Wednesday, March 13, 2019 5:23 PM
The Villages to Cedar Key
89-mi, 1-hr, 54-min
Ocala to Cedar Key
67-mi, 1-hr, 20-min
Gainesville to Cedar Key
59-mi, 1-hr, 14-min
A pleasant surprise awaits at the end of the road on State Road 24 at the Gulf of Mexico. Unlike the other southern “Keys” we are familiar with in Florida, Cedar Key is not overdeveloped or overpriced and definitely not polished. In fact it is downright funky. It may take a couple of hours to wind down and get into the slower gear that the rest of the town is in, but once you do, there's lots to see. Of course choosing to do nothing at all is a popular option on the island. Our first day began with a walk on the beach and bike ride to the Cedar Key Museum 2 miles from the center of town, a loop around the George T. Lewis Airport (the shortest paved runway in Florida) and wandering the small streets of town for a total of 7 or 8 miles. The cyclists met the rest of our group of Villagers for lunch at Steamers Clam Bar and Grill on Dock Street, appropriately named as all of the buildings on the Gulf side are built out over the water. The view from the second floor confirms that Cedar Key stands alone at the begining of the Big Bend into the Florida Panhandle. The only thing visible on the miles of coastline is the nuclear plant at Crystal River about 50-miles to the south.
Some of us were day-trippers, one couple brought their RV for an overnight stay, and the rest of us got rooms at Park Place motel, where all windows and balconies face the beach front park. The afternoon was spent exploring the art galleries and chatting with people around town and back to Dock Street for dinner at Duncan’s on the Gulf just in time for sunset. Much of the local population grew up there and stayed to raise thier families and work in the family business.
Heading out on the highway towards home, most of us promised to come back soon, and Cedar Key will probably not have changed much.
Here is a video of our overnight trip to Cedar Key in North Florida near Gainesville and Ocala.
Welcome to my blog about nearby adventures that await Villagers ready to venture outside the bubble!
- Greg Madsen