The only thing that we really, really locked in regarding our Key West schedule was a visit to the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum. It was closed the day we went on our last trip and we would have been heartbroken to miss it again this time around!
Hemingway had many homes, scattered all over the world, but the Florida girl in me wants to believe that his Key West home was his favorite. This is the house he lived (and worked) for over ten years, and in which he wrote To Have and Have Not. I’m going to declare right here that I am not a Hemingway history buff, so I’ll do my best to not butcher the best bits of the Hemingway legend!
Hemingway purchased the home with his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer, for $8,000 in 1931. They lived there with their two sons until 1940, at which point Hemingway ran off with his third wife, Martha Gellhorn, leaving Pauline on the estate until 1951.
Apart from Hemingway himself, some of the home’s claims to fame are, of course, the cats. “Hemingway Cats” (proper name: polydactyl cats), are noted for having six-toed paws and being incredibly cute. They are absolutely the stars of the tour and steal the show from room to room!
We opted for the guided tour (which I recommend) and were taken through the house by one of the wonderful tour guides.
The Hemingway Home is on pretty much everyone’s “to-see” list when they go to Key West, so I doubt that I have to convince you, but just in case: It’s well worth the trip! Admission is USD$13 (cash only) and that gives you the options of guided or self-guided tours. There’s no time limit (outside of their operating hours, of course), and you can do what we did to get the most out of the experience: Take the guided tour to start, then do another lap, lingering in your favorite rooms.
Or, just stalk the cats around the grounds. 🙂
And with that, we’re done with Key West! You made it!
If you’d like to learn more about the house, I’ve popped their details below!
The Hemingway Home & Museum
907 Whitehead Street
Key West, FL 33040