A trip to Cedar Key
by Ken Abrahams
Sondra and I went to a sewing class near Fort
Walton Beach, Florida, last weekend. Once that was over, we
went on down the coast to Cedar Key. I had heard a lot about
Cedar Key from small boating magazines like MAIB
and wanted to chect it out. It is a 13 hour drive from Lake
Charles to Cedar Key driving the posted speed limits. This route
takes I-10 from Lake Charles to Tallahassee and then Hy. 19
down. Coming back took much longer using the coast road through
This set of pictures shows the sailing facilities at Cedar Key.
There are two main launch areas at the Gulf of Mexico. One is
in a lagoon and is really nice, but you must go under a low
bridge to get out of the lagoon. The other launch area is right
on the gulf but is a single ramp and very exposed. There are
also places to launch a hand carried boat. One is a nice white
sand area, the other is around the corner from there and doesn't
look as good. I saw one boat being used, a Prindle Cat.
Main launch area in lagoon
Launch on the Gulf side
There is not a lot of area to tie up anywhere. The islands are
scattered around this main starting point and I believe they
have no facilities for tieing up, etc. My impression about the
sailing in the area was not favorable. We have much better sailing
conditions right here in Lake Charles and can easily travel
to other fine sailing areas much closer. The town was fine,
Main Shop area from the pier.
Main Shop area from a ways off.
Here is some information on Cedar Key. It was
a booming place in the 1800's. During the Civil War, it was
an important port for the South. Later, Cedar trees were used
in the manufacture of lead pencils which was the major business
along with shipping. There were 5000 residents in the 1890's
but a major storm wiped out the place and it never recovered.
There are 1200 residents now and the main business is tourism.
Museum, Cedar Tree, Canon and Sondra
This is a nice little town. It looks like a throwback to the
1950's. The hotels are probably all left over from that era.
It is all low key, no night-life that I could see. It was enjoyable
to visit. There were no high-rise hotels, loud music, etc.
Sondra, Ken and live Pelican on pier
Our trip back took us up the coast and over to Carrabelle and
Apalachicola Florida. These are very nice little towns. The
white sand and beaches start here but it is not commercialized.
We ate in Apalachicola in a little restaurant that featured
Jimmy Buffett music. From there we followed the shore road to
Fort Walton Beach. What a disaster, took hours to get through
this commercialized area. We returned to I-10 then and went
on to Foley, Alabama (You know, the outlet capital of the world).
Typical scene driving to the islands
Well, in the winter it closes at 7:00 pm and
opens at 10:00 am. We got there at 7:00 pm and didn't care to
wait around for it to open the next day. We detoured down to
Madisonville, La. on the way home from Foley. Now that's a nice
town. We checked out the Riverside State Park and will probably
visit there camping sometime. Nice boating spot on the river.
we ate at this restaurant in Cedar Key
Would we go back to Cedar Key? Probably not. Nice place but
too far. Sailing doesn't seem that good. Would we go somewhere
else on the Florida coast? Probably not. For my money, I'll
take Louisiana locations or Texas locations. Lots of places
much closer. Corpus Christi is only 6 hours away, etc. Galveston
Bay, 3 hours, Toledo Bend 3 hours, Madisonville 4 hours, etc.