A visit to the Audubon House and Tropical Gardens is a step back in time to the world of a maritime pilot and master wrecker in mid-19th century Key West.
Visitors to the museum are given a guided tour of the house and gardens, interesting tales and facts about local history and the opportunity to see some of Audubon’s first edition works. John James Audubon, who visited the home in 1832, is famous for his exquisite drawings of birds.
The beautiful big red brick once served as the U.S. Custom House. Recognising the importance of Key West’s growing economy, the U.S. Treasury authorised the construction of a larger building in 1885 to accommodate its customs operations and it was opened in April, 1891.
In 1973 the Custom House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. After major restorations & renovations (1993-1999) the Key West Art & Historical Society reopened this building as a public museum.
This unique property was home to one of America’s most honoured and respected authors. Ernest Hemingway lived and wrote here for more than ten years. Calling Key West home, he found solace and great physical challenge in the turquoise waters that surround this tiny island.
Step back in time and visit the rooms and gardens that witnessed the most prolific period of this Nobel Prize winner’s writing career.
Construction began in 1862 by the U.S. Army on this Civil War Fort and Tower in order to provide extra protection for Key West and defend against the possibility of a Confederate sea assault.
Since 1950, visitors can explore the preserved battlement’s collection of relics from the Civil War, learn about the wrecking and cigar-manufacturing industries which shaped the Florida Keys, view the imaginative metal sculptures of Stanley Papio, as well as meet the Ghosts of East Martello, including the infamous Robert the Doll.
Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum contains an extensive collection of artifacts from 17th century shipwrecks, such as the Henrietta Marie, Nuestra Señora de Atocha and Santa Margarita. The museum is named for founder Mel Fisher.
Feel the exhilaration as you climb 65 feet in the air to the top of the observation tower for panoramic views of Key West. Inside the Key West Shipwreck Museum, you’ll have that opportunity and more. Find out how those who made their living off shipwrecks in the 1850’s watched and waited for ships sinking off the coast in Key West. Discover the true dangers of the era of shipwrecking and how it made Key West the wealthiest city per capita in the United States. Through actor presentations, exhibits, laser shows and collections of artifacts and treasures from actual shipwrecks, visitors can venture back for a glimpse into the history of the shipwrecking industry. It’s an ideal “voyage” for adults and children.
The house is located in the Truman Annex neighbourhood, originally built as waterfront in 1890 and to serve as the first officer's quarters for the navy. The wooden duplex contained Quarters A for the base commandant and Quarters B for the paymaster. In 1911 the home was converted into a single-family dwelling to house the base commandant and additional land was filled in front of the house. The waterfront view was eventually blocked by a new building at the station.
President Harry S Truman, in search of a winter home and a place to recuperate and relax, made the Little White House his second home, spending 175 days there during 11 visits.