

My husband and I learned about the museum from a local. Little gem...small museum with lots of maritime history, reminiscent of "old Florida" seafaring times.

Helpful?
Thank Mary C
Bradenton, Florida
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 April 2016

My husband and I had wanted to go to this museum for a while and finally did so in March. First good thing about it - it's free. Second good thing - the young woman staffing that day was very nice and gave us suggested information for viewing the museum. Best thing about it - it's was more interesting than... More 

Helpful?
Thank 93mimi
Lakeland, Florida
Level Contributor
194 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2016

This is a small museum that chronicles the history of the people and fishing industry of Cortez Village. There are several smaller cabinets with shellfish and maritime artifacts, several boat models, and additional pictures and timelines outlining the development of the village. It's a step back in time with free entry (donations accepted). There's adequate parking. Open Tuesday - Saturday... More 

Helpful?
Thank James R

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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?