Nature lovers immediately feel right at home in Cedar Key, a sleepy enclave with a population of 700 situated about an hour southwest of Gainesville. Today, the former railroad and lumbering town still retains its Old Florida appeal with a slower pace, easy vibe, and a smattering of specialty shops, art galleries, and seafood restaurants on Dock Street. Visitors find it is simply easy to unwind with so many activities to enjoy from biking to birding and everything in between. Also, with the Gulf of Mexico and beaches beckoning, expect to spend ample time soaking in the rays of the sun.
No question, spending time outdoors in these parts is a must. Cedar Key Museum State Park is a good start with fascinating exhibits about the town’s transformation over the years from the days of being a center for salt-making to a major manufacturer of pencil cases. After the history lesson, leisurely activities await including birding, paddling and geocaching offering great additions to any itinerary. Nearby, Waccasassa Bay Preserve State Park, which is only accessible by boat, appeals to anglers of all levels because of its freshwater fishing. Wildlife viewing via canoe is another wonderful activity, and it’s not rare to have sightings of West Indian manatees, bald eagles, and other amazing animals. Finally, since clam farming is now the main industry, there is no shortage of clam chowder on restaurant menus, but if looking for recommendations, a lot of people like the recipe at Tony’s Seafood Restaurant. Finally, whenever in town for the winter, try to check out Pirate Invasion Weekend in late November through early December for a swashbuckling good time.
Travelers who prefer milder weather will find that late winter is a fantastic time to visit. While June through August is the warmest time of with some humidity, the cool breeze from the Gulf provides a nice, refreshing balance.
The laid-back island of Cedar Key, FL is home to some awesome vacation rental condos. You can find vacation rentals and condos close to some of the best places in the area, such as the beaches of the gulf of Mexico, the fishing dock, and places where you can rent a golf cart and play golf. Cedar Key is home to everything from smaller condos with queen beds and basic kitchenettes, through to large, family-sized condos, with things such as a barbeque and private balcony. Many of the condos in Cedar Key are beachside and offer stunning views of the ocean and the Gulf of Mexico’s beautiful white sand beaches.