Places To Visit....Things to Do|
In The "Southernmost City"
Ernest Hemingway House and Museum - 907 Whitehead St. (between Truman Av. And Olivia St.)
One time Key West resident Ernest Hemingway has become somewhat of a touristic icon , the novelist's gruff image is pictured on T-shirts and mugs and is used to sell everything from beer to suntan lotion. Hemingway's handsome stone Spanish Colonial house was built in 1851. He lived here from 1928 until 1940 along with about 50 six-toed cats, whose descendants still roam the walled-in premises and beyond. It was during those years that the Nobel Prize winner wrote some of his most famous works, including "For Whom the Bell Tolls", "A Farewell to Arms", and "The Snows of Kilimanjaro". There is an optional half-hour tour. It's interesting, and included in the price of admission which is $6.50 adults, $4 children and is open daily from 9am-5pm For more information call 305/294-1575 or 305/294-1136.
Key West Cemetery - The entrance is at Margaret and Angela Sts. and admission is free. It is open daily dawn to dusk. Here you find an example of the quirky Key West image. This picturesque cemetery is as irreverent as it is humorous. Many tombs are stacked several high, condominium style - the rocky soil made digging 6 feet down nearly impossible for early settlers. Pets are often buried beside their owners. Many of the monuments are engraved with nicknames - a common Key West informality that's literally 'taken to the grave'. Other headstones also reflect residents' lighthearted attitudes toward life and death. "I Told You I Was Sick" is one of the more famous epitaphs, and the tongue-in-cheek widow's inscription "At Least I Know Where He's Sleeping Tonight". Tours can be arranged by calling 305/294-WALK.
East Martello Museum and Gallery - 3501 S. Roosevelt Blvd., adjacent to the airport. This Museum and Gallery is located in a Civil War-era brick fort. It contains a bizarre variety of exhibits that, collectively, do a thorough job of interpreting the city's intriguing past. Historical artifacts include ship models, a deep-sea diver's wooden air pump, a crude raft from a Cuban "boat-lift", a supposedly haunted doll, a Key West style children's playhouse from 1918, and a horse-drawn hearse. Exhibits illustrate the Keys' history of wrecking, sponging, and cigar making. Also modern works by local artists. As a climax climb a steep spiral staircase to the top of a lookout tower for a good view of the island and ocean. The Admission is $6 adults, $2 children 8-12 (free for 7 and under). Open daily 9:30am-5pm (last admission is at 4pm). For more information call 305/296-3913.
Key West Aquarium -1 Whitehead St., at Mallory Square/Front St. This is the oldest attraction on the island. The Aquarium is a modest but fascinating exhibit. A long hallway displays dozens of varieties of fish and crustaceans. You'll see delicate sea horses swaying in the backlit tanks. Children can touch sea cucumbers and sea anemones in a shallow touch tank in the entry way. If you can, catch one of the free guided tours offered daily at 11am, 1, 3, and 4pm. Then you'll witness the feeding frenzy The admission is $8 adults, $4 children 4-12. (under 4 are free). Tichets are good for two consecutive days. Look for discount coupons from local hotels, Duval Street kiosks, and from trolley and train tours. The Aquarium is open daily 10am-6pm. For more information call 305/296-2051.
Key West Lighthouse Museum - 938 Whitehead St. The Key West Lighthouse was opened in 1848. Many locals mourned because its bright warning to ships signaled the end of a profitable era for wreckers and pirate salvagers who looted reef-stricken ships. The story of this and other Keys lighthouses is illustrated in this small museum that was formerly the keeper's quarters. There are 88 steps to the top, where you'll be rewarded with magnificent panoramic views of Key West and the ocean. The admission is $6 adults, $2 children 7-12 (free 6 and under) and it is open daily 9:30am - 5pm (last admission at 4:30pm)
Nancy's Secret Garden - is a peaceful shade garden nestled amid Key West's busy downtown. This is a place for people who aren't looking to be educated, entertained, or enlightened. It is open from 10am to 5pm every day. For a fee of $6, picnickers, nature lovers, or tourist-weary travelers can escape to this serene spot. To get there, go down Duval St., away from Mallory Sq. Turn left on Fleming and after one long block, turn right onto Simonton St.(just behind the Marquesa Hotel). On your left there will be a tiny alley named Free School Lane. The garden is just beyond the swinging wooden gates. There may or may not be a sign - Nancy can't decide.
Information Online: http://www.funandsun.com/1tocf/allgosf/keys/kwltodo.html