Cedar Key (FL)

Lady CurbCrusher celebrated the anniversary of her 29th birthday this last weekend, and that called for some sort of celebration. So we packed Little CurbCrusher off to the Grandparent Crushers and we headed to the west coast of Florida, Cedar Key.
Cedar Key sits at the end of State Road 24, in the Gulf of Mexico. Its about 15 miles from Otter Creek off of US 98. Unless you are real familiar with the west coast of Florida, you still have no idea where this is. It’s about 50 miles west of Gainesville, which is the closest large town. Cedar Key was once a large port on the west coast of the state, but is now pretty much a small sleepy fishing village.
We stayed at the Old Fenimore Mill condos located at the end of 2nd street. Our condo was a bit plain, not a lot of decoration but very functional. It did have a great view of the Gulf of Mexico. Each morning and evening we were able to look out and watch dolphins swimming and the tide moving in or out. A very peaceful and relaxing way to spend some time.

The bulk of the shops offer souvenirs and art, and are located in about a six block by two block area. Along the water front is Dock Street, which is mostly populated with restaurants. Just down from the condo was a city park. On the edge of the park, the fellow that runs Kayak Cedar Keys sets up shop each day. The normal minimum rental time is 3 hours, but we just wanted to paddle around for a couple of hours. So we negotiated a two hour rental rate and off we went. We paddled over to Atesna Otie Island, which is about three-quarters of a mile across the channel from Dock Street. We had intended to walk some of the trails on the island, but the mosquitoes were pretty bad once you left the beach. So we wandered the beach and admired the fairly plentiful shells that were present. We then paddled back over to the end of the island where the condo was located, and then around behind the condos into the back bay area. We were at about an hour and twenty minutes, and about had enough of paddling, so we paddled back to the city park and turned in the kayak.

Dining was good. It was especially good if you like sea food. That means the CurbCrusher was happy, and Lady CurbCrusher was looking for the “Landlubber” menu. We had breakfast both mornings at Ann’s Other place located on Dock Street. The meals were good basic breakfast, pancakes, eggs, grits and sausage. Service the first morning was great, the second morning it was a little slow. We guess it was hard for them to get going on Sunday mornings. Dinner Friday and lunch on Saturday were at the Dock Street Depot, and dinner on Saturday at Seabreeze, both on Dock Street. The meals were reasonably priced, and of a good quality and quantity. Except for dinner on Saturday night, I think we saw dolphins from the decks of each of the restaurants as we ate.

Lady CurbCrusher was “complaining” that the place forces you to relax. That is true, if you’re not fishing or boating there is not a lot to do in Cedar Key. I think that’s what makes it a great place to be for a short vacation. It’s a taste of getting completely away that is getting harder and harder to find. If they’d just reduce the cell phone coverage in the town to emergency coverage only, it would be perfect.

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