The Ernest Hemingway House was the residence of American writer Ernest Hemingway in the 1930s. The house is situated on the island of Key West in Florida. It is at 907 Whitehead Street, across from the Key West Lighthouse, close to the southern coast of the island. Due to its association with Hemingway, the property is the most popular tourist attraction in Key West. It is also famous for its large population of so-called Hemingway cats, many of which are polydactyl.
The residence was constructed in 1851 in a French Colonial style by wealthy marine architect and salvager Asa Tift. From 1931 to 1939, the house was inhabited by Hemingway and his wife Pauline Pfeiffer. They restored the decaying property and made several additions. During his time at the home, Hemingway wrote some of his best received works, including the non-fiction work Green Hills of Africa (1935), the 1936 short stories "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" and "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber", and the novels To Have And Have Not (1937) and Islands in the Stream (1970). After the Hemingway's divorce and deaths, the house was auctioned off and subsequently converted into a private museum in 1964. On November 24, 1968, it was designated a National Historic Landmark.
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Katelyn Wobrock | Jan 21, 2018
A must see for Hemingway fans! "The Sun Also Rises" is one of my favorite books, and I was beyond excited to visit and learn more about Hemingway. I enjoyed the option for a self-guided tour and had a great time wandering from room to room. I loved seeing the six-toed cats and reading the plaques about each room and certain mementos throughout the house. However, it would have been nice if they offered a student discount and accepted credit/debit cards. Regardless, a fantastic and well-kept place.
Amanda Adams | Mar 1, 2018
AMAZING! Definitely stop here! Our tour guide was FANTASTIC and I can't remember her name! She was a brunette woman who was perfectly sassy and very expressive! The history was incredible, her delivery is PERFECT, and the cats with 6 toes were adorable. Make this a stop if you're in the area. The $14 was so worth it.
Jerome Espinosa Baladad | Feb 8, 2018
A must visit place if you find yourself in this part of the Key West, and especially if you're the reader or the writer type. I didn't really listen much to the docents doing the guided tours, which happen almost regularly. But I heard some of them, as the place was packed that weekday afternoon we showed up there. I love the cats, and you'll see lots of different colors and sizes of them there. They even have a cemetery space there. I'm also impressed from seeing the biggest private swimming pool when it was built then in the 1930s outside of Miami right by the property. You'd get an idea on how big these people lived their lives and pursued their dreams from visiting the site. It's worth the fee, even if for a brief time and it's hot and humid. Inside the house, it's cool because of air-conditioning.
Thomas Brunhart | Feb 15, 2018
A classic tour with the feel of "Papa's" spirit all around this beautiful home. You will be entertained and informed of the history of this piece of Americana by guides who are passionate about relaying Hemingway's story. From the house to the grounds you will enjoy this visit: pet the famous six toe cats that roam freely around the grounds and learn about the lustful history of Hemingway's alluring past. A must for anyone going to Key West!
Leonardo Baez | Feb 6, 2018
Grea place to visit. It takes just over an hour but guides are nice and kind. Cats are friendly and very very clean, just remember that this is their house. Nice little gift shop with books, postcards and more. They even have translated copies to sell of some books. After the guided tour you can stay taking pictures and enjoying the grounds. Very nice place.
Elaine Lockey | Mar 27, 2018
We thoroughly enjoyed this visit. It’s cash only to get in or to shop in gift shop so plan accordingly. Its busy so best to go early. While we aren’t necessarily readers of his books he was such an interesting person (and so were his wives!) that its very fun to learn about his life and times. The house is very neat and the cats add great ambiance! Our free tour was informative and the guide (Steve) was really fun.
Myna Awareness | Apr 3, 2018
My only complaint is lowly-educated tourists complaining about it being an old house full of cats - HELLO! That's the whole point! It's a beautiful, historic French colonial mansion from the 1860s full of rare 6-toed cats who were treasured by Hemingway! The house has lots of antique and original furniture and is such an amazing peek into the life of old-Key West. The staff are passionate about the museum - which, as anyone who has spent time in Key West, knows this is a rare commodity as most workers on the island aren't shy about showing their disinterest in work. Amazing place!
Wendy Birb | Mar 23, 2018
Very fun little stop! Doesn't take long to do but definitely worth the visit if you're a Hemingway fan, literature fan, or cat fan! Reasonable price and they give a lot of discounts. Our tour guide was awesome and was full of interesting information about Hemingway's life. Don't forget to take lots of cat pictures!
Christine Han | May 7, 2018
Hemingway’s life was an amazing odyssey of heroics, prolific writing and sadness. This tour is done well and it is very informative. Be aware if your not a cat person there are over 50 cute cats. The cats are truly part of the history of the house and family. Touring the home really gave an interesting incite into a man who had many marriages and was notability a mans man but lived his life in a manner of purity to his craft. You see the Home as he lived there.
Kara M. | May 5, 2018
We came to visit the Hemingway House while in Key West for a few days. I don't know TOO much about Hemingway, but I was looking for some activities here that did not involve imbibing copious amounts of alcohol. We came fairly early in the day, bought tickets and waited for our tour to begin. I'm not much of a cat person, but hubby is and he loved the 50-60 of them that are on property. These kitties have six toes and are descendants of Hemingway's own pets. It's kind of funny to be in a historic house/museum and see the cats just climbing on anything they want. The interior of the house was nice, but nothing that really knocked my socks off. I liked the grounds better, they are very lush and tropical. If you are interested in learning more about Ernest Hemingway, this is your place!
Adam Ludwig | May 1, 2018
Awesome tour of the house today. Neither myself, nor my wife, actually really knew anything about Hemingway but Chris was an awesome tour guide and now we know quite a bit about him! I would definitely recommend Chris to anybody touring the house! The property is beautiful and you can never go wrong with any property that is covered in cats that you can pet. I wish I had had more time to hang out and pet the cats.
Bryan Andes | Apr 11, 2018
As pretty excited to come to this house to begin with. It was one of the main reasons why I came to Key West. And boy was I not Disappointed. Chris, our tour guide, was amazing and entertaining. And of course, the main attraction, the cats. All the cats. All of them. Cats on cats on cats. 2 things: I don't think my pets are gonna like me very much for the next couple days, Add I think I'm put done petting animals for a while.
Max Neuhold | May 19, 2018
Very interesting place for people who want to learn more about the writer Ernest Hemingway, everyone else can enter the area and pet some cats. The tickets are 14$ for adults, which is a little too much in my opinion, as you can't really spend more than ~45 minutes there. Although there is a tour that lasts about 20 minutes and shows you every detail of his life. The staff is very nice and knows lot of different things about the whole place. Very clean surroundings with a small souvenir shop. Definetly something you should have seen at least once. Most of the cats there like to be pet and enjoy some gentle strokes.
Danielle McQueen | Jun 5, 2018
I'm so glad we went on this tour. It's definitely worth the money. Our tour guide was awesome and you could tell had a love for Hemingway. It really made the experience even better. I learned a lot of interesting facts and loved the opportunity to go back through at our own pace to check out the house in more detail and also pet the cats.
Erik Reed | Jul 6, 2018
I was surprised to find how interesting a man Hemingway was. If you are in Key West it is worth the time to visit there. Many times in the past ,while visiting Key West, I centered my attention to the night life and bars. But was pleasantly surprised to find out how many things there are to do during the day also. Enjoy your visit! Cheers 🍻
Christine Crawford | Jun 22, 2018
Was so happy to get to return to Hemingway House since my first visit as a child. Mostly remember the exterior and of course the cats! But this time the interior left an impression. Hemingway's story is interesting, but I enjoy seeing how people lived and decorated just as much. Especially like the bathroom tiles😊 House and grounds are well-kept and everyone was friendly. Nice gift shop.
Mary Summers | Jun 13, 2018
Beautiful house, had a great guided tour about 20 to 30 minutes long. Tour guide Alisa was terrific. She made the tour fun and interactive. I would recommend her tour. She's great with the young kids. Her narrative is so good you can imagine yourself there.😎
ConDdy1 | Jul 8, 2018
So amazing. Get the tour then walk around yourself. They'll tell you everything about him. I'm at a cat person so the 57 cats were a true joy to be around. They'll give you treats to feed them. You can pet them also but do not pick them up.
Jeffrey Gregorie | Jun 19, 2018
I have often visited this site and find the tours refreshing and compelling. The research and knowledge of the docents is outstanding and even after having read a dozen biographies of Hemingway I learn something new each time. There is a feeling of having been a guest in the home rather than having walked about a lifeless site. The gift shop is special. You will sigh when you see his study and on one visit I watched a young girl place a rose outside that room. That was very special. The grounds, cats, and upkeep are very well kept and the entrance fees are very reasonable as they are used for the sites preservation.
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