Planning a trip here. We’ve never been. Give me some tips. Highlights.
Where to stay
If you are looking for some complete R&R or just fishing, CK is a great location. But if you are looking for the typical small FL beach this isn't it. Very isolated and limited dining and outdoor activities other than fishing. Be sure to read some of the other threads to get a fuller understanding.
Cedar Key is a very small town and very laid back as Dlw stated. Not a lot to do besides fishing. There are not great beaches in Cedar Key, its more of an estuary. We saw a good number of people in kayaks and canoes paddling around the mangroves. There are a few restaurants on the waterfront, cant remember the name of the place we ate lunch but the food was decent.
What time of year do you plan to visit? When we went it was early October a few years ago and many places were closed. They said that was their slow time of year. I think there are only 2 or 3 hotels. Most listed on the hotels tab are down in Crystal River about 1 hour south.
We're thinking of visiting in November, is this still a quiet time when shops and restaurants will be closed?
You don't get it. It is ALWAYS a quiet time up there unless you go during the seafood festival. It is very small.
Barring a hurricane, stuff should be open.
The population for Cedar Key is 702 people. October and November will be about the same for what is open and what is not. The small artists shops probably will be closed.
It is very small. Go to Google maps and do a search for "restaurants near Cedar Key, Florida" to get an idea of what is available. If you like quiet then you might enjoy it.
If your interest is fishing then is could be ok for a couple of days.
Do your Grocery shopping before you get on the island, like in Chiefland or even Gainesville.
My husband and I spent a couple of nights on Cedar Key last August. We truly enjoyed our stays. I’m only sorry we didn’t get out on the water. Enough bars and restaurants to keep us happy, as well as some nice, local art studios.
I love talking about Cedar Key, so please feel free to send questions!
While the hottest months have been historically quiet, the island is experiencing quite a busy August and September this year! We were there the first week of August, as we were told it was very quiet then. There were two restaurants closed during this time, all the rest were open. All of the shops were open also. There are more than a dozen bars and restaurants in this charming little town. It is a wonderful destination for folks who are not looking for a PCB kind of vacation.
Fishing, kayaking, boating, and hiking through the Florida state parks in the area are all on the order of the day. As the second oldest city in Florida, it has a terrific railway and industry history. It was the terminus of the Florida Railway, which came from Fernandina and ran the east-west route to the gulf. Fabre had a pencil factory here in the 1800s. There is civil war history here. There is a rich history highlighted by pirates, ghosts, and local personalities. Authors and artists thrive here. The area was inhabited by Native Americans as long ago as 500 BC. If history is not your thing, try one of the boat tours, clamming or island hopping from one white-sand beach to the next. A flourishing clamming industry depends on the tea-stained nutrient-rich waters.
Flocks and flocks of ibis, roseate spoonbills and dozens of other shore birds thrive here.
Golf carts are the preferred mode of transportation in this little town and are especially great for exploring. Don’t underestimate the Cedar Key Market. It has everything you need, albeit at a slightly elevated price due to having to bring everything into down. What you save on at the market, though, is some of the best cuts of meat you will find. A hand-trimmed tenderloin was $8.99 per pound.
When we drove onto Cedar Key in March for the first time, it was love at first site. My husband said, “Oh. This is good.” No stop lights, no crowds, plenty of shopping, local art galleries, a welcoming small community and a burgeoning tourist trade. The restaurants, vacation rental owners and shop owners all appreciate the tourism found in Cedar Key and visitors are most welcomed.
We had many choices of beach communities, but we instantly knew we wanted to buy vacation property in Cedar Key and were so happy to close on our waterfront home in June. Now, after a month of renovations, it is booking so quickly that we are having to reserve our own little place well ahead of our guests! Some of the historic properties were built in the early 1900s and have been lovingly restored.
This is the Key West of yesteryear. Anyone who says such things as some of those above either have never been here, or do not appreciate a non-commercialized retreat.
Come, stay, relax and play.Edited: 21 August 2018, 01:12
I'll be in CK from 11/24-12/22...if your rental is available for after that until after the New Year, please let me know. I am so excited to visit, and can hardly wait to get there! If you have any tips or suggestions, please send them along! I'll be there with my doggie.