Although Cedar Key Florida Beaches are not known for their massive and spectacular expanse, they do have the laid back, gentle splash of waves that you and your family can enjoy.
Cedar Key Florida Does Have Beaches, but not what most people are probably expecting as compared to Destin, FL or Pensacola Beach, Fl to name a few. A public beach is close to the Cedar Key Marine II and there are many private beach areas just off shore that can be accessed for a romantic or family get-away.
No matter what the event, you and your special someone or your family can enjoy the calming effects of gentle waves breaking on the shore.
…unless there’s a hurricane brewing.
Public Beach Location
Just South to Southwest of Pirates Cover Cottages, is the Cedar Key Marina II. A public beach sits onsite and is open to the public.
This is a small beach area but can service a good number of visitors. Equipped with picnic tables and palm trees, this is a perfect get away for you and your someone special or maybe a brief getaway with the kids.
Private Beach Secluded Areas
There are about thirteen offshore keys or islands from Cedar Key that make up the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge. This reserve was established in 1929 to protect nesting birds from local hunters.
Three of the most prominent are Atsena Otie Key, Snake Key and Seahorse Key which are about one to three miles offshore.
Seahorse Key houses the local lighthouse that was constructed back in 1854 by the Federal government due to the high elevation.
Snake Key is about a mile south of Atsena Otie key and I can promise you…I won’t be going. It gets its name from the OVER abundance of venomous water moccasins on the island.
Atsena Otie Key is about a half mile from Cedar Key Marina’s dock and is a great place to get away and enjoy the bigger beach area if the public space at the Marina is too small for you.
How To Get Out To A Private Beach Spot
There are a few ways to get over to the offshore keys or islands.
You can rent a kayak or bring your own and paddle over to the three islands listed above or to the National Refuge area.
Cedar Key Marina II has boats that can be rented or they have boats that can drop off and pickup when you want.
A kayak paddling guide is available on PDF from a couple from England, Nick and Sandra Crowhurst, to help you explore some of the coastal regions of Florida
Can You Swim At Cedar Key Florida Beaches?
Yes, swimming is permissible at the public beach area on shore and at the various keys surrounding Cedar Key. Just watch out for the slithering varmints on Snake Key…yikes!
Renting A Boat For An Island Hoping Experience
Renting a boat to take your family island hopping can be accomplished at Cedar Key Marina II where they have pontoon, skiffs and a V-Hull Flat boat.
Rental pricing ranges from $159 for a half day up to $310 per full day depending on what type of boat you choose or that is available.
Capacity range from 1 to 10 people depending on weight and the type of boat that is available.
Cedar Key Boat Rental also has skiffs and pontoon boats for up to 6 people depending on the type of boat available.
They range from $80 for three hour minimum up to $125 and either $20 to $25 dollars per additional hour.
What If I Want To Go Fishing Instead Of Swimming?
Do I need a fishing license to fish while I’m visiting Florida? Yes, anyone who is 16 years of age or older who are non-residents are required to hold a license for fresh or salt water fishing. Visit Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for additional details.
Do I need a license to operate a boat? No, you will be given detailed instructions and training on the safe operation of the rental boat. If you were born before 1988, then you will have to complete a boating course before you are allowed to operate the rental boat.
Where am I allowed to fish? You will be given a map that shows the limits of the fishing areas. Basically is encompasses the keys offshore from Cedar Key and inside that area.
Renting A Kayak In Cedar Key Florida
There are several options for renting a kayak to touring the local area and the surrounding keys.
Kayak Cedar Keys
This establishment has options for kayak rentals, kayak fishing and guided tours.
Kayak rentals range from $35 to $50 depending on kayak type and availability for up to 3 hours. You can paddle out to all of the keys near the Cedar Key area. $10 gets you an additional 3 hours.
Kayak fishing packages and self-guided tours for groups are available. See additional information at their website.
Cedar Key Paddling
Rent a kayak from $25 to $35 per day with free delivery to one of eight different launch/arrival locations. They will even delivery where you are residing as long as it meets their launch requirements.
For an additional $25 they will setup you up to go fishing on your trip out to the various keys in the area when you visit the beaches. $10 gets you an extra fishing pole.
Where Can We Go To Eat After Visiting The Beaches?
Cedar Key has several restaurants and eateries located on the South end of the island after a long day of beach combing or kayaking out to the outer islands.
A quaint little spot with a patio that serves up fantastic oyster sandwiches (we call them Po-Boy’s over on the Alabama/Louisiana coasts) and their famous clam chowder.
83 West Downstairs
Offering indoor and outdoor seating arrangements, no reservations are required. Happy Hour is week days 3pm to 6pm and bar specials are plentiful.
Duncan’s On The Gulf
Right on the gulf of Mexico offering a fantastic seafood dining experience, Duncan’s On The Gulf serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. So visit them before your beach visit or after you come back from kayaking out to the National Refuge and the surrounding keys.
Cedar Key Pizza & Subs
If you have the family out for the day of beach going or kayaking along the keys, a fine dining restaurant might not do the trick when time for lunch or dinner. Visit Cedar Key Pizza & Subs on 2nd Street and see why this place rates 4.7 out of 5 stars. They can even delivery…maybe out to the beach!