There are still a few places left in Florida that we call Old Florida. Cedar Key is definitely one of those unspoiled spots. No amusement parks or crowds. Located on the west coast off of Hwy 19 North on the Gulf of Mexico, you will take SW State Road 24, a 20 mile relaxing ride into Cedar Key. I’ve done this trip many times on a motorcycle. It’s an easy ride with usually very little traffic so half the fun is actually getting there.
Cedar Key is very laid back, but still offers plenty of things to do. Most people come for the outdoor activities…it’s Florida right? Boating, fishing, and kayaking and plenty of places to take long peaceful walks or enjoy some beach time. At Cemetery Point Park you can walk the boardwalk that borders along the gulf. Bring your camera, you can see egrets, ibis, osprey and even owls. The park provides a small beach area for swimming and a picnic area. Or you can take a hike on the Cedar Key Railroad Trestle Trail to see the train trestles that once served this area.
Head back to town and dine at one of the waterside restaurants, shop in the many gift shops, grab a cup of coffee and dessert at one of the bakeries or small cafes. There’s plenty to choose from.
There are museums here as well. The Cedar Key Museum State Park and the Cedar Key Historical Museum offer an in-depth history of the area, artifacts, and exhibits. You will be pleasantly surprised!
Depending on how long your stay will be, you can spend more time doing an island boat tour and go see the Cedar Key Lighthouse on Seahorse Key and the National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge consists of 13 islands with beautiful butterflies, flowers, and wildlife.
Cedar Key has their annual Seafood Festival in October which includes many arts and crafts exhibits.
So if you just want to relax and unwind and experience old Florida charm, come to Cedar Key to enjoy and rejuvenate and learn a little Florida history along the way.
Tip: Some of the outer islands are closed seasonally for bird nesting. **Stop by the Chamber of Commerce to help plan your visit, they are extremely helpful and knowledgeable.
***Upcoming articles…I’ll share with you a few other old Florida gems.