Today, our ongoing series on Anna Maria Island covers Cortez Beach, one of Anna Maria Island’s most popular beach spots down in Bradenton Beach. We’re locals who’ve been serving authentic island-themed lunches, dinners and drinks since 1999 at The Waterfront Restaurant & Craft Bar.
We’re located on the Anna Maria Island waterfront up near Bayfront Park and the AMI City Pier at 111 S. Bay Boulevard.
Cortez Beach Access
Use 698 Gulf Drive South in Bradenton Beach on your GPS or nav. If you drive, Cortez Beach sits on Gulf Drive South on Anna Maria Island, so just slowly cruise the street while looking for a parking spot on the right (west) roadside parking area. You basically pull off Gulf Drive South and on to the side of the road to park. Cortez Beach’s parking setup is as relaxed as the beach itself.
Why We Love Cortez Beach
Cortez Beach offers 140′ of serene sandy beach on the southern side of Anna Maria Island, good for sunbathing, swimming, picnicking, snorkeling, hiking, biking, and wildlife watching, or anything else you want to do. This is a classic “Old Florida” style beach without major amenities. This hidden gem is cherished by visitors and locals alike for its untouched beauty and tranquil atmosphere.
The Beach Experience at Cortez Beach
Cortez Beach is a place where you can truly embrace the essence of an unspoiled beach escape. Here’s what makes it special:
Sunbathing and Swimming at Cortez Beach
With its soft, powdery sand and gentle waves, Cortez Beach is the perfect spot to lay down your beach towel, soak up the sun, and take a refreshing swim in the clear turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The calm and inviting waters are particularly well-suited for families and those looking to enjoy a relaxing beach day.
Picnicking and Snorkeling at Cortez Beach
While Cortez Beach may not have the extensive amenities found at some other beaches on Anna Maria Island, it’s an excellent place for a beach picnic. Pack a basket with your favorite snacks and enjoy a meal by the sea. Additionally, the calm waters make it a great spot for snorkeling, allowing you to explore the underwater world and discover marine life.
Hiking and Biking at Cortez Beach
Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the opportunities for hiking and biking in the area. Cortez Beach is part of Anna Maria Island’s natural beauty, and you can take leisurely strolls along the shoreline or explore the nearby parks and preserves to immerse yourself in the island’s unique ecosystem.
Wildlife Watching at Cortez Beach
Cortez Beach provides ample opportunities for wildlife watching. Keep your eyes peeled for native seabirds, dolphins, sea turtles, pelicans, and even the occasional manatee in the Gulf waters. The area’s natural beauty is truly captivating.
Thanks for stopping by The Waterfront Restaurant’s blog! We hope we gave you some useful info on Coquina Beach. The Waterfront Restaurant & Craft Bar is open Sunday thru Thursday 11am – 9pm and Friday & Saturday from 11am to 10pm. Hope to see you soon!