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Top Things to Do in Levy County in 2017

If you haven’t been to Levy County, Florida, in a while, you might consider a visit in 2017. Plan a trip to coincide with one of the area’s newer annual events, and check out some of Cedar Key’s recent hotel and restaurant renovations following Hurricane Hermine in 2016. Here’s a look at what’s new in Levy County in 2017.

Fun, Local Events

Located in Williston, the Devil’s Dash 5K early in 2017 will take runners through Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens, where you’ll go past garden displays, waterfalls and koi fish ponds. This is a relatively new race to the area, and the route features somewhat challenging terrains. The race’s purpose is to raise awareness about the importance of eco-conscious living and protecting the natural environment. Early registration is required. This event is scheduled for January 7, 2017.

Later in the spring, the third annual Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens Annual Spring Festival returns to Levy County. Vendors from across the state will travel to Williston to showcase their best products for sale. On-site will be more than 50 gardens full of impressive displays including waterfalls, towering trees, koi fish ponds, water lilies and rock gardens. Several animals have made the botanical park their year-round home, including swans, ducks, cats and more. One of its most famous residents is Big Ben, a 100-pound blue catfish that reigns over the fishing pond. During spring at the festival, you’ll get see a variety of native blossoming flowers as you shop around for artisan goods.

Spring is also when you can attend the Old Florida Celebration of the Arts—one of the most popular local events in the area—to browse through hundreds of stunning art pieces for sale by the artists who made them. This year could see a record number of attendees after being named one of the top 10 arts fairs in the country and top five favorite small town art fairs nationwide, according to Art Fair Calendar’s 4th Annual National Survey. More than 120 artists and craftsman will display their best works and enter the juried art show. Old Florida Celebration of the Arts falls on April 8 -9 in 2017.

Finally, late in the year, Rock the River Music Festival comes to Inglis in Levy County. Scheduled for November 11, 2017, on Veterans Day Weekend, the family-friendly music event will features lots of live bands, as well as arts and crafts booths, Florida food vendors serving boiled peanuts and seafood, and a bake sale. Music performances take place at Withlacoochee Gulf Arena; families are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and picnic blankets.

Restaurant and Hotel Renovations

In early 2016, Cedar Key welcomed 83 West on Dock Street, an “old Florida cracker cuisine” style seafood restaurant (famous for its conch fritters, smoked mullet dips and key lime pies) to its community. Then Hurricane Hermine hit in September, causing a temporary closure of its lower level until October (second floor was re-opened to the public). That means in 2017, you can visit the completed renovations of the entire waterfront restaurant. Beer lovers will appreciate the restaurant’s craft beer selections and weekdays happy hour specials (3 p.m. to 6 p.m.).

In Cedar Key, the Beach Front Motel also incurred some damage from the hurricane, but is rapidly making repairs to its building. The motel is installing new floors and a pool deck, both of which will be complete in early 2017, giving guests a nice relaxing space near the pool while enjoying the beachfront view. The motel is currently open, renting out its upstairs rooms while work is being done on the rest of the property.

And 83 West wasn’t the only restaurant to incur some damages after Hurricane Hermine. A local favorite, Island Room at Cedar Cove, was demolished by the heavy storm surge, temporarily closing the restaurant after 25 years in business. The Island Room will re-open in 2017 after renovations are complete.

Check out more ideas for fun things to do in Levy County in 2017 here.