The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, Key West

Must see · Specialty Museum · Museum
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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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
20,080 reviews
  • A pleasant walk through a piece of history, with lots of cats, and a gorgeous garden. It’s worth taking the free guided tour.  more »
  • A bit over priced for admission to tour a house. I loved the cats, and they have it made. I don't like that they allow the cats to breed. There are too many homeless cats for that nonsense.  more »
  • Knowledgeable staff, interesting site. Enjoyed learning new things about Hemingway. Def worth the visit.  more »
  • This tour was an interesting. Visiting the place where an iconic American novelist lived and wrote many of his classic works was fascinating. It a relativity large, beautiful compound with a couple of buildings, large pool and lots of cats. Some cool things about these cats, for one they have a poly-dactyl gene, which causes many of them to have six-toes but all have the poly-dactyl gene and may also be called 'mitten cats'. Due to the size of Key West, its not unlikely that many of these cats may be related, to Hemingway's first cat; a six-toed kitten named Snow White, which was given to him by sea Captain Stanley in 1930). Hemingway also had a quirk in naming the cats after famous people or characters. It was seeing his office over the garage (left as it was) where he created his masterpieces in solitude, that with imagination you can see him working, in your mind. We then enjoyed walking the grounds to complete this our tour. Staff was super friendly and helpful. Buildings and grounds were clean, organized and maintained. You should stop and visit if you can and enjoy. We did.
  • My one and only visit to Key West was to see the Ernest Hemingway House! I loved the beautiful charming property. The cats were adorable times 59! Joining the tour with an actual guide was great! It was like being a part of a historical book coming to life by an enthusiastic guide! We also met the phenomenal, Mary from Michigan which was a bonus.
  • Very cool experience. I don't know much about Ernest Hemingway, I entered for the cats! The house is absolutely gorgeous and it's hard to believe that something that large and beautiful was built so long ago. The house and grounds were amazing. The tour was interesting- again, I know very little about Hemingway's books. I was in heaven with all the cats running around. I believe they said there are over 50 cats living there. And most of them were friendly and let you pet them!
  • The tour of the house lasts about 30 minutes, then you can spend as much time as you wish touring the grounds. It’s a grand house with distinctive architectural features and beautiful gardens. The grounds are occupied by about 50 six-toed cats, so if you are allergic to cats take caution. It’s one of the more popular attractions in Key West so expect crowds. I personally feel the $14 entry fee is a little salty and that’s why I give it 3 stars.
  • Got here around 9:30 AM on a Monday and it was starting to get a little crowded. We avoided the guided tours, winding in front of or behind the packed rooms associated with them. This gave us the ability to take in the pictures, plaques, and undisturbed time with some cats. The $15 price for adults is fair, and the staff obviously love their jobs. Worthwhile experience with comfortable areas to relax and cool off on a warm day.

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