Visit us in the Heart of Florida's Nature Coast, a recreational paradise. We are a small, relaxed, island community located three miles out in the Gulf of Mexico. Rich in small town flavor, it is said Cedar Key is the Island community where time stands still. Cedar Key is located on Way Key, the largest island in the "Cedar Keys".
The Cedar Keys make up one of the oldest bird and wildlife refuges in the United States. With its rich history and natural beauty, you may not want to leave!
And after your visit, please fill out a Visitor Survey card, available at most establishments. Or use our online Visitor Survey form.
About Cedar Key...
Cedar Key is one of the oldest ports in the state, and when Florida's first railroad connected it to the east coast, it became a major supplier of seafood and timber products to the northeast. Today it has become a haven for artists and writers who find the unspoiled environment inspirational to their work. Many people visit each year to walk the historic streets browse the shops and galleries, explore the back bayous and enjoy the world-famous restaurants featuring seafood fresh from local waters. Annually, thousands of visitors come to enjoy the Old Florida Celebration of the Arts in April, the Fourth of July Celebration and the October Seafood Festival.
In addition to excellent fishing, birdwatching and nearby nature trails, guides are available to take parties for off-shore trips to the outer islands. A public marina with boat docking is available.
Federally protected sanctuaries, the Cedar Keys form a chain of barrier islands ideally suited to a vast range of migratory and shore birds, including the elusive white pelican, roseate spoonbill and bald eagle. The variety of natural habitats, from salt marshes to Indian shell mounds, makes this truly a nature lover's paradise.
How to Get Here...
Cedar Key is about 50 miles southwest of Gainesville, Florida; 135 miles north of Tampa; and 130 miles southwest of Jacksonville, Florida. From Gainesville, take State Route #24 southwest for approximately 50 miles. You will cross-over State Highway 27/41 in Archer, Alternate Route 27 in Bronson, and US 19/98 in Otter Creek. Continue until you encounter a stop sign in the City of Cedar Key. Travel time from Gainesville to Cedar Key is about one hour.
You may download our map of Cedar Key* for more detailed information, including recreation locations, a street map, and of course, the location of the Chamber's office.
*Download Free Acrobat Reader
Commercial air service is usually via Gainesville Regional Airport. The drive from Gainesville to Cedar Key takes about an hour. However, some visitors (especially international) like to fly into one of the larger airports in the region. The best choices are Jacksonville International Airport, Orlando Internatioanl Airport, or Tampa International Airport. Driving from any of the three will take about 3 hours. Car rentals are available at all these airports.
The George T. Lewis airport (KCDK) serves Cedar Key for small airplane travel. The 2,355 ft. asphalt runway is located about 1 mile west of the downtown area. There are no services at the airport, so be sure to make your arrangements for ground transportation ahead of your arrival. Information for pilots can be found at Wikipedia or AirNav, including links to airport details, navigation charts, aeronautical weather, and more.
In addition, the following advice may be useful to pilots unfamiliar with the area:
- Since Cedar Key is a tourist destination, people will go there for lunch or just a day sightseeing, then try to leave with a full load in the heat of the
day. Many don't realize what heat and a load will do to the average small airplane on takeoff.
- Another characteristic of the airport is that when taking off to the southwest, runway 23, you can lose sight of any land and the horizon will disappear on a hazy summer day. Be aware that this is possible and believe your instruments!
- Most pilots familiar with the airport will always take off to the northeast, runway 5, unless there is a wind condition that would make runway 23 much better. There is still water at the northeast end (marsh), but more land and things to focus on.
- The road alongside the runway to the southeast is NOT a taxiway as it looks like from the air! It is a city street and airplanes must not use it. Since the parking is on the southwest end of the field, airplanes must use the runway for back-taxi. You must cross the road to get to the parking at the end, so this is permissible. Just be very careful as there can be car traffic.
© Bill Kilborn
© Dick Martens
© Judy Johnson
© Carol Wood
© Bill Kilborn
© Bill Kilborn
© T. Liebert