Photo Fiona Sunquist ©
Cedar Key, Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge, and the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge.
The area forms one of the largest undeveloped river delta-estuarine systems in the US. More than 250 bird species have been recorded. There are many miles of walking and biking trails but the main parts of the refuges are accessible only by boat. To get the most out of your stay, you should rent a skiff or a kayak, or take a guided tour.
The causeway that connects the town of Cedar Key to the mainland is a great spot to watch wading birds, shorebirds, pelicans and sea ducks. The small town of Cedar Key has several nice places to stay, and many family owned restaurants. You can rent a golf cart and wander around town, charter a fishing trip with a guide, fish from the dock, watch birds, or kayak, but be warned, this is definitely small town atmosphere – nothing moves too fast!
Offshore, the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge consists of several small islands that are home to one of the largest wading bird rookeries in Florida. The interior of all the islands are closed to the public year round to protect the birds and because of the high density population of cottonmouth snakes, but the beaches are open to people on foot.
In and around Cedar Key, you can rent fishing equipment and a 16-foot Carolina skiff for about $120 a day, rent a sea kayak, or sign up for a guided kayak tour. Check the Cedar Key Area Chamber of Commerce
web site for rentals and outfitters.
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