Anyone who visits Key West realizes how much history can be found here. This history is preserved in the many museums found around town. This Key West Museum Trail offers a way to explore the Island, and learn more about Key West’s history and its people. No better way to spend an afternoon or rainy day. Plan to check out each of these 18 stops along the trail!
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Audubon House Museum
Located at 205 Whitehead. This home was built in the 1840’s and in March 1960, Mitchell and Francis Wolfson dedicated this home as a museum after John Audubon. Although Mr. Audubon never stayed in the home, he spent time in Key West while visiting the Dry Tortugas and learning more about its tropical birds.
Curry Mansion & Museum
Located at 511 Caroline. This home was the original site of Florida’s first millionaire’s home. The original structure is now gone, but William Curry’s son, Milton, built the structure we see today. You can tour the home and see the collection of antiques and learn more about the Curry family and the early days of Key West.
Custom House Museum
Located at 281 Front Street. This structure was built in 1891 and originally housed the US Customs Office, the Federal Courthouse, and the Post Office. Today, the Key West Art & Historical Society uses the building to preserve the culture of the Florida Keys through exhibiting and displaying regional art, architecture, and history. Stop by and see one of the many changing exhibits to learn more about Key West.
Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum
Located at 907 Whitehead. This is where Ernest Hemingway and his wife lived while in Key West. Today you can tour the home and see his writing studio and his famous “six-toed” cats.
Fort East Martello
Located at 3051 S. Roosevelt Blvd. This is one of three Civil War era forts on the Island. Today you can tour the fort by day and at night, enter the grounds as part of a tour to meet Robert the Doll (book here).
Fort West Martello
Located at 1100 Atlantic Blvd. Another one of the Civil War era forts on the Island. Today, the Key West Garden Club has filled the fort with beautiful tropical flowers and foliage. Stop by and take time to tour the grounds and see gardens filled with a wide array of plants not seen in other parts of the country.
Gato Cigar Factory Exhibit
Located at 1100 Simonton. Built in 1920, this structure was home to the E H Gato Cigar Factory. The lobby of the building has a wonderful exhibit on cigar making in Key West. Learn all about the industry, its people, and how cigars are made.
Key West Fire Station #3 Museum
Located at 1024 Grinnell. Until 1998, it was believed this was the oldest active fire station in the State of Florida. In 2010, the station became a museum featuring historical items relating to Key West.
Located at 988 Whitehead. This structure was built in 1847. In 1969 it was decommissioned by the United States Coast Guard. Today, you can walk to the top and take in the wonderful view. On the grounds, you can also tour the Lighthouse Keepers Quarters.
Little White House Museum
Located at 111 Front Street. This home was where President Truman spent time in Key West. Today, you can tour the property and learn about President Truman and the other dignitaries who have visited and stayed in the home.
Mel Fisher Maritime Museum
Located at 200 Greene. Learn about the treasure hunting experiences of Mel Fisher. View the treasures found in the waters around Key West.
Oldest House Museum
Located at 322 Duval. This home was moved to its current location in 1829. Captain Frances Watlington, his wife, and their nine daughters lived in the home. Today, you can tour the home and the beautiful gardens.
San Carlos Institute and Museum
Located at 516 Duval. This is a cultural center and museum celebrating Cuban architecture and history.
Tennessee Williams Exhibit
Located at 513 Truman Avenue. The Tennessee Williams Exhibit‘s purpose is to keep alive the legacy of the famous playwright who lived and worked in Key West from 1949 until his death in 1983.
Thompson Fish House Museum
Located at 200 Margaret. Originally used as a fish and turtle packing house serving destinations throughout the world. Today the building houses a scale model of Fort Jefferson located in the Dry Tortugas.
Turtle Kraals Museum
Located at the end of Southard. This small wooden turtle processing and canning building was where turtles could be hoisted from the kraals and processed. On June 23, 1994, this historic site was added to the US National Register of Historic Places. Today, it’s a turtle museum operated by the Mel Fisher Museum.
USCG Ingham Museum
Located on the Truman Waterfront on the western edge of Key West. This 327 foot long cutter partook in World War II, Vietnam, and the Korean War. Today you can tour the ship and see how the sailors lived while on board. Friday and Saturday nights come out and watch the magical Key West sunset from the deck.
Eco Discovery Center
Located at 33 East Quay Road. This is a natural history museum that exhibits plants and animals of the Florida Keys.