A long weekend in Cedar Key, FL is a perfect way to spend time on the gulf exploring its history and the good food it has to offer.
Cedar Key, Florida is a small coastal community with roots in timber farming, the Florida Railroad, and, of course, fishing.
Now, you can enjoy the beauty all around this tourist destination. Visit the shops, the festivals, and restaurants for amazing food during your stay.
Years ago, my husband heard of Cedar Key, Florida. A really charming town located on the gulf about an hour and a half north of Tampa. It looked quaint, had plenty of good restaurants, and things to do. All around a fun little getaway for us to do.
Unfortunately, Covid delayed our plans for a bit, but we were able to go for his birthday last September. With the kids at grandma’s and the dogs being cared for by a neighbor, we took the drive to enjoy a weekend away for the two of us.
Where we stayed in Cedar Key
There are plenty of inns, Airbnb’s, and bed and breakfasts in Cedar Key. Plenty of options for all interests and price points.
Faraway Inn caught my husband’s attention because of location to the downtown area, amenities, and overall charm. We liked that it was just across the street from the water, providing use with great views.
We stayed in Room 12, which is a room that faces the water. A peek out the window reveals the glistening waters just 100′ from the room. It’s cozy, yet still has plenty of space for 2 to enjoy the room. The mix of styles, art, and finishes provides the space with the perfect down home feel.
Overall the Faraway Inn was charming with and an old-fashioned feeling too it. The quaint cottages and rooms offer the perfect casual feeling for your stay. Enjoy coffee on your front porch to start the day, then end it at one of their grills. Feel free to pick some fresh herbs for your dinner from the communal herb garden too.
The manager is the perfect host as well. She is endlessly welcoming and knowledgeable about the community. She adds the quintessential charm to the Inn as well.
Our stay was short, so we we didn’t use the canoes, kayaks, bikes, or golf carts available. But we thought it was great that there was so many recreation activities there for us to try. We are looking forward to a longer stay so that we can enjoy everything that the Inn has to offer.
What we ate in Cedar Key
We always focus on the great things we can eat when we travel. Food is our destination. So when we book were booking the trip, we spent quite a bit of time looking up the different restaurants and menus in the area.
Cedar Key is known for their fresh seafood, especially clams. It’s no wonder as it is the Clamming Capital of US. They produce 90% of the Florida market- 125 million clams!
The Tipsy Cow Bar and Grill
Our weekend of good food started at The Tipsy Cow Bar and Grill, right on Dock Street.
We started with the Groovy Fries and some drinks. Then we had the a Shrimp Po’Boy and Fish Tacos. The Shrimp in the Po’Boy was seasoned really well. But my favorite thing was the basket of crispy crunchy fries with the garlic aioli and Parmesan cheese on top. I could have eaten the whole basket of fries myself.
1842 Daily Grind and Mercantile
I loved everything about 1842 Daily Grind and Mercantile. The whole place has a great ambiance – part cafe, part shop. The 2 aspects were mixed together, as the space mixed together the cafe tables among cute artwork, candles, and tea towels.
I highly suggest the B.L.E.T. The Bacon- Lettuce- Egg- Tomato sandwich was served on thick slices of toast, making it hearty and filling.
Later on, we went back to 1842 for a slice of Key lime Pie on a stick. We timed it perfectly because it was the last slice of homemade pie too.
Big Deck Raw Bar
Out of all the amazing food we ate over our long weekend in Cedar Key, the Cajun Peel and Eat shrimp from Big Deck Raw Bar was the very best thing I ate. Even now, as I type this months later, I am transported back to that patio seat along the Dock Street at I drink a hurricane and make a mess of that shrimp.
Steamers Clam Bar & Grill
Dinner at Steamers Clam Bar & Grill was fantastic. We started with the Stuffed Mushrooms ($13) and a Large Bowl of New England Clam Chowder ($8). The stuffed mushrooms were packed full of seafood and covered in cheese. I was thoroughly impressed by the size of the large bowl of chowder. The clam chowder was so good- a must order.
The highlight of the night was the big bowl of Mussels Diablo ($11). Holy smokes! It was so spicy. They warned us but it actually delivered. We loved every spicy bite.
Note: Our only negative thing about our dinner was the bread. It was like the Sister Schubert’s rolls you can make from the freezer section in your local grocery store. They were not crusty enough to really soak up all the delicious broth from stuffed mushrooms and sauce from the the mussels.
2nd Street Cafe
We ended our weekend in Cedar Key with breakfast at 2nd Street Cafe, located a short walk from Faraway Inn. It’s a casual diner with hometown charm and friendly staff.
We went with breakfast favorites that always satisfy. My husband got the classic breakfast meal of eggs, bacon, potatoes, and toast ($8). And I, of course, ordered the Eggs Benedict Skillet ($10). yum!
While service was rather slow, we had a great breakfast before we departed for home. Perfect ending to our weekend away.
What we did in Cedar Key
Our stay in Cedar Key was short, but we still managed to see and do so much. Even just getting to casually stroll Dock Street or 2nd Street is a treat because there are cute shops and galleries to check out. Stay in town for the historical society or venture further from town to enjoy some trails.
Want to explore the waters around Cedar Key? Then check out one of the boat rental companies. Or enjoy a tour to see wildlife like egrets, turtles, dolphins or manatees.
Cedar Key Community Garden
After breakfast one morning, we continued to venture down 2nd Street to explore the area and just enjoy a laid back morning. We stumbled upon the Cedar Key Community Garden.
The garden is tucked away amount the storefronts. It feels magical walking through the entrance among the big ferns and trees that is tended by community members.
There are raised beds of all sizes, pots of various plants, vegetables of all varieties. It’s so unique and it’s just a really fun place to explore.
We enjoyed smelling flowers, snapping pictures, and googling everything we saw. It made me want to rip out all the bushes we have and put in tons of these flowers to start to a massive colorful butterfly garden.
Cedar Key Museum State Park
I never thought that I would get to stand along the shore watching thousands is nickel sized crabs scurry along the sand. But the trails at the State Park, that led us from the museum to the shore, were where we able to enjoy this very cool moment in nature.
The Cedar Key Museum State Park is home to 18 acres of pristine nature that can transport you back in time. You could be standing there in 2022, but can quickly feel like you’re stepping back in time as you walk the trails, or visit the museum or Whitman House.
Inside the museum, there are displays of historical items teaching about the Native Americans that lived there, the pencil and fiber industries, and fishing and clamming industries that later took over.
Historians also restored the Whitman Home to its state in the 1920’s. St Clair Whitman is a vital part of Cedar Key history as he is key to so many of the shell and Native American artifact collections that are on display.
Cemetery Point Park & Boardwalk
After our visit to the State Park, we stopped by Cemetery Point Park. It is a three and a half acre park set behind the Cedar Point Cemetery. Besides a quick drive through the cemetery, you can access the park via the 1299 foot boardwalk that starts at the Gulf Blvd entrance of the cemetery.
We enjoyed the walk on the boardwalk. There are plenty of spots that have a lush canopy of mangrove trees overhead. It feels postcard perfect and makes me love exploring Florida.
The park has a playground and a Disc Golf course. Enjoy playing a round on the 8 basket technical course after your picnic lunch under the pavilion.
Watching the Sunset
Our mornings started with a freshly brewed cup of coffee and getting to read on the porch swings. We watched people coast by on boats, people cast off on the beach, and cruise by on golf carts to and from downtown.
But the highlight of those days were getting to see the sun sink behind the hills across Daughtry Bayou. Peachy hues would fill the sky as the sun sunk down below the horizon.
We enjoyed our stay so much that have already been talking about our next trip up to Cedar Key. This time we would take the kids and the dogs so we can all enjoy the trails, patio dining, great food, and relaxing moments in between.