Friday, November 18, 2011

Backroads wandering.......Cedar Key

I'm amazed at how I could have lived in Florida for most of my life and never ventured to these cool places!
Cedar Key was a pleasant surprise...... after driving a long way through bleak vistas of palmetto scrub and pine trees, this unique waterfront village did seem like a step back in time......
.....and reminiscent of what "1950's Key West" might have been like - as proclaimed.

It is situated 3 miles out into the Gulf of Mexico (start heading west when you get about a fourth of the way down the state) and I learned it's a federally protected sanctuary, which explains the refreshingly undeveloped nature of it.

Cedar Key was the destination point for Florida's first railroad to connect the west coast to the east coast at Fernandina Beach - which allowed this area to become a major supplier of seafood and timber products to the northeast starting in the 1800's
.
There are undeveloped little islands and keys scattered everywhere you look, with beautifully unspoiled salt marshes.....making this prime kayaking territory!
Crab traps line the back bayou streets....
.....but most of the action is right down on the waterfront by the boat ramp where the restaurants sit out over the water, and where you can see the islands (boats will take you out to these for a day of beachcombing and exploration) and where you can fish off of the large pier.

A block inland is a little downtown area (modest and a bit ramshackle in a charming sort of way) where shops, and old and new hotels, line the streets.
Being in a time crunch, I didn't have the opportunity to do all the things I discovered there are to do here.....but definitely plan to return......ASAP!

The village is said to be a haven for artists and writers, although I didn't get a chance to check out the shops......and there are so many fishing, boating and kayaking opportunities in the Gulf, estuaries and islands. There's also biking and hiking trails to explore.....some taking you to shell mounds and other historic sites.

Next......Pebble Hill Plantation near Thomasville, GA

2 comments:

Karen S. said...

that's for sure, sometimes we only need travel not so far from home...it's the journey that we must take advantage of!

**Anne** said...

This town looks absolutely charming. I can almost smell the salt air from here.
Anne xx