8 Things to do in Cedar Key, Florida

July 22, 2022


Florida, North America, Travel Guides, USA

If you’re looking for a charming, off-the-beaten path, quaint beach town to visit, Cedar Key, Florida is the absolute perfect place to go! All of the houses are the perfect shades of pastel colors, it’s right on the water, and everyone is so friendly and welcoming. There are stunning natural springs you can swim in, delicious food, and picture perfect small town vibes. It’s truly the perfect little beach town getaway. The whole time we were there, we kept saying it felt like we were living in a Nicolas Sparks movie. Here are eight things to do in Cedar Key, Florida:

8 Things to do in Cedar Key, Florida

Cedar Lakes Woods and Garden:

Cedar Lakes Woods and Garden is a 20-acre botanical garden with waterfalls, koi ponds, and hundreds of different types of plants and flowers. There is a well-marked trail that takes you around the entire garden, and you can walk the different levels and go around and explore as you please. The craziest part is that it’s someone’s backyard! You can even walk across their back deck! It is closed on Wednesdays, so keep that in mind during your trip planning.

Cool off at Blue Springs Bronson:

One of the coolest and most unique things about this area of Florida is all of the natural springs you can swim in! Blue Springs Bronson is such a fun spot to come and hang out for the day. There’s a $2 per person entry fee, but you can swim, play, hike, and fish here, so it’s well worth it. There’s even a dock you can dive off of. It definitely looked like a local summer hang out spot. The water is a stunning crystal clear blue, and it’s so refreshing when you jump in! Bring towels, a float, and a picnic if you want to spend the day here. They also have a few things like floats and towels available for purchase.

Enjoy a Pool Day at Black Prong Equestrian Center:

Black Prong Equestrian Center is a privately-gated community with horse stables, riding trails, a main pavilion, fitness center, restaurant, swimming pool, and more. We spent the day relaxing and playing in the swimming pool and it was so nice! We had the whole pool to ourselves while we were there. There are lounge chairs, a beach entrance, pool floats, a hot tub, and a pool house with showers and restrooms. We had lunch at the Galloping Gourmet Food Truck and everything we ate was fresh and delicious! It’s the perfect place to come and spend a relaxing pool day.

Get Smoothies from The Prickly Palm:

You know we can’t ever go somewhere without finding the best smoothies and smoothie bowls in town, and The Prickly Palm is definitely the place to go in Cedar Key. Their açai bowls were so fresh and delicious that we went every day we were there! The whole restaurant is really cute and well-designed, and they have a fun little gift shop with cute things like mugs and journals too.

Manatee Springs State Park:

Manatee Springs State Park is a must while you’re in Cedar Key. Especially during the winter months, because often times you can see manatees here! It is such a beautiful and relaxing escape in nature and you can swim, walk, bike, camp, fish, kayak, and so much more! There’s an 800-foot boardwalk that takes you past a really unique Cyprus Forest and overlooks the natural springs here. The spring releases 100-million gallons of water daily, making the waters cool and refreshing all year round. With over eight miles of nature trails, Manatee Springs is definitely a fun place to come spend the day in nature during your time in Cedar Key!

Rent Golf Carts to Ride Around Town:

Cedar Key itself is a pretty small town, so it’s fun to rent golf carts and ride around and explore that way. We rented golf carts through Cedar Key Golf Carts and Bikes and had a great experience. They offer 2-passenger, 4-passenger, and 6-passenger golf carts along with beach cruisers with rates from 4-hour rentals to a full week rental.

Relax on the Beach:

Cedar Key is right on the water, so you should definitely take some time to sit and relax on the beach. There are a couple different beaches you can choose from. We spent a day on the beach near G Street Beach, and it was truly the best day. The water in Florida is usually pretty warm and it was really calm, so it’s nice and refreshing for all of us to swim in, even our one-year-old. We also heard from some locals that Airport Beach is a great spot to watch the sunset! The water and views are so pretty here. We saw pods of dolphins swimming almost every day! It was so magical.

Get Dessert from Flamingo Freeze:

Cool off from the Florida heat at Flamingo Freeze. Flamingo Freeze ice creams, sundaes, and signature freezes are absolutely delicious! Their freezes are like slushies and you can add their ice cream to any of their freezes for an extra sweet twist. The staff is so kind and friendly and it definitely has small town charm. They’re closed on Mondays, so head on over any other day of the week.

where to stay:

Studio 589:

We stayed at Studio 589 Pelican Vacation Home in Cedar Key and loved it! It’s an updated two-bedroom, one-bath rental home with a spacious living area, full kitchen, and washer/dryer. There’s also a beautiful deck that overlooks the main street in town. It’s right in the heart of town, which makes it easy to walk around and explore. It has very charming, beach home vibes and is easy to make yourself feel right at home while you’re there. There’s even an outside deck with a grill. We love staying at rental homes, especially when we’re traveling with family, because it makes it more flexible for you to be able to make your own meals, do some laundry, and spend more time relaxing.

A few things to note: Cedar Key is about an hour away from your nearest “big town.” There’s only one small grocery store in town and most things close early. If you’re getting in late or want to do a bigger grocery run, we recommend stopping in Gainesville, Chiefland or Crystal River (depending on what direction you’re coming from), on your way in. We absolutely loved visiting Cedar Key and highly recommend it for a small beach town getaway for the whole family!

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*This post was sponsored by Visit Florida, but as always, all opinions are our own.

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