You can experience both on a small island!! This is not the place for a hurried visit. Kayak or canoe through the bird-filled salt marshes and mangrove swamps. Wander about the queit town poking your head into one corner or another. Walk along the beaches and simply slow down.
Pelicans are the main greeters but there are many other seabird to peer at here. The area is one of Florida's finest waterbird rookeries: egrets, white ibis, herons, comorrants, pelicans, etc.. Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge and to the east, the Waccasassa Bay State Preserve protect large areas of mostly salt marsh for not only the birdlife, but shellfish, fish, and animals including black bears and manatees.
Seafood industry is still of great importance to life in Cedar Key to include clams, oyster and fish.
At the Cedar Key Public Marina, the Island Hopper offers boat rentals and tours of the Keys on pontoon boats.
We saw many birds, even though it was very cold out on the water on the Dec day that we went out.
To experience the environment closer, a kayak is ideal. There are several places to rent a boat, get maps and tide tables or to book a guided tour. There is also the Island Hopper, a small passenger boat that will take ou out to the keys or simply on a tour of the area. The Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge encompasses the 12 outer islands. Seahorse Key has a lighthouse that was built in 1851 which is now leased to the Univ of Florida for a marine biology laboratory.
the cedar key state museum is one of two museums in cedar key. pictured is the st. clair whitman house that was built in the 1920's. inside you can see whitman's shell collection and other cedar key artifacts. there also is a short nature path at the cedar key state museum.
the cedar key historical museum is located on D street in downtown cedar key. this interesting museum has indian artifacts, civil war relics, and exhibits on cedar key's pencil and seafood industries.
the cedar key arts center is located on 2nd street in the historic district. the first floor of the arts center is an artist coop with works on sale. the second floor is an exhibition gallery. pictured is an interesting fisherman sculpture next to the gallery.
The Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year; it was established to protect the last 20 miles of the historic Suwannee River and the coastal islands that line the Gulf. The gulf sturgeon, manatee and all other marine creatures benefit from the high water quality. The Suwannee is one of the largest undeveloped river delta-estuarine systems in the country.
cedar key is known for it's excellent fishing. depending on the time of year you can catch tarpon, snook, sea trout, red fish, grouper, and snapper. check out the two attached websites for fishing info for cedar key.
pictured is the public fish pier on dock street in downtown cedar key. a nice place to fish or photograph wildlife. entrance to the pier is free.