Enjoying Cortez, FL

Cortez, FL

After the completion of our window repairs north of Tampa, we headed south around Tampa Bay to the village of Cortez, located between Bradenton and Bradenton Beach.  Once there we quickly settled into our site at Holiday Cove RV Resort, a park where we have stayed many times before, and where we will remain until the first of January.

We are in a site that is right across from our little friend, Cody (oh, and his owners, David and Karen).  We’ve enjoyed time in Cortez with them many times before and have also  met up with them in Arizona and Utah for some hiking.

David and Karen own a site backing up to a canal that gives the park water access to the Gulf of Mexico.  They have a beautiful 22′ boat that they keep moored to a dock just behind their site.  Shortly after our arrival David came over asked if we wanted to join him to check out some dolphins that had been spotted in nearby Anna Maria Sound, just beyond  the mouth of the canal.  Who could pass that up?  Cody doesn’t like riding in the boat but couldn’t pass up spending time with his friend.

For about a half hour we slowly circled a small area of water watching a number of dolphins swim around us.

After watching the dolphins, we circled around an island south of the Cortez bridge and spotted a guy and his dogs who appeared to be walking on water!

When staying in Florida, we become avid bicyclists (We don’t like hills.  Don’t judge us!).  During one of our rides on nearby Anna Maria Island we stopped at Holmes Beach to check out the sand sculpture.

Another day we rode east toward Bradenton to visit a small bird sanctuary!

OK, there was only one bird!

The weather has been very nice so we have spent a great deal of time sitting outside visiting with our neighbor.

Hello Neighbor!

We first came to know Lindsay and Neil a few years ago from comments Lindsay made on our blog.  They often travel to the U.S. and we were able to meet up with them two years ago in Boulder City, outside Las Vegas.  When we found that they were going to be staying in Orlando, we invited them to drive down to Cortez for a visit.   On the day of their visit David and Karen invited all of us to join them for a boat ride up the nearby Manatee River for lunch at Woody’s River Roo Pub and Grill.

Neil and Lindsay

Approaching Woody’s Grill

View of David’s boat from our table

David, Karen, and John after we crossed under I-75

Returning back to the Cortez area after lunch we cruised around the far northern end of Sarasota Bay to check out the White Pelicans.

One Pelican caught a rather large fish for lunch.  It was so large the bird had difficulty keeping it in his throat pouch as the fish fought for survival (he lost the battle).

Down the hatch

As we returned into Anna Maria Sound we observed two dolphin enjoying themselves in the same area where we spotted them earlier in the week.

Once back on dry land we took Neil and Lindsay for a ride in the Jeep back out on Anna Maria Island to watch the sunset on the Gulf of Mexico.

An eagle soars over the beach

A beautiful day with good friends ended with a very nice sunset.

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30 Responses to Enjoying Cortez, FL

  1. Sue says:

    Its so nice down there Pam. I loved the Pelican picture…..the poor fish wanted OUT in the worst way! We took our little Zodiac on that very sandbar and found lots of sand dollars the last time we were in Cortez, great memories. Did you have the fried pickles at Woodys? Enjoy your time at Holiday Cove and we’ll see you in February.

  2. Laurel says:

    Oh, it looks like paradise! How great that you’re having such beautiful weather and enjoying adventures on the water with good friends. Sure wish we were there! Love the dolphin and pelican photos—and of course, adorable Cody.

  3. Gay says:

    What an awesome picture of the pelican with his catch. And how nice to have friends with a boat…such a cool way to get around. I know what you mean about the bicycles and no hills…one reason I love biking in San Diego so much! Have fun…

  4. Jean says:

    My favorite spot in Florida… Anna Maria Island and the surrounding beaches! Have been to Woody’s too. Try The Lucky Pelican Bistro in Sarasota… BEST seafood we’ve ever had!!! Envy you two… great time to be in Florida.

  5. geogypsy2u says:

    Nice to be parked in such a comfortable place for the holidays, especially with Cody as a neighbor, and David and Karen too. Plus a boat and dolphins, how cool. I’ve never seen a pelican catch a fish. Great wildlife sightings with friends.

  6. Jim and Barb says:

    Looks like a great place to be for a few weeks and how nice to get out on the water!

  7. Lenore says:

    Aahhh Florida. So beautiful. Just love the wildlife. Seen any wood storks or roseate spoonbills yet? Keep looking. If you pass through coastal Georgia on your way north, stop by and see us on Jekyll Island! We just moved in to our new home (off the road!). There are a three nice RV parks in the Glynn Country area.

    • placestheygo says:

      I always have my eyes open for the roseate spoonbills…my favorite:) We rode the area I saw them three years ago but no one was there. We already did our Georgia visit for this year when we stopped at our son’s in Atlanta. From here we head west on Jan 1. How exciting for you to finally get into your new home! Looking forward to some photos! Enjoy Jekyll Island:)

  8. Before we got our RV we enjoyed several trips to Bradenton and Anna Maria Island. It is a beautiful part of Florida. You did great on the dolphin photos! They are hard to photograph. Enjoy you winter there!

  9. pmbweaver says:

    Beautiful site. Can’t understand why you would want to stay there…lol
    Dolphins…what fun.
    I love to see sand sculptures. I love watching people work on them. It is like watching Paul take a piece of wood and making a carving out of it. There is no way I can do either of those two arts.

    Oh my gosh the pelican photos are awesome. Great job! Beautiful sunset.

  10. Sherry says:

    So wonderful that Cody’s staff has a boat and you were able to see the dolphins up so close. Thanks for the recommendation for Woody’s. Fantastic picture of the fish in the pouch and I love the one of you and Pam and her devotee on the boat. Looks like a great site you have there and good times with friends. Sorry we missed you while you are in Florida

  11. montanaclarks says:

    I’m with you guys, IF, and that’s a big IF, I ride a bicycle, I prefer flat land. And I would never judge, I’ve seen the hikes you guys do! :)))

  12. Starb*cks bird sanctuary!! 😉 I agree with your preference for flat bike riding! Looks like a pleasant place to spend a few months…that pelican/fish shot is fantastic!

  13. Having lived in FL for many years, we aren’t too crazy about biking up hills, either! We had a jet ski for awhile and would cruise the intercoastal waterway from Pensacola to Destin. Always loved it when we had dolphins come right up to us. Your beautiful photos are making me want to visit Florida again!

  14. Maxxtrails says:

    That looks like a beautiful place to spent time, enjoy … I am looking forward to seeing it through your blog 😊

  15. Florida was never on my list of places to go. Looks like I may have to rethink that one.

  16. Jodee Gravel says:

    What a great site! Cody is a wonderful friend to have 🙂

  17. Lindsay & Neil says:

    Ahh, we made the blog 🙂 Missing the warmth, it was 21 degrees F last night and 30F when we walked to work this morning … brrrr! Enjoy the warmth, hope to see you again soon! May be stealing some of your pics too as I didn’t manage to get any greats shots of the pelicans like you 🙂

  18. Funny, I met the Woody who owned that spot you ate at wen he was visiting here in San Diego… he passed away about a year ago.

  19. Leigh says:

    Ooh we’ll be in Sarasota in January, hopefully you’ll still be around! 🙂

  20. Love the pelicans and dolphins! Woe.

  21. Debbie L says:

    Wow, that looks like a great resort! We have a nephew and his wife with a new baby in Bradenton – we need to visit when we head to Florida Jan 4. We’re on the hunt for places to stay. So looks like we will miss you. What a GREAT time you have had.
    I’d love to bike ride again, if only the one knee would let me! I have to be grateful I can walk for miles….

  22. LuAnn says:

    I remember those white pelicans when we were there and went to lunch together. Great photos! Enjoy your time in Cortez. And we don’t like hills either!

  23. I have been following along, just haven’t commented in awhile. Looks very relaxing where you are now, getting our first snow here in Wisconsin today!

  24. allisonmohr says:

    Beautiful scenery. Where do you ride your bikes in Florida? We’re giving it some thought for next year. Are there bike trails or are you on the road?

    • placestheygo says:

      Allison, there are sidewalks everywhere and also a bike lane in most areas. Cortez is just across the causeway that leads to Anna Maria Island which is very bike friendly with a bike lane along the road and traffic only goes 25/35 mph. We can make a ten mile loop by going out to the island, across to the other causeway and back around. You can also bike to Sarasota which is 15 miles one way to St. Armand’s Circle along the Keys. There is a bike lane the whole way. We rarely use the car and bike everywhere with our backpacks…downtown to the farmers market, grocery stores, Walmart, Target, restaurants, and, of course, Starbucks! If you are thinking about coming this way, think about Nov and Dec. Jan – Mar is crazy crowded and very expensive. This is the first time we’ve come this early and it is so much nicer.

  25. rommel says:

    This post breathes relaxation! especially those pretty calming sunset views. Sigh! Very nice images, Pam.

  26. Great shots of big birds and beaches makes me longed for Florida (but just for the birds!)

  27. Nancy says:

    I am stopping by to wish you a Merry Christmas! I have been absent on WordPress and I am well… but wanted to wish you a wonderful Holiday Season!

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