“It’s the best place I’ve been any time, anywhere,” Ernest Hemingway wrote of Key West. In the early 1900s, Hemingway made Key West his home. Originally traveling to the keys to pick up a car, he explored the city and fell in love with the area. He eventually settled in Key West where he enjoyed deep sea fishing, writing novels, and making lifelong friends. Hemingway fancied many places along the keys, but a few specific locations were his favorite. Take a trip to Key West and stop by each of Hemingway’s favorite haunts.
Check Out Hemingway’s First Home in Key West
When Hemingway first reached Key West with his wife Pauline in April 1928, they lived in the Trev-Mor Hotel located at 314 Simonton Street. They resided at the hotel for two years before moving to their long-term residence on Whitehead Street. Although the hotel is not open to the public, you are able to visit the home’s atrium garden and gift shop on property.
Stop into the Hemingway House & Museum
With the help of Pauline’s uncle, Ernest and Pauline bought a Spanish Colonial home built in 1851. From 1931 to 1940, this house became home to Hemingway’s family, before Ernest moved to Cuba with his third wife. The house is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in Key West, and easily the best way to learn about Hemingway’s history in Key West.
One of Hemingway’s favorite past times was deep water sport fishing. Introduced by Key West natives, Hemingway grew his love for fishing and began fishing regularly with a group of friends known as his ‘mob’. Spend the day fishing like Hemingway at the sportfishing capital of the world when you book fishing excursions from Cheeca Lodge.
Relive Hemingway’s Love for Cuba
Hemingway first visited Cuba on a family vacation traveling from Key West to Spain in 1928. He would later return for fishing excursions and ended up buying a home near Havana in 1940. The best way to learn about Key West’s rich Cuban heritage is at the San Carlos Institute, which was founded in 1871 as an educational center. The institute now houses a school, museum, library, and art gallery focused on Cuba’s history with the Cuban-American community.
Just 70 miles west of Key West lies a cluster of 7 small islands known as the Dry Tortugas. One of these islands houses historic Fort Jefferson, one of the nation’s largest masonry forts from the 1800s. These islands were also a favorite fishing destination for Hemingway and his “Mob”. Spend the day fishing around the Dry Tortugas, or bring supplies and camp out for the night!