Florida Florida Keys

Ernest Hemingway’s House – Key West, FL

Bottom line:
GO ✅

Overall: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4/5 stars
Pros: Ticket price includes guided tour and they are very knowledgeable. The stories of Papa Hemingway’s drunken escapades alone is worth the trip. Polydactyl, six-toed cats roam the property and most like to be pet!
Cons: Accessibility – stairs to climb. Cash only.

What is it?:
Ernest Hemingway’s (famous author of books such as For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Sun Also Rises) estate while he lived in the Florida Keys. There are 56 cats who roam the property and are all descendants of Hemingway’s 6-toed cats, most still display the trait.

⭐️ Fun facts:

  • The house is made out of limestone and is often the place where employees go to take shelter during hurricanes. It is also the only property on Key West to have a basement and that basement has never flooded.
  • Hemingway had 4 wives. He met each of his wives while still married to the previous one except for his first.
  • The cats on property are all descendants of Hemingway’s 6-toed cats (some still display the trait as seen in the cover photo)
  • There are 56 cats in residence. They have free reign of the house and grounds and are all named after celebrities like Ginger Rogers and Lucille Ball.
  • The house was the first to have a pool on Key West and it was an architectural feat. There was no way to pump in fresh water at the time so they had to drill down far enough to hit salt water to fill the pool.
  • During an argument with his then wife Pauline, upset she had removed his boxing ring and built a pool (revenge on her part for his affair with a war correspondent), he threw down a penny and said something along the lines of “you might as well take my last red cent” – that coin is embedded exactly where he threw it to this day.
  • He got so drunk one time, he and his friends ripped out a urinal and brought it home from Sloppy Joe’s Bar (his favorite joint); his wife had it tiled and turned into a cat drinking fountain. It’s still there.
  • Sloppy Joe’s Bar is the birth place of the sloppy joe sandwich.

Hours:
9AM to 5PM 365 days a year.

Cost:
Kids <5 = free; Kids 6-12 = $6; Kids 12+ and Adults = $14 – *Cash Only* –

Parking:
Street parking; we just walked from our hotel.

Where is it?:

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