"NATURE AND HISTORY COME TOGETHER" Top 5 Page for this destination Cedar Key by mtncorg

Cedar Key Travel Guide: 38 reviews and 50 photos

Cedar Key is one of Florida's older towns. Its existence has been marked with periods of boom and bust starting with the building of a cross-state train line from here to Fernandina, on the Atlantic side near present-day Jacksonville. Before Cedar Key got to enjoy the fruits of the new trainline, a little thing called the Civil War intervened. When all the dust had settled, the pencil industry discoered the vast nearby cedar forests. Both Eagle Pencils and EberhardFaber had factories running with over a couple hundred people working. Cedar Key was Florida's second largest city in the 1880's. Too soon for city fathers of the time, though the cedar tree were all cut down and the pencil industry moved on. Another boom over. To punctuate that fact, in 1896, a horrific hurricane swept most of the town away taking the town back to its beginnings.

Cedar key is off-the-beaten-path and local residents - around 800 - prefer it that way. They have held off most developers (though there are always battles to be fought and money to be made) - a very difficult thing to do in the Sunshine State - and the town has remained a quiet community living off the seafood industry and low-scale tourism.

Eco-tourism is gaining hold here, situated as it is amongst a paradise of wildlife and unique environmental setting. The town is located three miles off the mainland at the end of a causeway, in the midst of a hundred plus little islands, mostly retained in their primeval state. Kayak trips take advantage of the calm waters to show visitors what the Gulf Coast of Florida once was (as opposed to what it is further south and north).

The town boasts a couple small museums - Cedar Keys State Museum and the Cedar Key Historical Society Museum. Fish of choice here, as with most of the Gulf Coast, is the mullet. Come here for its nature, its history or its somnolescence.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:One of the most magnificent corners of rustic Florida
  • Cons:People from Gainesville on the weekends and a few mosquitos
  • In a nutshell:A Florida bygone
  • Last visit to Cedar Key: Oct 2000
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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