As I shared last week, Cedar Key, Florida is not your normal clear water, sandy beach, family vacation destination that you typically think of when you think about the Florida Gulf of Mexico coastline or the Florida Keys. So, what exactly is there to do in this nature lover’s paradise? There are all sorts of attractions in Cedar Key, if you’re a nature lover!
Last week, I told you about our hotel and shared information on lodging and what to expect when you visit Cedar Key. There may not be any amusement parks in Cedar Key, but there are still plenty of attractions and things to do!
Attractions in Cedar Key
We mostly visited Cedar Key to rest and relax and enjoy the sunshine. There are no amusement parks, game rooms or even jet ski rentals. There are however, fishing charters, sightseeing charters, art galleries, antique shop, golf cart rentals, bike rentals, nature trails, birding opportunities and a museum. Here are a few attractions in Cedar Key worth mentioning:
- Cedar Key Historical Society Museum
- Cedar Key Museum State Park
- Cemetery Point Park – We drove our golf cart to Cemetery Point Park. It was a nice little drive. Although, for our visit, we were a little disappointed at the lack of birds (we didn’t see any). We may have just gone at the wrong time of day or wrong time of year. You’ll see in one of the pictures below that there’s a long wooden walkway at the Park. The Park is located at the cemetery.
- Tidewater Tours – We took the 11:00 tour with Captain Doug. He is a wealth of knowledge and obviously loves this area. If you take the opportunity to book a tour, be sure to ask for Captain Doug. Besides learning about the history of the area, the islands, the inhabitants of the waters, clam industry, we had a nice dolphin encounter. A MUST DO when visiting Cedar Key!
- Golf Cart Rentals – The island is small and you can pretty much get around on foot, but for a more pleasant experience, be sure to rent a bike or golf cart from Cedar Key Adventures. Dell is super knowledgeable, accommodating and a wealth of information. Plus, the golf cart is a fun little way to experience the island.
- Fishing Charters – Since we were only in Cedar Key for a few days, we didn’t take advantage of the fishing charters. I would suggest you read TripAdvisor and maybe even give Dell a call at Cedar Key Adventures and ask for a recommendation. We found him to be a great resource!
Cedar Key Lighthouse is located on Seahorse Key. Besides being home to the lighthouse, it’s also home to at least one baby Bald Eagle!
Attractions in Cedar Key: Cedar Key Beach
Did you notice I didn’t mention “beach” as an attraction in Cedar Key? Although there is a small public beach located near the docks at the City Park, Cedar Key isn’t exactly what I’d call a beach lovers destination. If you’re looking for the emerald green waters of the Gulf Coast with its white sandy beaches, you won’t find them at Cedar Key.
Attractions in Cedar Key: Cedar Key Fishing
What you will find in Cedar Key is really a quaint little fishing village. The waters surrounding the island are murky and brackish – perfect for clams! There are other small islands that you can visit that have nice little beach areas, but they are only accessible by boat. There are charter boats, docks and you can even fish from shore. Fishing is excellent in the waters, rivers, marshes and bays of Cedar key.
There is, of course, a marina in Cedar Key. My husband especially enjoyed visiting the marina, learning a little more about the area from the staff and seeing live shrimp. Shrimp are ugly (in case you didn’t know).
Attractions in Cedar Key: Cedar Key is for Nature Lovers
If you’re into boating, fishing, star-gazing, kayaking, canoeing, bike riding, hiking, nature or birding, Cedar Key is for you! By boat you can visit and explore the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge, 13 uninhabited islands. The Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge is beautiful, natural and untouched by man. There are no shopping malls, no movie theaters, and no WalMart, although there is a grocery store and a convenient store.
Attractions in Cedar Key: Sharks, Dolphins and Stingrays
Believe it or not, this shark was caught by a young man who was fishing from shore. He was apparently practicing for a fishing tournament. On this particular morning and early afternoon, my husband and I (along with a few other interested guests at the hotel) watched this young man catch 4 or 5 sharks, a stingray and another large fish. He would bait his hook, get in his canoe, row out about 100 or so yards, drop his line, row back to shore and stand on the bank fishing. It was incredible to watch him land fish after fish. And these were huge fish!
Yes, there are sharks in the water. There are sharks all over the Gulf of Mexico. But, there are also dolphins and we saw school after school of dolphins in the waters. When we took the boat tour with Captain Doug, we came upon a school of dolphins that decided to play and show-off for us. It was quite the experience!
In fact, the morning we were packing up to leave Cedar Key, I happened to look out our hotel room window as something in the water caught my eye and it was a school of dolphins! They couldn’t have been 50 yards from shore. We stood there for the longest time just watching the dolphins swim and come to surface. Was quite a nice parting gift for a really quiet, quaint and pleasant stay.
The above dolphin photo was taken during our boat tour with Captain Doug from Tidewater Tours.
Attractions in Cedar Key are a Nature Lover’s Paradise
Cedar Key is a destination for those who love and enjoy nature. (Pictured above is a baby Bald Eagle sitting in his nest on Seahorse Key.) Relax, explore, bring your canvas and paint brushes, bring your camera, bring your binoculars, bring a good book and bring your pet as Cedar Key is a very pet friendly community. Be sure to read this post, if you’d like more information on our visit to Cedar Key.
Have you been to Cedar Key? If so, I’d love to hear and I’m sure my readers would love to hear any advice/recommendations you have about the area. If you have questions, please let me know and I’ll try to answer them as best I can – or at least point you to where you can get the answer to your question, hopefully!
Til next time…