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The Best in Key West History and Culture

Even though Key West is small,  a mere 5.27 sq miles in size, there arguably more than a hundred things to do in Key West. The most exciting and most interesting of all the Keys, is the place that literary greats and American presidents made it their home away from home. Key West is isn’t just a  relaxed seaside resort town, it is woven into the greater American cultural fabric with a history all its own. Check out these spots to get your fix.

Tour the Harry S. Truman Little White House

One of the most popular things to do in Key West, is see the 19th century naval station that the 33rd president of the United States, President Harry S. Truman turned into a beautiful vacation home after successfully concluded the Second World War and witnessed the beginning of the Cold War.  History states that he spent 174 days of his leisure time in the exquisite little plantation house. The house later served as a command post during the Bay of Pigs stand-off, and  as a refuge for President Dwight Eisenhower after he suffered his 1956 heart attack. These walls echo with stories, so it is easy to see why it’s one of the most popular things to do in Key West

Visit the Shipwreck Historeum Museum

The history of key west is enlightening while also being interesting. One of the most interesting things to do in Key West is to meander through the Shipwreck Historeum Museum. You will see artifacts from the mid 19th century, taking a trip  through the mysterious period of shipwrecking.  Live actors, props, artifacts, and laser technology, will help you experience the treacherous days of old, and tell you all about how shipwrecking was turned from tragic events to an enterprise of treasure. The  industry was once the only reason Key West prospered, and families became unbelievably rich because of other people’s suffering. This museum experience is a must-see so if you have time, you should enjoy the show.

View The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum

Hemingway, who was by no way a boring man, wrote seven novels, six short story collections, two non-fiction works, a Pulitzer prize for non-fiction and a Nobel Prize for Literature.  One of the most influential novelists in American literature, and undoubtedly one of the most memorable, Hemingway traveled the world, taking part in some of the most historic moments of his time, so his life was lived to the fullest. A visit to Key West wouldn’t be the same without seeing the sites American writer frequented, or, for that matter, visiting the Hemingway Home & Museum. The halls of this remarkable home ooze masculinity and the descendants of Hemmingway’s original polydactyl cat, Snowball, still live on the grounds. Open 365 days of the year, so be sure to squeeze it in.

There are many more historical things to do in Key West, so if you want to learn more about this unique little island, know that there are plenty more places to learn about history.

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