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The hundred plus islands which make up the Cedar Keys and the shoreline to the north have remained almost totally in their primitive state, despite the development of most of Florida. Thirteen of these islands comprise the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge. The many bays, marshes, rivers and creeks provide a peaceful place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty. Take a kayak trip around the islands or up the famous Suwannee River, looking for dolphins, manatees and birds, or try your luck with rod and reel to catch some of the many species of fish that are found in this area.
The city of Cedar Key is one of the oldest in the state. In its time, it was a bustling port at the western end of Florida's first large railroad line. Pencil blanks made from local cedar trees was part of a thriving manufacturing industry which also included fiber broom and brush manufacturing, turpentine and salt production, and the harvest of seafood and sponges. Much of that manufacturing is gone today, but the seafood industry is still very important. When you visit, be sure to try seafood specialties such as farm-raised hard shell clams, oysters and smoked mullet dip.