The Scent of Salt Air and Times of the Past in Cedar Key, Florida

On the west coast of Florida, far above Tampa and Busch Gardens and down a quiet and remote road sits a sleepy fishing village known as Cedar Key.
In all the years that have passed since I was first introduced to Cedar Key, this village has managed to maintain its original charm and quiet serenity along the Gulf of Mexico. Located in the middle of a 200-mile stretch along the Gulf known as the Big Bend, Cedar Key provides a quiet respite full of fresh salty air, and incredible sunrise and sunsets.
I remember driving here for the day from Gainesville with my family and enjoying the “Captain’s Seafood Platter” at one of the several waterfront restaurants. With the freshest seafood imaginable and the local specialty of Heart of Palm Salad served with a peanut ice cream dressing, Cedar Key offers the best life offers.
There are plenty of vacation rentals and small inns that you can call your home away from home, while you rent a golf cart to take you through the quiet streets. Activities are abound including fishing, boating, kayaking, and incredible birding. There are two fantastic festivals in Cedar Key that has always been a favorite of mine to attend. The Cedar Keys Arts Festival in April, and the Cedar Key Seafood Festival in October.
A Man and His Dog
Having an early start in the morning, I went out to explore while my friends slept through this magical time of the day. Heading over to the beach area, I quickly discovered how full Cedar Key is of a wide variety of waterfowl. The flocks would gather and fly through the sunrise to paint the sky with their black silhouettes.
Once I reached the beach, it was as if it was Christmas morning for birders and photographers. With at least five different species of birds, and a large flock of spectacular Black Skimmers I could have spent all morning watching and photographing these birds.
In fact, while observing such incredible bird life, this Laughing Gull decided to come and check me out as well. He was probably laughing at me as I really had no clue what I was doing as my Canon 60D was brand new to me and I was trying to figure out how to work the darned thing.
These cute little buggers were dodging in and out of the surf nibbling on some small microscopic thing that I couldn’t see. But they are truly charming Sanderlings.
When wandering back through the quaint waterfront on Dock Street, Brown Pelicans were warming themselves in the early morning sun and getting ready for a new day of fishing.
Throughout the day I enjoyed additional birds such as the White Ibis, the Tricolored Heron, a White Heron, and Ring-billed Gulls with the evening ending with a perfect sunset.
White Ibis
Tricolored Heron
My soul-filling day in this quiet little hamlet ended picture perfect. With a visit to the well-known Honeymoon Shack which had been built in 1959. It has stood the test of time and is now the home for Cormorants.

27 replies »

  1. Oh man. I was really, really hoping you weren’t going to blog about Cedar Key. But that’s only because it’s my favorite vacation place ever and I don’t want too many people discovering it. I live in Central Florida so I’m able to hop to Cedar Key once or twice a year for my CK fix. Just love its old Florida feel.

    • Hi Jeanni ! Had to laugh out loud to your comments ! Well, I did have to share this beautiful and serene secret place of ours. I still think most people will take the effort to go out of their way to visit CK, so no worries, it will always be a quiet escape for you.

  2. Thanks for the lovely read. I, too, found it relaxing and I’m sitting in Cedar Key! On a separate note, I love that your logo crediting the photography (“Bellaremy Photography”) is understated and discreet, fully allowing the viewer to enjoy the image with distraction. Nice work.

    • Hi Connie! How wonderful to be able to be in Cedar Key. I am most certainly jealous ! I’m glad you are able to enjoy it in person. Thanks for your comments on the watermark, I agree – need it, but it shouldn’t have to shout to the viewer.

  3. Thank you for your beautiful pictures and words about Cedar Key. I was blessed with being able to live and grow up in Cedar Key. I don’t think you ever appreciate that privilege until you are older and no longer live there. I have been sick and I haven’t been able to go home to CK for awhile so thank you for bringing Cedar Key to me. There is no place in the world like Cedar Key.

    • Hi Wilma, It is so very true, we rarely appreciate how great our own neighborhood is until we’ve left. I’m sorry that you have not been well, and hope that things are looking up for you. Perhaps Cedar Key will keep calling you to come back to visit.

    • Just discovered this comment in my spam basket. I had never seen skimmers before either. They are really cool birds and I could have spent all day watching them. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend – 80 degrees on Sunday ! Crazy !!!

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