Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key, Florida
Cedar Key is a quiet island community in the midst of many tiny keys on the Gulf Coast off Florida, accessible by bridges and causeways. This tourist area is a small fishing village with a population of a thousand, in Levy County on the West Coast of Florida, four miles out into the Gulf of Mexico.
It is rich with history of old Florida and has always been admired for its natural beauty and abundant supply of seafood. It developed as a port because of the Seminole Indian War. The first railroad to cross the State of Florida connected it to the east coast, making it a major supplier of seafood and timber products to the northeast. Gulf coast shipping and trading, fishing, and cedar wood for pencil manufacture helped its development.
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About The Community
Today many artists and writers, attracted by its unspoiled beauty have made Cedar Key their home. Visitors walk the historic streets to browse the shops and galleries, explore the back bayous and enjoy excellent seafood fresh from local waters, particularly during the Sidewalk Fine Arts and Craft festival in April and the October Seafood Festival. Cedar Key is the leading producer of farm raised clams in the US. The Cedar Key City Park with its swimming area, Public Library and Public Fishing Piers and Marinas are popular with residents and visitors alike. One can hire canoes, kayaks, motorboats, as well as bicycles and golf carts to move around on the water or land.
Vicinity of Cedar Key
The Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge are federally protected sanctuaries and form a natural chain of barrier islands where migratory and shore birds nest, including the elusive white pelican, roseate spoonbill and bald eagle. An 1850’s Seahorse Key Lighthouse on Florida’s highest coastal elevation is another attraction. Boats are available at Cedar Key for the hour long scenic cruise. Access is prohibited from March to July for bird nesting. During this time one can land on another island; dolphins are often sighted during these cruises. In addition to excellent fishing and bird watching, one can take off-shore trips to the outer islands with their isolated swimming beaches.
Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve is a nature lover’s paradise with a variety of natural habitats, from salt marshes to Indian shell mounds. Salt marshes transform into swamps, hardwood forests, pine flat woods and scrub, providing splendid opportunities for study of flora and fauna. The scrub is has varieties of oak along with rusty lyonia and saw palmetto. Hikers and off-road bicyclists will find a variety of Florida habitats on the trails through the park while walking and bird watching. The shallow waters and numerous creeks near the salt marshes are ideal for canoeing and kayaking.
Cedar Key State Museum has artifacts of historical significance, including exhibits on the Timucuan Indians, antique glassware, a collection of sea shells, items from the pencil manufacturing days and photographs of old Cedar Key. The shops along the waterfront boardwalk are unique and varied. There are treasures awaiting discovery among the shells, shell-craft, jewelry, clothing, antiques and the crafts of the islands’ artists. Enjoy the view as you relish some of the best seafood Florida has to offer at very affordable prices; or you can try to fish off the pier. Lodging is available ranging from bed and breakfast to motels and island resorts that are reminiscent of old Florida.