Hemingway was probably one of the most influential writers in American History. Touring his Key West home is an excellent opportunity to get a glimpse into his interesting lifestyle. he lived for nearly ten years in this home and wrote several major works during this time.
The building itself is very interesting because of the modern conveniences it boasts in a time and place where there were little. With working plumbing, via a cistern for rainwater on the roof, the Hemingway's enjoyed running water that the rest of the island did not. The pool on the grounds was built during 1937 and 1938, and was the first residential pool on the island. At the time, Ernest was serving in the Spanish Civil War. When he returned and learned that his wife had spent more building the pool than the entire house was worth at the time, he reportedly stuck a penny in the concrete and proclaimed "Well, you might as well take my last cent!". The penny is in the same spot today, preserved under glass.
Hemingway's studio is definitely a room to see on the tour. This is where he went to relax and write. Originally, he had a catwalk built into the studio directly from his bedroom so he could write immediately after he awoke. During a storm, the catwalk was destroyed. Today, stairs exist from the patio up so tourists can view the room much like it was when Ernest lived there. There are many other interesting facts that are explained during the tour.
One of the most interesting points are the six-toed cats that roam the property even today. These cats are direct descendants of Ernest's own pets. The original six-toed cat was given to him by a captain friend. There are about sixty cats present there today.
Overall, I would recommend the Hemingway House as something not to miss on a trip to Key West. The rich history is very worthwhile. The house itself is in a beautiful location, and is quite a relaxing retreat from the rest of downtown Key West. The tour guides were exceptional. Probably some of the most knowledgeable tour guides I have ever encountered. They answered many good questions throughout the tour.