To Have (And Have Not) A Trip To Key West

On February 9, 2012 by admin

Florida is best known for it’s big exciting cities like Orlando and Miami, but a little further south lie a cluster of very special islands.

Key West has a particularly special heritage thanks to one of America’s greatest writers calling the island his home: Ernest Hemingway.
Hemingway and his wife Pauline came to Key West back in the late 1920s and bought a big derelict house on Whitehead Street, which was built in typically Spanish colonial style. The Hemingways restored the house, and it is now, years after their deaths, an open museum to celebrate the life of this Nobel Prize winning author.

The house has become the most popular tourist attraction on the island and is immaculately preserved. One of the famous features of the house is the swimming pool, which was the first built-in pool in Key West. It was also the only pool around for 100 miles and cost the Hemingways a whopping $20,000 to complete. The house is also packed with original artefacts, furniture, paintings and other pieces that Hemingway himself decorated his home with. Visitors can walk through the house at their own pace, though tours take place every 15minutes and all the guides are fully equipped to give the best run down of the life and work of Hemingway.

Other virtues that make the house so special include the garden, which is impeccably maintained and is like a tropical rainforest filled with wild flowers. The Hemingway House and Museum is also home to up to 60 polydactyl (six-toed) cats. They’re well looked after and loved so don’t worry, they’re friendly. The cattery aspect to the house is in keeping with Hemingway’s love of felines. A ship captain gave Hemingway a six-toed cat called Snowball, and some of the cats still present at the house are its descendants. It’s a real family affair.

Speaking of which.. the beautiful gardens and grandeur of the property has become a popular place for wedding ceremonies. All the rich literary history and romantic surroundings of Ernest and Pauline must have influenced today’s couples.

The Hemingway Home and Museum is a true pride of Key West and is a sight not to be missed. Who knows, maybe it’ll inspire you to write your own best selling novel.