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Florida Family Vacation; Cedar Key

try Cedar Key for your next Florida family vacation

Cedar Key is a small quiet island community nestled among many tiny keys on the Gulf Coast of Florida in the crook of the west coast .

It’s a lovely place for a Florida family vacation as it has been long admired for its natural beauty and abundant supply of fabulous fresh seafood.  It’s known for being a tranquil village, rich with the almost forgotten history of old Florida. This is a great place if you want to take the kids and get away from it all to enjoy the simple things in life…long walks along the shoreline, listening to the birds and watching for local wildlife will entertain the whole family and give you peace and serenity like no other place. See here for a nice map.

Also see my post on Florida Family Vacations; Crystal River & Citrus County for more information about the area.

Cedar Key is one of the oldest ports in the state, and when Florida’s first railroad connected it to the east coast, it became a major supplier of seafood and timber products to the northeast. Today it has become a haven for artists and writers who find the unspoiled environment inspirational to their work. Many people visit each year to walk the historic streets browse the shops and galleries, explore the back bayous and enjoy the world-famous restaurants featuring seafood fresh from local waters. Annually, thousands of visitors come to enjoy the Old Florida Celebration of the Arts in April, the Fourth of July Celebration and the October Seafood Festival.- www.cedarkey.org


Named USDA Rural Community for 2009! For details on this presitgious award see the Press Release.

Voted “Best Weekend Getaway” in Florida Monthly Magazine’s Best of Florida competition for 2009. Cedar Key also earned an honorable mention for “Best Sunset”

Turtles released in Cedar Key’s “Healthy” waters. News releases below…

There is no evidence that oil from the Deepwater Horizon incident ever entered the habitat in Cedar Key. The habitat is healthy”…NOAA

Things to do while on your Florida family vacation in Cedar Key:

Cedar Key Seafood Festival; Cedar Key Sidewalk Arts Festival

located at; 2nd Avenue and D Street; Ph# (352) 543-5600

These two events take place along Second Avenue between Route 24 and the downtown city park, and tens of thousands of visitors join town residents each year to celebrate both.
The Cedar Key Seafood Festival takes place annually during the third week of October, attracting 30,000 to 40,000 people. In addition to the food, it features arts and crafts, food concessions in the park, and all manner of seafood, from smoked mullet to crab cakes and fresh clams.
The arts festival is smaller and occurs in April. Along with the artists exhibiting their wares, there’s food, entertainment, live bands, and lots of fun for kids.

pictures courtesy of cedarkey.org
Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge
A group of restricted access islands in the Gulf of Mexico. Includes a major seabird rookery and an 1850´s lighthouse on Florida´s highest coastal elevation. Boats are available.
Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve
A unique scrub habitat on the mainland offers walking and birdwatching, few marked trails.
Cedar Key Museum State Park
Established in 1962 and dedicated to St. Clair Whitman who operated the first museum in Cedar Key. Most of Mr. Whitman´s collections are displayed in the museum. These collections include exhibits on the Timucuan Indians, antique glassware, old bottles, a very complete collection of sea shells, items from the pencil manufacturing days, fiber broom and brush manufacturing, and old photographs.
Shell Mound Park
A prehistoric Indian mound and nature trail off Highway 347 on CR 326 outside Cedar Key offers camping, boat ramp, and picnicking. Call 352-221-4466 for more information.
Manatee Springs State Park
A Florida first magnitude spring, offers diving, swimming, picnicking, boat ramp, canoe rentals, and an elevated boardwalk through primordial cypress wetlands into the historic Suwannee River.
Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge
A new 40,000 acre refuge, offers nature driving and hiking trails for wildlife observation and photography and access to the famous Suwannee River.
Friends of the Lower Suwannee and Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuges
Visit the web site for Friends and Volunteers of Cedar Key and Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuges to see what sort of special activities and talks are planned for each month highlighting the two refuges and the  area’s natural offerings. Also find out what opportunities are available for volunteering.
Waccassassa Bay State Preserve
A 31,000 acre limited access preserve between Yankeetown and Cedar Key offers access to canoeists and campers for both freshwater and saltwater fishing, photography and historic site exploration.
Audubon Center for Birds of Prey
Located in Maitland, Florida, the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey is an urban environmental nature center that specializes in the rescue, medical care, rehabilitation and release of sick, injured and orphaned raptors (birds of prey).
© Bill Kilborn
© Rose Valle


More to DO!

The 47th Annual Old Florida Celebration of the Arts is on Saturday and Sunday, April 2-3, 2011. The Festival runs from 10am to 5pm both days and plenty of refreshments and food will be provided in the Cedar Key City Park. The festival is hosted by the Cedar Key Arts Center and sponsored by the Tourism & Development Council. Over 120 fine artists and craftsmen will showcase their brilliant works of art on Historic 2nd Street. Here is a map of the Arts Festival.

Entertainment for the event will be provided by:

Kid Friendly Restaurants in Cedar Key:

The best kid friendly Restaurants by UrbanSpoon.com

  1. The Pickled Pelican…
  2. Kona Joe’s Island Cafe
  3. Tony’s Seafood
  4. Annie’s Cafe
  5. Island Pizzeria
  6. Blue Desert Cafe’
  7. Historic Island Hotel
  8. Island Room
  9. The Rusty Rim Pub
  10. CEDAR Key Pizza

American – Sr-24 & 6th St,

American – 12518 State Road 24,

Pizza and Sandwiches/Subs – 598 2ND St,

Pub Food – 330 Dock St,

Diner – 434 2ND St,

373 2ND St,

Italian, Pizza and Sandwiches/Subs – 12720 SR 24,

American and Seafood – 192 2ND St,

Desserts/Ice Cream, Coffee and Breakfast/Brunch – 490 Dock Street,

American and Seafood – 360A Dock Street,

Breakfast/Brunch and Seafood – 490 Dock Street,

Seafood – 597 2nd Street,

Kid Friendly Resorts & Hotels near Cedar Key for your Florida Family Beach Vacation:

  1. Cedar Key Vacation Rentals; from Gulf Coast Rentals.com
  2. Serenity, Vacation Rental in Cedar Key, Florida…at CedarKeyVacation.com
  3. Family Hotels in Cedar Key Museum State Park; from hotels.uptake.com

Or Book with us and save! See here!

Book your trip with Best Kid Friendly Travel and save BIG!

Thanks for reading, and if you’ve visited Cedar Key for your Florida family vacation, leave me a comment,  I’d love to hear about it! 🙂

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