Rich literary history, balmy tropical breezes and dozens of friendly cats—this is my idea of heaven. Key West’s Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum has been on my bucket list for quite some time, and it doesn’t disappoint. The legendary author was a full- and part-time resident of the Conch Republic from 1928 to 1940, and today, some 500 people a day file through his two-story Spanish-colonial house on Whitehead Street—still home to between 40 and 50 polydactyls (six-toed) cats, descended from Hemingway’s own feline, Snow White.
The property was the first on the island to boast an in-ground swimming pool, and Hemingway penned parts of A Farewell to Arms and For Whom the Bell Tolls in the home’s sun-dappled studio loft. But the famous cats are definitely the main attraction for the junior set. Lounging everywhere from the garden to the antique guest bed, they’re easily my favorite feature too.
Whether you’re curious about Key West’s colorful past or just want to have fun in the sun, the southernmost city of the USA has something for all ages. Read on for my favorite family resorts—kid-friendly launch pads for a Key West adventure, from Old Town to the ocean.