Traveling is the perfect pathway for learning. For too long, I thought of vacation as a time to solely lounge on the beach. But everywhere you go, there are places to experience history and culture.
The Ernest Hemingway House is in the heart of Key West, and we almost passed up the opportunity to see it. A delay in other plans had us stopping by one of Ernest Hemingway’s famous homes.
Heads up, parking around here is ridiculously difficult, a lot of people ride bikes, which is definitely the better option. After we found a sliver of space, we walked a ways to the front of the home where the entrance fee is paid ($12 if I remember correctly). Optional tour guides are waiting on the porch, or you can take the tour solo. We caught bits and pieces of what tour guides were saying, but decided to stroll around on our own and read provided signage.
The house is preserved well, and Hemingway’s study, kitchen and bedroom are eerily frozen in time, just as he left them. While you can’t step into every single room, you can pop your head in for a great view of everything. Pieces of memorabilia from his personal life are placed in glass cases in various locations. You’ll want to take your time and read all of the information; it’s extremely interesting and sheds light on Hemingway’s life, especially if you don’t know much about him already.
The story behind the saltwater pool is extremely unique, and you’ll get to see it in working order. The pool was a marvel at the time of construction because of the unique methods that needed to be used to pull water in. Hemingway and his other half got into some humorous disputes over the money she dumped out to make the fascinating water feature happen. I won’t spoil too much more for you.
Sweet kitty cats have always been a part of The Hemingway House, and the owners of the estate today make sure that they still accommodate the furry friends. At one point, the writer even had a catwalk connecting to different parts of his house.
Rain or shine, this is a great, educational, family activity and I highly recommend it. It’s different, enriching and downright interesting.