• Cedar Key, Florida: Island Hotel & Restaurant

      A stay at the Island Hotel gives the word 'get-away' a whole new meaning. Guests will discover rooms without telephones, televisions or Wi-Fi. Now that is a get-away. What this popular Florida bed and breakfast does have, however, is a rich history, interesting architecture, finely decorated rooms, all set on a tiny island along Florida's west coast. Sit on the benches outside the hotel and become acquainted with some of the locals. Enjoy part of the day relaxing on the balcony in one the rocking chars reading a good book or watching passersby. When visiting the hotel, Jimmy Buffet often entertained from the balcony and enjoyed the hotel’s Neptune Bar.

      The Island Hotel & Restaurant, listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings, is located in the heart of Cedar Key. Hotel guests can easily experience the island's shopping, fishing, hiking, boat tours and more. Artsy shops, many filled with items made by some of the local artists, are a favorite among shoppers. And the fishing is great, as the busy boat ramp and pier will attest to. Crabbing for blue crabs is another favorite form of entertainment.

      Some visitors come to Cedar Key just to experience dining at the hotel's restaurant. Cedar Key is known for its clam industry, so naturally clams are part of the menu offerings. Other treats that the restaurant takes great pride in serving include cabbage salad and crab bisque. The restaurant is small and service is personal, all offering diners an intimate dinning experience.

      And when the evening ends, hotel guests - depending on the room they choose - can enjoy a relaxing bubble bath in an old-fashioned claw-foot bath tub.

      IF YOU GO: Be sure to ask the staff about all the ghost stories connected with the hotel.

      WHEN TO VISIT: Spring, summer and fall are probably the best seasons. Popular Seafood Festival in October, Celebration of Arts in April and Clamerica Celebration July 4th.

      JURISDICTION: Privately owned
      INFORMATION VERIFIED BY Anne Sponholtz: Last visit 07/2010
      ADDRESS: 373 2nd St., Cedar Key, FL 32625

      Historic Island Hotel & Restaurant is
      a popular bed and breakfast.
      Photo courtesy of Anne Sponholtz