I would like to start with a little history lesson and then we will move into the fun stuff. Cedar key is rich in Florida history. Every time I go there I learn something new. I love taking sunset pictures while I’m there. In part because no two sunsets are the same (I Digress)
Try not to let the population of less than 1000 of Cedar key trick you … this is one of the most energetic and energizing spots on the Nature Coast of Florida to visit. Regardless of whether you like investigating the beachfront waters by kayak or speedboat, finding Florida’s initial history, or eating in world-class fish eateries in a functioning night-life region … Cedar Key has everything.
The “Island City”, as it gets a kick out of the chance to allude to itself, was first settled on Atsena Otie Key in the mid-1840s. Initially known as “Station Key”, it used to be home to a military base used to facilitate Indian undertakings. A mail station was set up in 1845 and the City of Atsena Otie was contracted by the Florida governing body in 1859. The town turned into a significant delivery port, and a beacon was worked in 1854 on nearby Seahorse Key. Florida’s first railroad finished in 1860, associated Cedar Key to Fernandina on the east coast.
During the Civil War, Cedar Key was a significant wellspring of provisions, including salt, to the Confederate Army. It was attacked by Union powers in 1862 and involved for the rest of the war. The salt works were wrecked as a component of the intrusion, however, you can even now observe a unique salt pot at the Cedar Key Museum State Park.
The History of Cedar Key
In the late 1800s, numerous occupants of Atsena Otie had moved to Way Key … the following island toward the territory. The new town had been consolidated in 1869. A pencil industrial facility was worked at that area that created pencils from nearby cypress trees. The draw of occupations, in addition to the resumption of cargo and traveler train administration after the Civil War, in the long run, made the populace on Way Key surpass that on Atsena Otie Key. A storm in 1896 was the last hit to the control of Atsena Otie. A ten-foot tidal flood cleared over the town on the key, murdering in excess of 100 individuals. Today, just a couple of vestiges and a noteworthy burial ground offer demonstration of the flourishing network that once existed on Atsena Otie Key.
The pencil production line, and a fiber and brush industrial facility set up by Dr. Dan Andrews – which made floor brushes from the fiber of palm trees – are presently part of Cedar Key history. Make certain to visit the Cedar Key Historical Society Museum in downtown Cedar Key to get a top to bottom takes a gander at both of these ventures.
The City of Cedar Key sits amidst the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge, which was set up in 1929 to secure local and transient winged creatures. It is likewise inside the limits of the Cedar Keys Historic and Archaeological District, which incorporates 8,000 sections of land of encompassing the area. The beauty of the environment at Cedar Keys was additionally celebrated and adored by John Muir – considered the “Father of the National Parks” – who finished his 1,000-mile stroll from Kentucky at Cedar Key.
The small key is not only has a rich history it also a great place to visit if you are looking for a “True” Florida getaway with all the beauty and sunsets that you can take it. There are annual events that well worth the time to experience. But, if you are just looking for a relaxing weekend, then take a closer look at Cedar Key.
Some of the events that are must do’s are listed here http://cedarkey.org/calendar/ check out all the things to do in Cedar key.
Having personally visited Cedar on several occasions, it’s easy for me to tell you that it’s just a really great place to go and walk around, have some lunch and in the evening watching the sunset. Simply nothing like it.
That is if you are into things like that.
One of the biggest events is the annual arts festival. It’s one of the largest in the state.
The Cedar key annual art festival. It is a time where you can get immersed in the art and food that makeup one of the best festivals in the state. The Old Florida Arts Festival (sometimes called) that was held March 30,31 2019 was another great event that should be put on your calendar for 2020. It was another ideal day in heaven. Guests and local people delighted in the craftsmanship, the nourishment,(I didn’t say healthy food, a least not for me) the music, and the refreshments. The people were friendly and the food was excellent.
The sellers showed various sorts of craftsmanship. There were artistic creations, figures, metal workmanship, discovered craftsmanship, utilitarian craftsmanship, huge and little models, adornments, photos, pottery, and that’s just the beginning. There was unquestionably a lot of assortment for celebration participants from which to pick. Additionally, one of my preferred arts is photography and since I’ve been in Florida for over 40 years I was excited to visit with some of the talents on display.
One Of The Best Art Festivals In Florida
It is so interesting to what things are made from a simple vision. Artists and craftsmen come from all over to show there talents and skills. And of course, they hope to make a few bucks along the way.
What’s more, obviously, in the event that you are spending the entire day getting a charge out of the celebration, you are going to need to eat and then eat some more. There was no lack of choices in the food department either.
There was old fashioned corn, fish tacos, grilled ribs, the heart of palm serving of mixed greens, shellfish, shrimp, mollusks, cheeseburgers, etc. The greater part of the nearby food merchants is that they were gathering pledges for neighborhood foundations. The entire event goes to help local organizations.
It’s all a very good time. There are plenty of events throughout the year, I find this event one of the most intriguing.
For you nature enthusiast. It’s called the Nature Coast for a reason.
Cedar Key is an Eco-Adventurers Paradise
Cedar Key is undoubtedly one of the most underrated eco-tourism areas in Florida. More and more people are discovering the wide diversity of things to do and see in Cedar Key.
Choices for kayaking, paddle boarding, boating, and airboat riding are endless and accessible in areas such as the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge; the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge; and up the Suwannee and the Waccasassa Rivers.
One thing you’ll quickly learn is that access to most areas is tide-dependent. Cedar Key is located on Florida’s continental shelf along the Big Bend area of the state, extending from central Florida up to the Panhandle.
With the exception of deep channels providing boat access, the waters are shallow. It is wise to consult a tide chart and talk to locals before beginning any water tour, especially on your own. The good thing about the tides is that with the ebb and flow come the treasures.
To get out on your own in a kayak
There are veteran outfitters that are knowledgeable about the area and will advise on best paddle trips for your particular interest.
Try the short 25-minute paddle ride to Atensa Otie Island and while there be sure to visit the estuary loaded with birds (found in the middle of the island), or even hike the trail to the ruins of the Faber Pencil Factory. Pack a lunch and enjoy the eagles, ospreys, shore and wading birds. You are also likely to see a few dolphins along your route.
For hikers consider the Lower Suwannee Wildlife Refuge, an easy drive from Cedar Key. Here you can experience a Shell Mound created by native Indian cultures over thousands of years. This is a native shell midden (heaps of oysters and shells from past civilizations) and is fun to hike to enjoy a slightly higher elevation above the coastal flatland’s.
“Sleepy” and quiet with no traffic signals, Cedar Key is laid-back. The main thing here is that other than festival times the traffic is light and you can cross a street with getting run over. This is truly a great place for a relaxing, get out and see nature while having the amenities of good food and a nice room to stay in while you are visiting.
Photo Tours Coming..
Our plan as a photography company is to put together a “Photo Tour” in this area. I believe that it will be a great opportunity for those that may not have the motivation to paddle a kayak across the waterway to get some real and lasting memories of “Old Florida”. Learn some history as well as take home some pics that will be cherished forever. More on this to come.
That’s all I have for now. Look for new posts in our “ Lighter Side” of our website for places to visit in Florida. More specifically “ Florida’s Nature coast”
If you have an interest in the Nature Coast Phot Tour, drop me an email and I will keep you up to date on the possible times and dates. I would say that we probably work some in for the late fall early winter. Weather-wise, these are great times to get outdoors. The temps and humidity are down and this makes for a great time.
Until next time, Get out there an enjoy Nature.