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Make a holiday villa in Cedar Key your home away from home

Cedar Key offers idyllic island living in the Gulf of Mexico: holiday accommodation in Cedar Key isn't in the Florida Keys to the south, but actually half the state away. HomeAway's holiday villas and apartments in Cedar Key give you the opportunity to taste the tropical island lifestyle, only with every American convenience. Most Cedar Key rentals come with a washer/dryer, dishwasher, DVD player and cable or satellite television. With hundreds of islands in the immediate vicinity, Cedar Key holiday villas serve as the perfect base for watersports, especially sailing, boating and accessing remote uninhabited island beaches.

Things to do

-History: Get an idea of the history of this region from artefacts displayed at the Cedar Key Museum State Park. Dating back to the Paleolithic period 12,000 years ago, stone arrow heads and spear points are exhibited, as well as artefacts from the Shell Mound archaeological dig 9 miles to the north.

-Nature: Hike or bike through over a 5,000 acre mosaic of Florida ecosystems, ending with a BBQ picnic at the trail head at the Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve. Boating into Waccasassa Bay Preserve State Park is the only way to visit this 30,000 acre protected salt marsh and observe the alligator, manatee, bald eagle and black bear inhabitants.

-Festivals: Visitors in April can literally walk from their Cedar Key rentals to experience the Spring Sidewalk Art Festival, a bounty of arts, crafts and food, while October holidaymakers should time their visit to coincide with the Fall Seafood Festival, which focuses more on a celebration of dining.

-Nightlife: As you can probably tell, Cedar Key is highly touted for its seafood restaurants, and there are several to choose from as well as options for other fare. Bar hopping is doable, but in a laid-back Gulf Coast fishing town kind of way: seafront pubs are ideal for evening relaxation.

-Watersports: Hiring your own boat could well be an option to consider for your entire trip, as there's so much to see, explore and do on the water. Fishing is Cedar Key's main industry outside tourism, but with parks to explore, islands to hop, and remote beaches to enjoy, you'll never be short of a boating activity.

-Beaches: Small beaches can be found around the entire coast of Cedar Key, but the real advantage of Cedar Key holiday accommodation, especially if you hire a boat, is to take trips to the deserted beaches on one of the hundreds of uninhabited nearby islands.

Weather in Cedar Key

Water moderates temperature, so Florida doesn't usually get intolerably hot during the summer months (mid-30°C), at least compared to other popular holiday destinations. It also means the winters stay quite warm (up to around 20°C), so Cedar Key is definitely a great destination for a winter break. How about celebrating Christmas on a deserted island beach? Precipitation falls mainly as thunderstorms during the summers, which can also help cool things down.

Travel to Cedar Key

The nearest international airport is Tampa at 130 miles away. Though this may sound a long way, Americans often travel far greater distances as a matter of course: commutes of over 50 miles are quite common, thanks largely to the efficient and well-organised motorway system. Orlando international airport is another option at 144 miles distant. Hiring a car is the obvious choice for convenience and getting about, though Cedar Key and environs can quite easily be explored by boat. However, public transport is non-existent, so a taxi or shuttle from the airport will have to be engaged.

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