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Recent Key West reviews

  • 5 out of 5

    "Everything about this home is wonderful. From the owners who were most gracious and very helpful, as Team Tampa said, before, during and after our stay to the home itself. The home, a rambling 2 story structure with wraparound porches built in 1910, has been completely updated. The living room opens to a beautiful deck and swimming pool surrounded by palm trees and lush vegetation.....very private. If you have smaller children, this is the place for you. I believe my grandchildren were in the pool longer than they were out of it during our stay. Pool towels were provided which proved very convenient. Fully outfitted kitchen, laundry room, bar area....it's "all" there. Location was perfect......2 block walk to the waterfront, home to many fine restaurants/bars......5 block walk to Key West's main drag - Duval St......grocery store 4 blocks away....did not drive a car for the month of January......walked everywhere. If you are getting the impression, we enjoyed our stay @ The Captain's Mansion, we sure did! Would we go back? In a heartbeat. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our hosts for providing the venue for the true, blue Key West experience."
    Guest: From the Frozen Midwest - St. Louis, MO Date of Stay: January 2015 Review Submitted: February 12, 2015
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  • Very pleasant stay

    "My wife and I had a great time in KW, staying at the Hollinsed House. Our unit was clean and comfortable. A few small requests/questions were addressed quickly and professionally. Close enough, but just far enough from the noise of Duval. Highly recommend the Hollinsed House."
    Guest: Got2GetAway Date of Stay: April 2015 Review Submitted: May 10, 2015
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  • kwy wst trip

    "The house is absolutely amazing! We spent a wonderful week there. Very nicely furnished and fully equipped. We spent lots of time by the beautiful pool. The location couldn't be more perfect. We will definitely return again."
    Guest: marshall v. Date of Stay: May 2015 Review Submitted: May 19, 2015
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  • Island Bound

    "This was our second year, staying at Island Bound, the home is very comfortable, with everything you need. We enjoyed our stay, so much. This home is located within walking distance to everything . The owners, Bill and Linda , are wonderful people. M.Rowe"
    Guest: Cape May Date of Stay: December 2014 Review Submitted: January 9, 2015
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Key West Travel Tips

Key West is a veritable hot spot for literary icons, both today and in the past. This small Florida island was loved by the likes of playwright Tennessee Williams, and poets Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens and Shel Silverstein.

Today, beloved children’s author Judy Blume keeps a home here, and every January for more than 30 years, writers and readers from around the country gather at the high-profile Key West Literary Seminar - spread over two weekends - for lectures, readings, discussions, workshops and parties. The event has featured the likes of Joyce Carol Oates, Junot Diaz and Gore Vidal.

Key West should be high on the list of travel locations for any literary lover and creative soul because of its deep history in extraordinary American literature. Ernest Hemingway even kept a fabulous estate in Key West that today has been converted into a museum and bookstore. Visit the beautiful and historic Ernest Hemingway Home and then check out some of the writer's rumored favorite spots.

Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

Hemingway’s stately, olive-shuttered two-story cottage at 907 Whitehead Street in Old Town Key West is no doubt a visitor favorite. If you’re a die-hard Hemingway fan, you’ll have to brave the crowds and come here.

The home was built in 1851 from limestone excavated from the exact land upon which it is built. Hemingway bought and lived in the estate from 1931 until 1940 with his wife and kids before he left for Cuba. This spectacular estate, which includes a rear guesthouse and is surrounded by elegant gardens and rustling palms, is still the largest residential property in Key West.

You might be surprised to see that the beds are made in full linens and the home looks recently lived in - it’s as if the family just stepped out for lunch and will be home shortly. Here are the highlights you should take note of inside and around Hemingway’s marvelous estate:

The Ritzy Pool

A pool this large - or any pool at all - in 1930s Key West was a luxury. To fill it, construction workers had to drill to the salt-water table deep in the ground and install a water pump. Hemingway’s wife - Pauline - had the costly pool built as a surprise for Hemingway while he was in Spain in 1938 working as a correspondent during the Spanish Civil War.

The Happy Cats

Hemingway’s six-toed cats - or polydactyls - are legendary. Recently uncovered letters from Hemingway to a friend explain just how sad he was at the loss of one of his cats - Willie. The Hemingway Home and Museum curators maintain that each of the 40 to 50 cats on the grounds is a direct descendant of Hemingway’s first cat, a white polydactyl named Snowball (Though they don’t all have six toes on each paw, all are said to carry the gene for polydactyly). The cats living here are very friendly and many will actually pose for pictures. They’re all vetted and well-taken care of - not your average strays!

The Lush Gardens

The Hemingway House gardens are stunning, featuring a vibrant array of tropical flowers - shrimp plants, heliconia, bleeding hearts and the funky looking pelican flower - and banana, Barbados cherry, papaya and Spanish lime trees, among many others.

Other Literary Tour Stops

410 Caroline Street is Jessie Porter’s home - a fifth-generation Key Wester - who was good friends with Robert Frost. He spent several winters in the cottage in Porter’s backyard. The site used to be the Heritage House Museum, though it has been closed since 2010. If you want to see things the iconic Frost saw, at least take a stroll past the home!

Green Parrot Bar and Sloppy Joe’s Bar are rumored to be hangouts of Hemingway and his friends like Wallace Stevens.

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