The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
907 Whitehead Street, Key West, Florida
Open 9am-5pm daily
A wonderful place to visit not least because of the resident six-toed cats! From the beautiful house, where you can view his studio, to the tropical gardens where you can feed the cats (there’s more than 60 of them), if the sun is shining you won’t get a much more relaxing, enjoyable experience.
What captured my imagination most when I visited in 2005 were the polydactyl felines.
A ship’s captain gave Hemingway a six-toed cat and there are descendants of that original puss living in the grounds. Magical.
If you see Archibald MacLeish (you’ll no doubt find him drinking from the water feature, like in the picture here) tell him I said hi.
Sloppy Joe’s Bar
201 Duval Street, Key West, Florida
Open 9am-4am Mon-Sat, 12pm noon-4am Sun
Hemingway’s favourite drinking den has been pulling in the punters since the 1930s. Food and live entertainment accompany the extensive drinks list.
If you’re big on rum you’ll love this place. Indulge your touristy side and order a Papa Dobles, Hemingway’s favourite: rum, grapefruit juice, grenadine, sweet & sour, club soda and fresh lime. I tried one and yes, it’s as good as it sounds.
You can also buy souvenirs from the shop if that floats your fancy.
While you’re there…
Lighthouse: Hemingway chose his house for its proximity to this beacon which guided him home from the bar!
Breakfast: Camille’s is the place for pancakes
Lunch: Louie’s Backyard is right on the beach front
Dinner: Alice’s was wonderful, but has now closed. You can still eat Chef Alice Weingarten’s food at La Te Da