Okay, Cedar Key isn’t exactly off the interstate. It is, however, off the Nature Trail, also known as US 19, that runs up and down Florida’s west coast. It is a terrific day trip from the Tampa Bay area but it is also a place you could spend some time in for well more than a day.
We opted to visit as I had never been there before. It is a drive out through forest to get to it from even fairly remote US 19. You get to marshes and past some cattle and eventually find yourself in a little tucked away lost in time type place that is more than delightful to a first time visitor.
I really was pleasantly surprised by all that I found and discovered. Historic structures that are not overly commercial. Sure there are T-shirt shops, but nothing at all as offensive as other places. This was quaint. We took our RV into the town and managed to street park it quite easily and walk around a bit. There’s a welcome center that is centrally located.
The town center is one area to explore but the other is the docks area. Here, jutting out into the Gulf of Mexico are structures on docks that seem to have survived all odds of still being here. It is a bit touristy but not in an offensive way. The air was clean, the shops were fun, the food was delicious, the architecture is unusual and the feel of the town was unique. This was a place with a heart and soul and fewer than 1,000 residents.
We stayed at the Cedar Key Sunset Isle RV Park & Motel. We’d stay here again in a minute. The place was fun and clean and there was home made fudge! The sunsets were amazing and it wasn’t far from the town at all. The park was friendly and if you don’t have an RV there is a little motel you can stay in that is on the property.
After seeing this and experiencing the town, we really thought this was an excellent escape from anywhere in Florida and for visitors who are traveling around our wonderful state, it is definitely worth stopping here for several nights. Honestly, if you were a snow bird looking to go from place to place all season, you could spend a few weeks here and be very happy.
In the town, on the docks area, we ate at the Pickled Pelican Bar and Eatery. The clam chowder was really excellent and the beer was cold. We had a view of the docks and the sea and watched pelicans roost and fly around. It was the perfect way to spend an afternoon. The staff and guests were also very friendly and we can’t wait to go back and try more of the food! Check them out on the link above as they post to Facebook some really mouth watering pictures.
If you happen to be travelling from the Tampa Bay area and find yourself going through Crystal River on your way to or from Cedar Key, do not miss stopping in at Grannie’s Restaurant on US 19. It was a way over the top excellent home cooked breakfast with portions that will leave you satisfied all day long. We stopped here for breakfast and I am still thinking about it months later.
Specific businesses mentioned in this blog story: