It’s been awhile since I played tourist so I decided to go visit one of the more popular spots in Key West, the Hemingway Home and Museum. Sitting along Whitehead Street just across from the lighthouse, the Hemingway Home was the Key West residence of Ernest Hemingway, someone who is known for writing a book or two. The house and grounds have been turned into a museum and tourist attraction and is one of the more scenic spots on the island to visit. Surrounded by lush gardens and exotic plants, the grounds are meticulously kept up by a year round staff. The house it self is kept in near original condition with much of the original furniture that belonged to Hemingway still on display. Inside, each room has memorabilia, photos, and artwork from his life and times. In back is his original studio upstairs overlooking a huge inground pool. There you can see where he did some of his best literary work. Downstairs is a bookstore where you can buy his books, and if you do buy there, the book comes with an embossed stamp saying you got it at the house.
If you aren’t in any hurry you can spend a few hours milling around the gardens and pathways. There are little hidden spots all over the grounds and plenty of quiet spots just to sit and look. A few things to consider when you come down…
It costs $12.50 per person for entry. If you are doing the touristy thing look for some deals that include this tour along with some of the other museum tours like the Mel Fisher Museum and you might save a couple bucks.
There are guided tours if you want to learn more or you can just meander about on your own.
Be careful on days when cruise ships are in port as the grounds will be crowded, like it was when I was there.
There is no air conditioning in the house although they do have fans running. During the summer it gets real hot. There are water machines with bottled water for sale but be aware it will get warm. Take some time and relax in any one of the many shady corners of the grounds and just take it all in.
It’s been awhile since I’ve read any of Hemingway’s works but I may have to read some again. A very interesting man and very interesting life. A sign sits in the bookstore…
Half the writers in the world try to be like Hemingway. The other half try not to be like him.
Here’s some images from my day at the house…
There is something else very special about this place. I’ll write about it on the Saturday post. See you then.