Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum#6 in Best Things To Do in Key West
Literary icon and journalist Ernest Hemingway is one of Key West's best-known and well-loved "freshwater Conchs" (a resident who was not born on the island). His former home – which he lived in for less than 10 years but owned until his death in 1961 – is located in Old Town and is now a U.S. National Historic Landmark. Literature buffs take note: Hemingway penned parts of some of his most famous works, including "A Farewell to Arms" and "For Whom the Bell Tolls," in this very residence. The grand house itself is interesting, as it was one of the first in Key West to have indoor plumbing and a pool. Inside, the rooms contain memorabilia about Hemingway's life and work.
Recent travelers recommend a visit here (despite the perennial crowds), and offer praise for the knowledgeable tour guides, who bring Hemingway's time in Key West to life. Visitors also recommend sticking around after your tour (which takes about 30 minutes) to peruse the gardens and take in the distinct design touches of Hemingway's wife, Pauline.
Another important facet to the Hemingway legend: his cat. Hemingway was given a white, six-toed cat by a ship's captain. Many of the cats that currently live on the museum grounds (about 40 to 50) are believed to be descendants of that cat, named Snow White. So, if you have cat allergies, you may want to skip a visit here altogether. (Though previous travelers said the felines generally stick to the shady areas of the garden and don't seem to mind the visitors.)
The house is open every day of the year (even holidays) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets include the guided tour and cost $14 for adults and $6 for kids ages 6 to 12. Children 5 and younger get in for free. Keep in mind: The house only accepts cash. You'll also find a book store and gift shop on-site. Additional information is available on the property's website.
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