Escape To This Charming Small Town In Florida To Relax And Unwind

Florida typically comes to mind when travelers are looking for a vacation focused on sunshine and plenty of fun. Big cities like Orlando are ideal for thrills in iconic theme parks, while destinations like Miami are known for their vibrant nightlife. While there's no shortage of high-energy options in Florida, it's also a place where travelers can find destinations to unwind and relax at their own pace. If you're craving some tranquility, you may consider Cedar Key, Florida. 


Cedar Key is a beautiful Gulf of Mexico island town known for its great views and opportunities to enjoy peaceful wildlife-watching. Many visitors also enjoy admiring the unique collection of colorful cottages that adorn the landscape during their Cedar Key stay. Only accessible by Highway 24, this charming small town offers a quiet and scenic setting, allowing you to tailor your experience to a more laid-back vacation style. 

Enjoy the sand, waves, and scenic trails at Cedar Key

If a beach vacation is your definition of relaxation, Cedar Key is a great place to find yourself. You can begin your journey at Cedar Key Beach, a stretch of shoreline ideal for digging your toes in the sand and watching the waves. You won't find high-energy crowds at Cedar Key Beach, and visitors are typically sparse, giving you plenty of room to stretch out and savor the sights.


Once you've had time to work on your tan, make your way to the Cedar Key City Marina and leisurely transition from land to water. If you're up for some quiet time on the waves, this is a one-stop resource on Dock Street for boat rentals, slips, and ramp access. Kayaks and canoes are available to rent at the marina, and if you prefer a guided outing, charters can be booked onsite.

If you find your sense of Zen when you're out on nature trails, a trip this way should also include time on the Cedar Key Railroad Trestle Trail. This .6-mile pedestrian route is ideal for an easy stroll. It's also a popular path for bird watchers looking forward to spotting roseate spoonbills, ibis, and ospreys along the shoreline.


Make time for shopping, stargazing, and clam chowder

Travelers heading to Cedar Key interested in accessing their creative side will likely enjoy an afternoon strolling through a unique local gallery like Onyx & Iris Art. This art collaborative showcases the work of local artists with a focus on pieces that promote spiritual healing. When you drop by, you can take time to browse everything from carefully crafted sculptures and apparel to soaps, candles, paintings, herbs, incense, and crystals.


A trip to Cedar Key is also a chance to make astronomy part of your vacation when you're hoping to relax under the cosmos after the Sun goes down. There's a stargazing party that's hosted here each February at the Cedar Key Museum State Park. The event typically kicks off at 5 p.m. with an overview of astronomy by a team of astronomers. This is followed by time to observe the skies through high-powered telescopes as experts point out constellations, nebulae, and planets.

When cravings come calling, Cedar Key visitors with a passion for seafood will be thrilled to know that the area is a haven for farm-raised clams. That means no matter when you happen to drop by, you'll find quality clam-based fare at your fingertips. After a day on the sand, a meal at Tony's Chowder House, which has over 1,000 five-star ratings on Tripadvisor, is a good choice to try the area's famed clam chowder.