At just 18 acres, Cedar Key Museum State Park is one of the smallest state parks in Florida. However, what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in sites, attractions and points of interest.
Situated just over an hour from Gainesville, the main attraction in the park is its museum, which showcases what life was like in the 1920s. It also features the home of St. Clair Whitman who has a collection of Native American artifacts and seashells exhibited within it.
Aside from these historical buildings, the park is renowned for its stunning natural beauty. This incorporates various habitats, all of which are offset by the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
The likes of fishing, canoeing, kayaking, hiking and geocaching are all popular activities here, while those who enjoy birding and wildlife watching have plenty of opportunity to do so as well.
During their time at the park, visitors can partake in a wide range of outdoor recreational activities.
Here is a brief overview of some of the many things you see and can do during your time there.
Museum at Cedar Key Museum State Park
The main drawcard of the park is the museum which it is named after.
Containing fascinating exhibits that depict the town’s rich and colorful history, one of its main highlights is a collection of Indian artifacts and enchanting sea shells that were gathered together by Saint Clair Whitman.
The founder of the initial museum at Cedar Key, her house is situated at the park and has been carefully and meticulously restored to convey what life was like in the 1920s.
Once you have checked out the inside of the museum, be sure to stroll around its gardens too, which feature stunning native Floridian vegetation like slash and sand pine, sabal palm, yaupon holly, live oak, coontie, Southern red cedar, saw palmetto and wax myrtle.
Boating at Cedar Key Museum State Park
Away from the museum, one of the best aspects of this park is the paddling opportunities it provides you with.
Much of this takes place at the creeks and tidal marshes, which showcase its varied flora and fauna.
If you want to take your canoe or kayak to the water, there is a dedicated launch available to help you. Please note, portage is required though.
Fishing at Cedar Key Museum State Park
Just 2 miles from the museum you will find a dedicated fishing pier.
Anglers from all over Florida flock here as it provides them with excellent opportunities to drop a line in one of the state’s best fisheries.
Depending on whether you fish on the shore, or in a boat on the water, you may well need a license to do so. It is worth checking with the Florida Wildlife Commission to determine whether you need one.
Once you do start fishing, head to the grass flats, oyster bars and mudflats. There you can expect to catch plenty of black drum, flounder, spotted sea trout, redfish and bonnet head sharks.
Hiking and geocaching at Cedar Key Museum State Park
Within the park, a short nature trail provides visitors with the opportunity to explore its landscape in more detail.
While doing this, you can get a close up view of its stunning flora and fauna.
You can also search for geo-caches too, as there are many different treasures and trinkets dotted throughout it.
Should you want to find them, be sure to check out the geocaching website to download the GPS coordinates.
Nature & Wildlife
For those who want to explore the park’s nature and wildlife there is one short trail that allows you to do so.
Meandering through the park, it showcases a diverse range of native plant species. Some of which can also be seen at the grounds of the museum.
Should you walk the trail, expect to see the likes of gopher tortoises, green tree frogs and small gray squirrels.
Birding at Cedar Key Museum State Park
The nature trail also provides excellent bird spotting opportunities. This is especially the case during the fall and winter months when a host of migratory birds take temporary residence here.
Leading you down to a picturesque salt marsh, you can see plenty of wading birds at low tide, including the likes of white ibis, roseate spoonbills and American avocets. Be sure to bring your binoculars with you to obtain the clearest view.
If you look up, you should also see ospreys searching for their next feed.
Pets at Cedar Key Museum State Park
The park welcomes well behaved dogs, although they will need to be kept on a 6-foot or less leash at all times. They also can’t be unattended for more than half an hour.
As well as not being allowed to enter the museum or St. Clair Whitman house, there are other restrictions in place with regards to their presence.
To ascertain what they are, it is worth contacting the park’s main office for further clarification.
Camping at Cedar Key Museum State Park
While there is no camping accommodation situated directly at the park, just a ten minute drive from it you will find the Cedar Key RV Resort.
This modern and pet-friendly campground provides several sites for RVs and trailers that come with either 30-amp or 50-amp electricity. Each of the concrete pads is at least 45 x 80 feet in size and are a mix of pull through or back in campsites.
Unfortunately this campground does not offer accommodation options for tents of pop-up trailers. However, they do have an excellent range of amenities including clean bathhouses, plenty of paved roads, a lovely heated swimming pool, concrete patios, wireless internet and cable TV.
There is even a special dog park for your four legged friend as well.
Cedar Key Museum State Park
12231 SW 166th Ct
Cedar Key, FL 32625
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Cedar Key Museum State Park: