When we lived in Key West, I went on a house and garden tour. There were a couple old homes and some new ones. I was particularly impressed with one house where they had painted the floor boards of the deck in graduated shades of blue.
When we went back this winter, I found that they had house and garden tour about once a month. One of them coincided with our rental car week, but circumstances made it impossible for us to join the tour. I was able to photograph the outside fence of this house which was on the tour (and also was for sale). Photos are not usually allowed inside, but you can photograph the outsides. Since the insides have been drastically modified, the only reasonably authentic part of the houses is the outside.
Check with the Key West Citizen or go to the Chamber of Commerce Website to see when and where the tours will be. Generally they include 5 homes and gardens and run from 10a.m. to 4p.m. but the next one is Friday, December 17, 2004 thru Saturday, December 18, 2004, 5p.m. to 8p.m. You can see the houses on your own or make reservations on the complimentary Conch Tour trains that will take visitors to all five houses on this tour. Tickets: $20
Key West is not a "hurry hurry" place. Its chock full of free spirits. Do not go with an agenda...take time to just stroll around, smell the wonderful flowers and fauna that grow wild. The architecture is beautiful and the ocean is a deep blue/turquoise. I highly recommend the Hemingway House as a tourist stop. The tour was very thorough and we were able to see where Ernest did his writing. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and gave us much insight into his personality, his personal demons, not just the usual "upbeat" report you may get at other home tours. He was a tortured soul, but very well liked in the Keys. There is a coin pressed into the cement that surrounds the pool he had built for his last wife in back of his home...he pressed it there when the cement was still wet, saying "You've taken my last penny". The six-toed kitties are all over his property. The story is he recieved a six toed kitty from a sailing friend. They have since mulitiplied!