Nature Coast - Where Time Stands Still
Cedar Key is a quiet island community nestled among many tiny keys on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Located 50 miles southwest of Gainesville, our island sits three miles out into the Gulf of Mexico. Highway 24 is the only road coming into town.
It crosses over the salt marshes and channels on four small, low bridges. The population is approximately 800 full time residents. There are no high rises or huge apartment complexes. We are a community of quaint cottages, single-family homes, working waterfront and aquaculture structures. The view as you cross the Number Four Bridge is spellbinding.
The small-town feeling is absolute – transportation is by car, but the road is shared with bicycles and golf-carts. Drivers and pedestrians wave to locals and visitors alike greeting each other with a warm welcome to our island. The nearest major airports are Tampa and Orlando, there’s a regional airport in nearby Gainesville, and we have an airstrip on the island where many small plane enthusiasts land.
Cedar Key is a haven for artists, writers and “adventure” tourists, who find the unspoiled environment their inspiration. Thousands of visitors come annually to enjoy the “Old Florida Celebration of the Arts” in April, 4th of July, the October Seafood Festival, Pirate Festival, and The Stargazing Party in February. Our island provides a place for excellent fishing, bird watching, nature trails, kayaking and coastal guided tours.
Federally protected sanctuaries, the Cedar Keys form a chain of barrier islands ideally suited to a vast range of migratory and shore birds, including the elusive white pelican, roseate spoonbill and bald eagle. The variety of natural habitats, from salt marshes to Native American shell mounds, makes this truly a nature lover’s paradise. Cedar Key is known for its fresh seafood, straight from the Gulf of Mexico.
As the number one producer of farm-raised clams in the USA, Cedar Key’s “sweets” are prized in restaurants around the country! And most recently, several aquaculture companies have added oysters to their farms. Locally sourced seafood choices include shrimp, snapper, mullet, grouper and a wide variety of fish. Of course, you may wish to catch your own with a local fishing charter and several restaurants will be happy to cook your catch for you!
Long admired for its natural beauty and abundant supply of seafood, Cedar Key is a tranquil village, rich with the almost forgotten history of old Florida, where time stands still and allows you to enjoy the unique qualities of our coastal environment.
For more information, check out our website at VisitNatureCoast.com.