The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, Key West

4.5
#1 of 329 in Museums in Florida
Take a look at a writer's creative space at The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, offering short tours of the house once occupied by the Nobel Prize-winning artist. Hemingway wrote some of his best works here, including the classics "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," "To Have and Have Not," and "Green Hills of Africa." Originally built in 1851 in the Spanish Colonial estate style, the house is 5 m (16 ft) above sea level, making it one of the highest sites on the entire island. Descendants of Hemingway's famous polydactyl cats (with six or more toes per paw) still roam the estate. Take a walk through the tropical garden, where the writer often entertained friends, or head inside to see Hemingway's writing desk, where he typed out the first drafts of many of his short stories and novels. Using our international travel planner, Key West attractions like The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum Reviews
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4.5
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  • First of all it is well worth the $14 entrance fee. Once in wait for a guided tour which start regularly. Our tour guide was both knowledgable and very passionate about Hemmingway, he also welcomed an...  more »
  • One must visit the Hemingway houses in Key West and Cuba where he spent much of his adult life, Key West being the place he wrote most of his great novels. Our guide had a very pleasing voice and a gr...  more »
  • When we visited years ago, we toured this home. It has some history and of course the 6 toed cats. It does not seem that the past hurricane did any damage and looked open for buisness.  more »
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  • A must see! The bald male tour guide was absolutely the best. I forget his name, but he was detailed and passionate about the Hemingway story. I would recommend saving this history tour for last because after it, all of the other tours seem a bit dull. The last cent was interesting and humorous. This place is great for Hemingway enthusiasts and for those who have no clue who he is.
  • Very knowledgeable tour guides. There were lots of stories about Hemingway's life and his time there with his second wife. The cats were really comfortable with all the humans wandering through their home. Some would allow you to pet them. You're not allowed to pick them up, but if one sits on your lap you are a very lucky visitor. You can book the Hemingway house for weddings.
  • Fun to learn about Papa in his own habitat. Our guide was engaging and knowledgeable and the tour wasn't overdone. I gained respect for Hemingway's work ethic despite his nightly bar visits and was inspired to read up more on his life. This tour is a very Key West thing to do. The cats are cool too.
  • Had a great time! The tour was fun with stories about his family, work cats and of course, fishing! My favorite room was the study where he spent a lot of time writing. If you love cats, don't miss the cat house outside behind the study. I'll surely come back for another visit.
  • A must if you are visiting Key West for the first time! Ernest Hemingway was a fascinating playboy with a rich history shared in the very house you get to tour. Much of his works were penned in the decade he lived here and much of the original decor, furniture is fully intact. Our tour guide Doug really brought his story to life with a sort of sincerely you don't often find from visits like these (don't be cheap! it is customary to tip great guides!!) Truly a cat-lover's paradise. The 52 (!) cats are legit friendly and adorable, they're probably a little weary of the constant attention from the more annoying tourists day in and day out (who have no idea how to act around animals), but with a bit of patience they will often come up to you and let you pet them; one even decided to take a nap right on my feet. And yes, most if not all have 6 toes on their left paws! Gift shop is very much worth checking out, plenty of books, short stories and adaptations penned by Hemingway (naturally) and lots of artwork, bookmarks, 6 toed cat-themed merchandise and many more vintage-florida flavored merchandise. Perfect way to spend an afternoon, very refreshing and lives up to the hype. Highly recommended - and this is coming from a native Floridian!

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Where to stay in Key West

To explore the best of what Key West has to offer on foot, stay near Old Town, a picturesque neighborhood famous for its streets lined with tropical trees and gardens. Most hotels in this area feature rooftop decks, where you can meet friends for cocktails and enjoy ocean views at sunset. If you don't mind driving to where most of the action is, consider staying at a budget-priced inn or bed and breakfast on the eastern end of the island.
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