Hemingway House in Key West, Florida
I visited the Hemingway House in Key West, Florida on my SeizeTheKeys press trip. This is not a required post, it is not sponsored. I wanted to share my experience with you.
One of the incredible traits of Key West is that it’s historical. On almost every corner, and at least down every street, there is something to peak your interest. It’s the character and laid back persona of Key West and it makes you eager to soak it all in.
I was in Key West back in July on a port of call on my Carnival Cruise. The Hemingway House was on my list of attractions to see, but we didn’t have that much time. We did the Conch Train Tour, and walked to get some pie. By the time I was ready to head to the Hemingway House, I had a grumpy son, a tired husband, and time wasn’t on my side.
So I was so excited to be back in Key West in October to visit the home of the Hemingway Cats, I mean Ernest Hemingway.
Okay, let’s me honest here. The cats kind of steal the show. In case you didn’t know, The Hemingway House is home to 40-50 polydactyl cats (they have six toes). Ernest Hemingway named all his cats after famous people, and the house likes the carry the tradition on. I only learned on of their names, Daisy. Daisy was truly the star of the tour that I took part in. She was so sweet.
The cats are healthy, and are regularly checked up by vets. None of them seemed to be hostile, and they’re used to all the people. This is a great way for the littles to enjoy the tour of the home.
This image is of Ernest Hemingway and his brother, along with the first polydactyl cat, Snowball. If I remember correctly (I could be wrong as it’s been over a month), Snowball is the great-grandmother of all the cats at the Hemingway House. She was a little promiscuous and liked to have fun. Remember to spay and neuter your animals.
The Hemingway home was built in 1851. It’s made of native rock from the property and was down to rubble when the Hemingways bought it. They saw being the ruin and begin a massive remodel.
The pool was the first in-ground pool in Key West, and the only pool within 100 miles. It cost $20,000 back then. Since it was so costly, Hemingway placed a penny into the wet cement and said, “Here, take the last penny I’ve got!” The penny is still embedded between flagstones at the pool.
Ernest Hemingway himself was a writer, a poet, and a journalist. He wrote classics such as Old Man and the Sea, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, and Death In The Afternoon. While taking the Hemingway House tour, I learned a lot about the man behind the writing desk: his four wives (Snowball wasn’t the only promiscuous one), his inspiration, and his tragic suicide.
Hemingway’s writing studio, it’s amazing to see how where many timeless classics were written.
You also learn about Hemingway’s love of the sea.
Hemingway House Video Tour
Whether you’re a literary fan or not, the Hemingway House is a must see Key West. Not only for the history but for the beauty of the architecture. If you’re looking for more things to do in Key West, check out my travel section (and I highly recommend parasailing in Key West).