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About Us

Our mission is to preserve and share Florida’s maritime heritage.

Come aboard as we undertake a voyage in time and tradition. Our port of call is somewhere in the past, but the Fish in front of the Best Betharbor is a modern museum facility housed in a historic 1912 Schoolhouse and surrounded by the park like grounds of the Cortez Nature Preserve. Here you will find, displayed for your delight, pieces of the almost forgotten past.

The Florida Maritime Museum is sponsored by Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Courts, and is situated on almost 4 acres of land in the historic fishing village of Cortez. Cortez Villagers have survived hurricanes, economic depressions and threats to their livelihood from a reduction in fishing grounds and regulations on the fishing industry. The residents of this community are passionate about preserving the past and ensuring that current and future residents and visitors Net Spreads in Early1900'sto Manatee County understand the significance of Cortez Village and the broader maritime history of the area

Founded on the importance of this regional, commercial fishing industry, FMM tells a number of stories pertinent to all aspects of Florida’s maritime history. Exhibits include historic photographs, boat models, tools, instruments, and other historically significant material relevant to Florida’s maritime culture and history. The museum is also home to a research library that includes a variety of books, plans, logs, diaries, periodicals, letters, records and related archival material whose content is relevant to research concerning maritime subjects with special emphases on Florida’s Gulf Coast.