Read The Gainesville Sun Article --Coolest Town

Cedar Key makes Budget Travel's list of coolest small towns

By Karen Voyles
Staff writer
Published: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 7:49 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 7:49 a.m. 

Cedar Key is getting national attention - in a good way - this winter. The tiny island city at the west end of State Road 24 is one of the leaders in the annual America's Coolest Small Towns contest sponsored by Budget Travel.

Budget Travel is using the following description of Cedar Key as part of the America's Coolest Small Towns contest:

"While much of Florida has become overrun with theme parks, strip malls, and luxury condos, the fishing village of Cedar Key—with its abundance of pelicans, palmettos, and Spanish moss—is a vivid reminder of the state as it once was. Two long-forgotten forms of architecture dominate the cay: 19th-century wood-frame cottages with wraparound porches, and tabby houses, made with a combination of sand, water, and crushed shells. Cedar Key also holds the distinction of being the nation's number one producer of farm-raised clams. Locals swear by the award-winning chowder at Tony's Seafood Restaurant, and there are dozens more dockside eateries where you can sample fresh Gulf shrimp, oysters, and grouper. Outside of town, 13 islands make up the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge, where kayakers can spot frigate birds, ibis, and bald eagles." To cast a vote, go to
As of Tuesday morning, Cedar Key was in fifth place among 20 contestants in the balloting and the polls will remain open to anyone with Internet access until February 11.
This is the fifth year that Budget Travel magazine has held the contest to help its readers "Discover travel beyond the big cities to experience something different." This year's contestants were among the 80 small towns nominated for consideration, all with populations of 142 to 9,738 residents.

In a news release about the contest, the magazine defined the small towns being voted on as "Up-and-coming American towns that stand out from mainstream America. Equal parts hip and humble, these edgy small towns offer visitors a truly authentic experience."