There are actually some pretty darn good waves in Florida.
Panama City is 250 miles from you (about five hours or so) and there's a state park there called St. Andrew's. When you go to the southernmost point you'll see an inlet. A mile across that inlet is an uninhabited island (Shell Island, I think). There's a jetty stretching out into the gulf from that island. There's an amazing surfspot there called Amazons. The locals simply call it The Pass. Big waves, good waves. Shea and Corey Lopez, two professional surfers who grew up there, made it to the top level of professional surfing and stayed on tour for years. Both are still world travelers. Amazons needs a strong low pressure system in the Gulf of Mexico (not too close, though, or the winds will ruin the water texture). If a low parks in the gulf for a couple days, the Pass will get waves. Rent or borrow a boat, stay in the deep water, and shoot all day.
If you go 240 miles southeast from Cedar Key, you'll get to Sebastian Inlet, Florida's (arguably) best wave. It's rarely the biggest wave in Florida (that would be Reef Road in Palm Beach), but it's consistently an excellent wave to photograph. It breaks on a jetty and, due to the direction of the jetty, forces the waves to wedge up into bigger faces. A two foot wave will jack up to about waist to chest high. Plus, it blocks much of the wind, making the water smoother. Most of Brevard County is a great place to surf.
However, if you want convenience (relative to the other two spots), try St. Augustine. It's hard to get it good (gets windy, and the water is often a murky-green), but it can be really good and the surfers are good too. Gabe Kling (world tour...best group in the world) is from St. Auggie. St. Augustine is only 130 miles from Cedar Key.
Then there's New Smyrna Beach. It's northeast (just south of Daytona Beach). It is rated as the most consistent in terms of surfable days (waves above a foot, generally). And it's the sharkiest spot in the world. Volusia County averages over 25 bites a year, mostly on surfers and swimmers (duh).
Finally, if you know your strobe work, head on over to Typhoon Lagoon at Disney World. Normally it's a mess of tourists and waves (wave machine) splashing around. But what most people (except surfers) don't know is that the wave can actually be shaped by the engineers.
They rent it out to surfers at night. It's usually a thousand bucks for a hundred waves (or something like that...really expensive, actually) but surfers are constantly renting it anyway. Something different.
Keep in mind that the greatest professional surfer the world has ever known is from Cocoa beach, Florida (Brevard County). Ten-time World Champion.
The Australians have more overall championships than the Hawaiians and Americans (considered two separate countries in pro surfing), but nobody else in the world has even half as many world championship titles as Kelly Slater of Florida. The next closest is Australian Mark Richards.
For the last twenty years, the Floridians have consistently done well on the world stage in professional surfing. Most are from the East Coast, and of those, most are from Brevard County.
Brevard County (and most of the East Coast of Florida) has a thriving surf community.