In keeping with the true wanderlust mindset, I try to go somewhere new on or around my birthday. One year we decided to visit some of the small towns in our home state. I knew we didn’t have a big budget or any time to take off of work, so I got on the “Only In Florida” Facebook page to see if there were any fun routes they recommended for a weekend, and found exactly what I was looking for. They had a whole article dedicated to different road trips you can take around Florida (you can read it here). Some of them are pretty long, but we decided on the “Florida’s Most Picturesque Small Towns Road Trip.”
Below is the route that we took. We only deviated a little bit from the route that Only in Florida’s post suggested, in that we skipped out on St. Augustine since we have been there so many times (even though it’s probably the most picturesque out of allthe locations, and, if you haven’t been, you simply must visit at least once in your life).
1. Cedar Key, FL
We arrived in Cedar Key at about 3:30pm and checked into our B&B, Cedar Key B&B, which was recommended by the road trip. As soon as we pulled up we could see why. It looked like a doll house. Bright aquamarine and pink colors everywhere. The photos don’t do it justice. We had a paper with our name on it in the lobby, but the hostess, who was in the kitchen when we arrived also walked us through everything; from the ever important wine glasses in the cupboard to the bookshelf in the dining area, and drinks in the refrigerator outside that the guests can purchase for a dollar a piece (scouts honor). It seemed as though they thought of everything (see below for bottomless cookie jar!).
Once we got settled we walked to the main docks area, which housed most all of the bars and restaurants. We took the route that went down to the water and had a gorgeous view of the bay. We spent the rest of the night acting like locals, enjoying the sunset while sipping on a cold beer (or Bahama Mama for me!) and even having an oyster shooter or two by the night’s end. It looked as though there really is a little something for everyone in this small town. From live music at a local’s spot, to upscale food, to world famous chowder; you really won’t be disappointed. Here is a few places that we checked out during our stay:
This place serves delicious drinks, from classics to ones with their own twist. The bar is huge, and there is a dining room as well as an outside area overlooking the water; which is the fan favorite as it was already full when we arrived in the early evening. We got oysters here and they were very fresh. a must try if you’re into oysters. We didn’t eat anything else, but were told by Anthony’s parents, who had visited previously, that the food was “badass.”
If you want clam chowder, this is the place to go. When I was looking up places to eat in Cedar Key, I came across this guy asking where he could park his plane because he was planning on flying in to get some chowder. I am a person who keeps her mind open but expectations low, so I really wasn’t expecting much when we went, but I did want to try it out. if for nothing else than to see if it was worthy of someone flying their plane in to get some. And it lived up to the hype. I’m not sure what they put in it, but their seasoning is what made it so special. We ended up staying for dinner, but it really was the chowder that was worth remembering at the end of the day.
Away From The World:
This place had the look and feel of a really cool bar and restaurant. It is mostly outside seating and one area overlooks the water. However, while the hostess was pleasant, the waitress was lack luster and, frankly, rude. They didn’t have three drinks that I had asked for, and I had to opt for a vodka cranberry at her “suggestion.” They were also out of two beers that my boyfriend had asked for, so he had to settle for a Corona (he doesn’t drink Corona). We didn’t even bother to try and order anything to eat as I figured, much like the drinks, they would probably be out of everything. At that point I wanted to leave, but Anthony said lets just have one drink since we were already there… I stayed so I could adequately give them a proper review on TripAdvisor. So I added this to my list as a place of “experience at your own risk.” We didn’t have a good one, but I have read that other people think this place is great for burgers. Personally, I’ll pass.
When we passed by here, we knew we had to stop in and see what kind of crazy donuts they had. So the next morning, even though the B&B made a delicious breakfast of sausage, waffles and fruit (seriously, it was very good and well presented… I just love this place!), after we checked out we went and got some donuts for the road. This place was quaint and served more than just donuts, which is always a nice surprise. But the donuts… ohhh the donuts. As we were walking in one of the cooks was bringing out a tray of fresh, still hot glazed donuts. I’m not a glazed donut fan, but they looked and smelled delicious. However, it was the chocolate cake with cocoa pebbles and their “boston kreme” that I chose. They were delicious! Anthony got fresh, out of the oven, maple bacon donuts, that he said were the best he’s had. Make this place a stop if you’re in Cedar Key, you won’t be disappointed.
So tell me, have you been to Cedar Key? Have you been for longer than a day? If so, what were your favorite places? Let me know in the comments!
If you’d like to read more, be sure to check out part two of our road trip adventures below.
And come say hi on my Instagram for up to date posts on what I’m up to and where I’m exploring next!