Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cedar Key

Several of our friends recommended we go to Cedar Key.  Located on the Gulf coast about 70 miles southwest of Gainesville, the Cedar Keys are a cluster of small islands with the main island a laid back fishing village reminiscent of what they call “old Florida”.

Island Hotel established in 1859
Today we wandered along the few blocks which make up this historic village.  We got there about noon and immediately went in search of Tony’s for the famous clam chowder.  The small dining room, which will only seat about 30, was full except for a table for 2 which we took.  A steady stream of folks came in while we were there, many ordering at the take-out window.  Tony’s won the World Championship honor for the clam chowder last year and clearly it was in a class of it’s own.

With our tummies full, we walked the streets, stopping in a few of the shops.  This is an artsy town and the local merchants exhibit and sell works of the area artists.  We also stepped into the public library and the Island Hotel to get a peek at the inside of these old buildings.

Cedar Key was much older, more rundown, and more artsy than we expected--all of which made it that much more charming.
A few of the town cats
We didn’t go directly to Cedar Key, but instead drove from Silver Spring all the way to the coast via highway 40.  With the exception of a small section in Daytona, we have driven the entire width of Florida on this highway.  Of course, state route 40 does not actually go to the coast, but ends at Dunnellon.  We made a little jog and got onto county road 40 and made our way to the gulf.

The end of Highway 40
Even though it was a cloudy, cool day, we really enjoyed our trip to the Gulf coast.

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