Posted by: sunnyharvy | January 10, 2017

Quirky Cedar Key

(Recent “upgrades” in WordPress may make my posts look wonky in your email. Click on the title above to view it more clearly online.) 


Another dirt road through the “real” Florida took us to our next Harvest Host location near Hawthorne, a few miles southeast of Gainesville.


The area is way off the beaten track and some buildings along our route a bit run down.


But the Island Grove Wine Company is first class all the way, as is their delicious blueberry wine. Nice quiet place to sleep too.

Then we were off to Cedar Key, a quirky little end-of-the-road town (our favorite kind) spread out across eleven small islands in the Gulf of Mexico.

In 1885 the population was double what it is today (now less than 1,000 full time residents), thanks to an enterprising gentleman who had a railroad built right across Florida so freight would not have to be shipped around the bottom of the state. The terminus was on Cedar Key which then became a major shipping port for lumber.


The old dock area, now lined with shops and restaurants, was once the busy terminus of the railroad line.


Here’s what it looked like in 1884. Note the original settlement on the island on the left.

Cedar Key has struggled to survive for centuries not only because of its remote location but also due to its magnetic lure to hurricanes. A devastating storm in the late 19th century literally wiped the town off its previous location on what is now called Atsena Otie Key.


Damage from flooding caused by Hurricane Hermine last September was evident during our visit.



The flooded post office has not yet reopened so residents have to line up daily at this mobile unit.


Downtown Cedar Key features a few galleries, shops, an old hotel and public art. cedarkey1395


The Grand Hotel dates back to 1859.


This fun artwork was painted by M.E. Spzer, our Harvest Host during our stay.


Our private campground for two nights – thanks MaryEllen! You can view her work at




Cedar Key is know for its sunset view and we saw a good one from the nearby Tiki Bar.



We rode our bikes all around the islands.


The beach at Cemetery Point Park.



We also hiked the old railroad trestle trail.


On our way out of town we stopped to see some vintage trailers camped at Sunset Isles.



Our host did some mural painting at this campground during her stay there a few years ago.




  1. How fun to see your adventure at these quirky locales. Love the vintage trailers. Makes me want to take off. Hoping Rick can in the future…

  2. I love quirky !!!

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