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The Way To Enjoy This Island Treasure!

By Glenn Arnette, lll

Cedar Key stands all alone. It is an Island on the Gulf Coast and one of the largest producers of farmed clams in the United States. It is the home of Tony’s Seafood Restaurant where you can enjoy the best Clam Chowder, voted in Rhode Island and into the Hall of Fame, as the best in the Country. Delicious! Now that is worth the trip alone! Try to Grilled Cheese sandwich and a cup of bowl of Chowder. Also be sure to order the fried green beans! OMG!

Located just one hour from Gainesville, Florida, Cedar Key offers little adventures everywhere. Start with the Cedar Key Railroad Trestle Nature Trail and enjoy photo opportunities rarely seen in the State. It is an easy walk beneath towering pines, besides aromatic cedars, many wildflowers and plants. This is only the beginning of Nature in Cedar Key! You have kayak trips and can take the Island Hopper. You can visit museums and swim on the beach with a daily “four foot tide.” 

Take time to meet one of Cedar Key’s favorite characters, Charles Beckham, the Smoked Mullet and Mullet Dip Man! Talk about something good. Let Charles tell you all about it at his little umbrella stand on the way into town.

For an artist show every day, visit Cedar Keyhole, an Artist Cooperative on Second Street. Visit the Island Trading Post and meet Mike Carlin, Jr. or his Dad. This shop is loaded with Cedar Key gifts and more.

Go by and say hello to Dick Marten at Curmudgeonalia Books, Cards and Gifts. Then visit the Cedar Key Canvas Company where the ladies can fine some of the most unusual handmade bags around.

Of course, visit my favorite, Cedar Key Emporium and Garden Shop and then schedule a ride with Jeanne Morgan for a Carriage Ride. Now that makes for a good morning! Right?

For evening it is time for cocktails and dinner. Now Key West should have it so good! This is personal drinking and dining. Start at Coconuts around 6 PM and enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets you will ever see. It rivals Key West! Then meet the man of the Island, Paul Rimavicus, the owner, and sit over the water with a Mint Julep or a straight shot of bourbon, have snacks and / or dine upstairs in the Rusty Rim Pub and Restaurant. This is also a wonderful place for a reasonable breakfast and a chance to meet my favorite lady of the Island, Betty! Both places make for one great time! You can have thirty varieties of clams, fish from the dock, play pool, darts and enjoy seven TV’s. This is Island life at its best! Remember you don’t need a car in Cedar Key!

Take time to enjoy a good hand rolled cigar at the Black Dog Bar and Tables. There is entertainment, a vast collection of good wine and beer and a fantastic porch hovering over the water. Jay Edge is the man to see and he will take good care of you.

For fine dining plan a night at the Island Room Restaurant at Cedar Cove, as they have everything from Oysters Rockerfellow to some of the best crab cakes in the South. It is waterfront dining in a casual elegant atmosphere. Give a hello to Chef Jim Funk and he will make it a night to remember. From Seafood to Steaks, this is the place to enjoy!

When you have the time stop by the AdaBlue Café at Sunset Isle R.V. Park and enjoy a soft serve ice cream or their real homemade butter and cream fudge. You will thank me!

There is so much more for this little Island in Florida and not enough space. Next time I want to tell you about the perfect place to stay while there. Until then, visit the travel web site: