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.

A welcome to Cedar Key sign as seen entering into Cedar Key, Florida on March 9, 2020. Editorial credit: Paulo Almeida Photography / Shutterstock.com, licensed.
A welcome to Cedar Key sign as seen entering into Cedar Key, Florida on March 9, 2020. Editorial credit: Paulo Almeida Photography / Shutterstock.com, licensed.

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.

Sign for Cedar Key Pier on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Photo credit ShutterStock.com, licensed.
Sign for Cedar Key Pier on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Photo credit ShutterStock.com, licensed.

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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.

Waterfront buildings on stilts in the historic downtown Cedar Key which holds a spot on the National Register of Historic Places since 1989. Cedar Key, Florida on January 15, 2015. Editorial credit: Nick Fox / Shutterstock.com, licensed.
Waterfront buildings on stilts in the historic downtown Cedar Key which holds a spot on the National Register of Historic Places since 1989. Cedar Key, Florida on January 15, 2015. Editorial credit: Nick Fox / Shutterstock.com, licensed.

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Vicinity of Cedar Key







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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.

Volunteer Fire Department with American flag and firetruck parked in garage in downtown Cedar Key, Florida.
Volunteer Fire Department with American flag and firetruck parked in garage in downtown Cedar Key, Florida. Editorial credit: Leigh Trail / Shutterstock.com, licensed.

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 School in Cedar Key, Florida on April 9, 2020. Photo credit ShutterStock.com, licensed.
Cedar Key School in Cedar Key, Florida on April 9, 2020. Photo credit ShutterStock.com, licensed.

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.

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