Hemingway, Key West
Here you can tour the former home of Ernest Hemingway where he lived with his second wife. You can see his writing studio, Key West’s first swimming pool and the descendants of his cats. But there’s a sign saying “Please Do Not Pick Up the Cats.”
The house known today as the Hemingway House was constructed in 1851 by Asa Tift, a marine architect and salvage wrecker. Renown author Ernest Hemingway lived in this fine home from 1931 to 1939. Like the nearby Audubon House, a local sailor named Asa Tift constructed the house of limestone. The house stands at an elevation of 16 feet above sea level, the second-highest site on Key West, , and its height and solid construction have allowed it to withstand numerous hurricanes. Hemingway ensured his house was one of the first on Key West with indoor plumbing, and the first on the island to have an upstairs bathroom with running water. The house also boats the first swimming pool in Key West, built at considerable expense by Hemingway's soon to be ex-wife while we was traveling the world. Hemingway had the wall around the property constructed in 1935 to ensure his privacy.
The house boasts a colony of rare six- and seven-toed cats. After his wife built the swimming pool, Hemingway converted a worn out urinal from his favorite bar Sloppy Joe's bar into a water fountain next to the fancy pool, where it became a fountain for the cats.
In the barn behind the house Hemingway wrote the final draft to "A Farewell to Arms," and the short stories "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" and "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber."
The Hemingway House is run by a private, for-profit enterprise called Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. It was designated a National Historic Landmark on November 24, 1968. After Hemingway's death the house and all its contents were sold, and only a single chandelier in the house today can be documented as once owned by Hemingway.
Hemingway was born in Illinois in 1899, and was an ambulance driver for the Red Cross in World War I, which was the inspiration for his work, A Farewell to Arms. Throughout his life he lived in Toronto, Chicago, Paris, Key West, Cuba, Wyoming, and Idaho, and was married four times. He not only served in the First World War, bu covered the Spanish Civil War and World War II as a news correspondent. In 1952, Hemingway won a Pulitzer Prize for his book, The Old Man and the Sea, and in 1954, he earned a Nobel Prize.
After many years of visiting the Keys I finally visited the Hemingway House and even took the guided tour. The reason I never did before is I thought of it as too touristy and assumed I'd be disappointed, shame on me for being so negative. I actually found the house interesting and the tour a fine way to spend 30-45 minutes. We had a great tour guide, he was very knowledgeable, friendly, joked a bit, and kept up a good pace - I was never bored and/or aching for the tour to move on. We almost didn't take the guided tour because it was HOT and we were HUNGOVER but I'm glad we did, I know it made all the difference in our visit. I definitely recommend it.
Shortly after he left Paris, legendary American author Ernest Hemingway decided to settle in Key West, Florida. In 1931, he bought one of the island's most sumptuous villas, located at the heart of downtown Key West, where he moved with his second wife Pauline and their two sons. He stayed there until the couple got divorced in 1940 (Hemingway's second marriage was not a happy one), at which point he decided to move to Havana.
Over the past few years I've had the chance to visit quite a few Hemingway-related sites around the world, so of course the first thing I wanted to do when we got to Key West was to visit his house. As it turns out, the visit was incredibly interesting. Our guide was a great story-teller and his enthusiasm was quite contagious! Even those who aren't familiar with the author will appreciate the architecture of the house, the lovely gardens that surround it, and of course the house's numerous cats! There are about 40 cats currently living freely on the estate, most of which are polydactyl (six-toed) cats, which is how we know they are descendants of Hemingway's own beloved Snowball. Another architectural feature that's worth mentioning is the garden pool, which was built at the astounding cost of $20,000 by Pauline, who pretty much spent her husband's entire fortune - without him being aware of it - seeing the project through. Hemingway fans also won't want to miss the chance of seeing the author's private study, which features several pieces of furniture that belonged to Hemingway, including an old typewriter. Even though the years he spent in Key West were some of the least prolific of his career, Hemingway did write the novel "To Have and Have Not" while he lived there.
The Ernest Hemingway home is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission is $12.50.
Do yourself a favor and stop at the Hemingway House. If you don't want to pay the $10 to tour the house, you can visit the grounds and see the cats for free. The house is beautiful -- the pool...I always want to jump in. Even if you're not a Hemmingway fan, the house is worth the visit.
The house where Hemingway lived for about 10 years, is one of the most popular must sees. Make sure to book a guided visit. The house is not that old, nor special, but if you have a good guide, he tells some funny anecdotes, which makes the visit very enjoyable.
Typical are the numerous cats who are living in and around the house. People can pet them, but are not allowed to pick them up cause they are protected. They sleep on the bed, in the bathroom, on the pathways… they rule the house. Several are descendants of Hemingway’s polydactyl (six toed) cat. Very cute!
Ernest Hemingway was given a six-toed cat by a ship's captain and some of the cats who live on the museum grounds are descendants of that original cat. Nowadays there are about 60 cats living at the Hemingway Home.
The home of famous writer Ernest Hemingway is located here in Key West. He wrote award-winning novels such as "The Old Man and the Sea". On the tour of his home, you will encounter a lot of cats, so make sure you're comfortable being around cats. Otherwise, this is a good museum to visit, especially if you are fond of Hemingway's writings.
This was one of my "must see" items on my list for Key West... Ernest Hemingway lived in this house for about 10 years in the 1930's and wrote some of his most famous novels and stories here. Our tour guide was hilarious, telling us the story of Hemingway's life, adventures, and many women. We also got to meet several of the approximately 40 polydactyl (6-toed) cats who live on the property.
I loved the story of the famous "cat fountain" (which empties into a urinal from the original Sloppy Joe's...), and loved wandering the grounds after the tour, as the gardens are gorgeous and were, on the day we went, being set up for a wedding...
If you love to tour historic homes, this is for you. I bought a combination ticket at the Mel Fisher Museum for $22, which is a deal since the tour admission for just the house is $13.00
The house is a really cool place to visit. It costs $10 for entry fee. I enjoyed walking around outside the best in his garden with the cats. Also, the house in the back, which is where he wrote is really neat. They have it where you can only see inside, but not go in. Definitely worth the money. The 2nd picture is of the house with his library, which is out back. The 6-toed cats are everywhere.
The Hemingway House was a nice visit. Tickets are available in front of the house. Military gets a discount! There are lots of tour guides, some are better than others, and they like to get tips. We tipped just a few dollars, which was average. There are also lots and lots of cats. The place is famous for the cats and of course some other historical stories provided by the guide. The house is big and the gardens surrouding it are beautiful. I can't remember the exact price, but I am pretty sure it is under $10. Hours are 9-5 daily.
It is a beautiful Spanish Colonial house tucked away in the trees. In the 1930's the pool cost $20,000 to build because Key West sits on a coral reef. At this price, Hemingway took a penny from his pocket and pressed it into the cement. At this he announced jokingly, 'here take the last penny I've got!' The penny is still there.
At his house are about fifty cats that are all descendants from his original ones. The main reason you can tell is: They all have six toes!
Absolutely love the Hemingway house! A walking tour allows one to roam the halls of the great writer's living and working quarters. The docents are full of trivial information for example the cats' drinking trough used to be a urinal at the original Sloppy Joe's Bar.
Since we took the girls out of school for this trip, we wanted to tie in a little educational purpose to our visit. The Hemingway House fit the bill nicely.
Ernest Hemingway's most productive years were spent in Key West. And this is the place he did most of his writing
The mansion and home of renowned American author and Nobel Prize winner, Ernest Hemingway, mansion and the gardens, see the house where wrote most of his acclaimed works.
The Ernest Hemingway Museum is home to approximately sixty cats. . The late author's home and second-story writing studio.