35th Annual Cortez Fishing Festival

The 35th Annual Cortez Fishing Festival will be Saturday and Sunday February 18th and 19th 10am-6pm. In the fishing village of Cortez this event is a fund raiser for the Cortez village and wetlands.

35th Annual Cortez Fishing Festival

About 20,000+ people will visit the festival across Saturday and Sunday. Admission of $4 for adults and children under 12 are free. Parking will be available east of Cortez Fishing Village about a five minute walk from the event. Additionally, park at G.T Bray recreational facility and pay for the $3 round trip shuttle service. G.T Bray is at 5502 33rd Avenue in West Bradenton. Coquina Beach on Anna Maria Island, will also offer parking and shuttle service.

Seafood is the star!

The seafood comes from the local boats and hard working people fishing the gulf and bay. While offering a large selection of seafood, vendors will be cooking it to order! Additionally, enjoy live music, dancing, arts and crafts fair, marine life touch tank, and exhibits about local commercial fishing and marine life.

Funds raised are for local non-profit organization FISH also called, Florida Institute of Saltwater Heritage. Proceeds will go toward maintenance of 95 acres of Mangrove wetlands just east of Cortez Village. This area is called the FISH Preserve. It is some of the only undeveloped land on Sarasota Bay.

Mangrove wetland is also vital to the success of a healthy marine environment. They function as a nursery to countless numbers of species, in addition to filtering pollutants and protecting against erosion.

For additional Information call 941-254-4972, or cortez-fish.com online.

34th Annual Cortez Fishing Festival
Cortez Fishing Festival. Picture Credit: Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival Facebook page.


If you’re looking for Anna Maria Island rentals visit IslandReal.com. See our inventory of almost 300 homes, cottages and condos.



Blue Marlin Restaurant On Historic Bridge Street

Blue Marlin Restaurant on Historic Bridge StreetThe Blue Marlin Restaurant on Anna Maria Island serves only the freshest local seafood and is a great spot to catch local musicians.  Located on Historic Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach the Blue Marlin offers a unique dining experience in an intimate setting. The Blue Marlin is a nautical theme restaurant with local artwork and pictures throughout the restaurant.

Owner Adam Ellis has extensive knowledge of the local seafood market and purchases fresh fish daily in the Village of Cortez which provides the exquisite entrée selection and daily specials featuring the day’s catch. If you’re not a seafood lover try their famous steak sandwich, short ribs, or roasted chicken you won’t be disappointed.

Courtyard at the Blue Marlin in Bradenton Beach

If you’re in the mood for live music after dinner than the courtyard is the spot for you.  The courtyard at the Blue Marlin offers live music on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings in a very relaxing outdoor setting featuring different live bands every week.

So the next time you’re in the mood for tasty food and live music head down to the Blue Marlin on Historic Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach.

Blue Marlin
121 Bridge Street
Bradenton Beach, FL 34217

A few other choices on Bridge Street can be found on our Bridge Street information page.

Ocean Star sushi located in Anna Maria City

UPDATED for the new location in Anna Maria.  Ocean Star sushi is well known by island residents and visitors who have come to Anna Maria Island year after year, Ocean Star is located at 902 South Bay boulevard.

Ocean Star provides fantastic sushi and more traditional Japanese dining with Ocean Star Sushinewly added hibachi grills.  The restaurant has seating for about 100 and in high season there can be a significant wait.  The dining area has wooden booths, tables, a liquor bar and outdoor seating right on the water.  Of course no restaurant should serve Sushi if they don’t have a bar area where you can sit and watch the chefs prepare sushi.  The seating at the bar area is about 15.

Continue reading Ocean Star sushi located in Anna Maria City

Learn To Fish Program For Kids At Anna Maria Island Community Center

Little Girl Fishing With Her Dad
Learn To Fish

Learn to Fish program for kids this summer is being held with the help of the Anna Maria Island Community Center, Little Toots Charters, and Island Discount Tackle.  The Learn To Fish Program is for children 5-12 years old and will be held on Saturdays from 9am – 1pm where your kids can learn to fish from Anna Maria Island pro’s.

Put some sunscreen on the kids, give them a fishing pole, and make sure they have their swimsuit on so they are ready for their Anna Maria Island fishing adventure.  Take a look below for the Learn To Fish Program schedule.

Learn To Fish Program Schedule

Boy Fishing On The Rod & Reel Pier
Lets Go Fishing

July 23rd
Anna Maria City Pier

July 30th
Robison Preserve

August 6th
Florida Maritime Museum, AP Bell Fish Company

August 13th
Boat Trip

Note: Boat trips have limited space available and you will need to make a reservation at least 1 week in advance.  The boat trip includes: bait & tackle, drinks, snacks, and transportation.  The cost is $15.00 per day for members and $20.00 per day for non-members.

Anna Maria Island Community Center
407 Magnolia Avenue
Anna Maria FL

Coquina Beach Sunset In November 2010


Coquina Beach –  Thanksgiving is almost here, the weather is perfect, Anna Maria Island beaches are soaked in sun, and here is another reason to take an Anna Maria Island Vacation.  While millions of people are starting to endure the long hard winter, Anna Maria Island Vacationers are enjoying perfect weather, and amazing sunsets.

Take a look at the video below, featuring a beautiful Blue Heron eating a fish at sunset on Coquina Beach.  Coquina Public Beach is located in Bradenton Beach just south of Bridge Street at the south end of Anna Maria Island.


Robinson Preserve Information

Bradenton – If your family is looking for something adventurous and would enjoy a bike-ride on newly-paved trails, a walk along the nature paths, kayaking through the paddle trails, a climb up an Observation Tower or would just prefer to enjoy the wildlife, then Robinson Preserve is the perfect way to entertain the whole family!

Robinson Preserve Butterfly

The Robinson Preserve is located in Northwest Bradenton, about a 10-15 min drive off Anna Maria Island. Open year-round, Hours: Sunrise to Sunset.  Free Admission and parking.  Tours only by request and usually last about 2 hours.  Make an appointment by calling ahead of time.

Robinson Tower

Bring your bathing suit if you would like to go for a swim.  The Preserve also has plenty of picnic tables across from the Visitor Center to have a meal or a little snack. Make sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen as it can be very hot, especially during summer!!

Are you bringing your dog on vacation? Bring them to Robinson Preserve! Just make sure that you bring a leash and plenty of water!

Robinson Preserve Eagle

Robinson Preserve Kayak

1690 99th St NW

Bradenton,FL 34209