Key West is known for its quirky atmosphere. However, it was also the home of writer Ernest Hemingway. Built in 1851, and then occupied by Ernest Hemingway and his family in 1930’s, many of the original furnishings and collectibles from the Hemingway estate still decorate the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. For any Hemingway fan, this location is a must-see when exploring Key West.
What You Will See
The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum was the home of the famed author and his family after they returned from Europe Those visiting the house will likely see over sixty cats roaming the property. Some of these cats are rumored to be descendants of Hemingway’s original cat who was polydactyl (extra toed.)
Visitors might notice that some of the furniture isn’t from the 1900s. That is because Hemingway was an avid collector of seventeenth and eighteenth-century Spanish furniture. As he was often gone on a safari or working as a war correspondent, visitors will find quite a few collectibles from his travels.
The property features a unique pool. Hemingway dug into solid coral to create this pool. Also, at the time, Hemingway owned the only pool within a hundred miles. There are also the gorgeous gardens where guests can relax or discover flowers such as Plumbago, Star Jasmine, Hibiscus and Bleeding Heart.Throughout the home, there are multiple rooms to explore, slow down and even snap ‘selfies’ with the cats.
Ernest Hemingway was a well-known American writer. His most famous works include novels such as The Old Man and the Sea and Farewell to Arms. Hemingway also wrote many short stories, like “Hills like White Elephants” and “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place.” The author is known, to this day, for his honest, straightforward writing style and his eccentricities. There are many interesting stories of the author like as the time Hemingway opened fire with a machine-gun on a group of sharks. Unfortunately, in July of 1961, Hemingway took his life with a shotgun.
The Ernest Hemingway Home is where the author spent ten productive years writing his novels. Supposedly, he found the seas around Key West both peaceful and physically challenging. Today, the home is a National Historic Landmark, Literary Landmark, and a Historic American Building.
Location and Hours
The Museum located at 907 Whitehead St., Key West, is open daily from nine AM to five PM, including holidays. General Admission for adults is $13.00, for children is $6.00. However, children five years or younger get in for free.
How to Get There
Travelers should follow US-1 South (I-95 South turns into US-1), and keep right as they enter Key West. After a while, US-1 South will turn into North Roosevelt Blvd, and then it will turn into Truman Ave. After this, travelers can continue straight on Truman Ave., and turn right onto Whitehead St. The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum will be on the right. To identify the property, one can see its distinctive brick wall surrounding it.
Autism Travel Tips:
- This place could be a great educational trip for a school-aged child.
- There are lots of cats on the property, which could stir up allergies or be frightening for a child who does not have a lot of experience with cats. That said, other kids might love a four-legged friend following them!
- The gate to the property must be closed at all times and closed quickly behind visitors. This gate is the only thing keeping the cats on the property and away from the wild roosters that roam Key West.
- Weekends are busier than weekdays. Therefore, parents with children who are quickly overwhelmed should try going during the week.
- The museum only accepts cash. Therefore, parents should plan accordingly, especially if anyone in the family is a Hemingway buff and plans to purchase some of his books or collectibles in the bookstore!
- We highly recommend taking the 30-minute tour to get an overview of the house. This recommendation is because the tour guides have a wealth of knowledge about Hemingway, his family, and the grounds, and love sharing this knowledge with visitors.