Florida

The Literary Suburbs of Key West

This article originally appeared in Hayo Magazine

When my Lee suggested visiting Key West on our Florida holiday, I wasn’t all that excited. I mean, I hadn’t really heard of the place and didn’t know what was there.

It was only when I discovered its literary heritage, did I get excited. If you’re a book lover, I’d say this one of the most amazing places you can visit. Key West just oozes literary love affairs, starting with Hemingway. His house is in a prime location (and it’s massive!); the man had taste. It’s also fairly cheap to visit; a measly $13 entry and this includes an optional tour from one of the Hemingway house experts.

We walked into what was a blissfully cool building and were treated to the delights of posters, information placard and titbits about Hemingway’s life. There were tokens, quotes, and antique items everywhere, as well as hundreds of cats – maybe not hundreds, but at least twenty or more.

We walked through the different rooms and found a marvellous view of the gardens, the flowers, the cats (yes more cats) and the pool. It didn’t take long for us to make our way back outside amongst the tropical wildlife.

This complete circle finally brought us to Hemingway’s studio – the one place I was dying to visit. It was on the first floor of an outbuilding and didn’t disappoint.

The room was painted a simple white and had been frunished with a desk, a table and a few chairs, a couple of book cases and in the middle of it all was his typewriter.

We couldn’t go in the room, but instead gazed through the iron bars that protected these priceless artefacts from sticky fingers.

We finished touring the house, the studio, the gardens and made our way to the quaint little bookshop filled with Hemingway’s works. It took me ages to decide on which one to buy and in the end, I settled for To Have and To Have Not because something in the blurb mentioned Key West – I always like to buy a book set in the place I’m visiting.

The literary side of Key West doesn’t stop at Hemingway’s house and I believe there are in excess of twenty other literary icons that graced Key West with their presence over the years. If you’re a Hemingway lover then it may be worth a trip to Sloppy Joe’s on Duval Street, a favourite haunt of his.

For those of you wanting to pay homage to Hemingway and other great literature icons, you may be thrilled to discover that Tennessee Williams and Robert Frost both spent time on the island and you can see their homes too. Although, maybe you would prefer to take part in the Hemingway Day Celebration. The choice is yours.

For me, I had a very different mission. On a side street, not far from Duval Street is a little bookshop called Key West Island Bookstore. Going strong since 1973, I was keen to visit the little independent establishment and expand my collection for a second time that day.

From the outside, the store wasn’t anything special, in fact it was easy to miss. I asked for a recommendation for a local author and the woman behind the counter was only too happy to help.

For me, Key West was the most wonderful place I’ve ever visited. It had an amazing culture, beautiful scenery, stunning architecture and the best bit? It had enough literary titbits to keep me occupied for hours.

Previous Post
1st December 2016
Next Post
1st December 2016

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Instagram

  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THIS ONE! 🥳 @hannahbateman3 —
Totally sucks that we had to cancel birthday plans and all, but as soon as this is all over, we’ll have to make up for it.
—
Thank you for being the friend that you are, for always making me laugh even when I’m being miserable, for always being annoyingly happy and for always listening to me complain 🤦‍♀️😂 —
—
A few of my favourite photos to make you smile...
—
FYI...that’s my brothers nose 🤣 @curtisorme —
 #birthday #birthdaygirl #lockdownbirthday #birthdaycelebration #birthdaygirl👑 #birthdaywishes #friends #friendship #friendshipgoals #friendshipgoals💕 #bff #bffs❤️ #bffgoals #letscelebrate #letscelebrate #funtimes #makeyoulaugh
  • NEW BLOG POST ALERT 🚨 —
I’ve finally got around to sharing our afternoon tea experience at @pawsforthoughtcatcafe —
The downside of working two jobs and blogging means the blog gets somewhat neglected...
—
So if you need some cheering up today, I have loads of cute cat pictures and an account of our whole experience now live on the blog (link in bio) —
#adventureswithnatasha #pawsforthoughtcatcafe #catsofinstagram #bestcats_oftheworld #bestmeow #cat_features #catlife #catloversclub #catloversworld #cats_of_the_world #catsareawesome #catscatscats #catsclub #catsforever #catsoftheworld #catworld #catworldwide #cutecatcrew #excellent_cats #furrendsupclose #happycatclub #igmeows #magnificent_meowdels #meow_beauties #meowdel  #thepawclub #topcatphoto #travelgram
  • Happy Monday! How was your weekend?
—
We might have been in lockdown, but we had great fun. Had ourselves a little BBQ, got some chores done around the house and spent all Saturday afternoon drinking cider and playing retro Crash Bandicoot 😂
—
If every lockdown weekend is going to be like this...I think the future looks bright!
—
#adventureswithnatasha #lockdown #lockdown2020 #lockdown2020😷 #stayhome #staysafe #stayathome #weekend #weekendvibes #whataweekend #crashbandicoot #playstation #playstation2 #oldmoutcider #simplelife #lifeunscripted #enjoythelittlethings #lovelysquares #seekthesimplicity #thehappynow #travel #travelgram
  • What a view! I tell you what, it’s a damn sight better than the four walls of my house...
—
But the good news is the sun will be out this weekend 🙌 BBQ here I come 🤤 —
What are your fun weekend lockdown plans? —
#adventureswithnatasha #lockdown #covid #weekendinlockdown #lockdown2020 #covid2020 #rooseveltisland #rooseveltislandtram #bigapple #icapture_nyc #ig_nycity #ig_unitedstates #ilove_newyo #ilovenewyork #newyorkcity #newyorknewyork #nyc_explorers #nycityworld #nycprimeshot #streetsofnewyork #thebigapple #thisisnewyorkcity #unlimited_newyork #what_i_saw_in_nyc #travelgram #traveltheworld #travelblogger
  • I’ve finally managed to carve out some time in my daily routine to catch up with my reading! —
I usually go to two book clubs a month but am seriously behind with both. My current read is Things in Jars by Jess Kidd, have you read it?
—
I’ve also started Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare which I’ve heard good things about...
—
Are you reading anything good at the moment?
—
PHOTO: The famous NYPL 😍 a must-visit NYC destination for book lovers! It was such a surreal experience. Tourists are welcome to explore the building but are only permitted inside a small cordoned-off area inside the study rooms so visitors aren’t disturbed. —
#adventureswithnatasha #whatareyoureading #newyorkpubliclibrary #newyorkpubliclibrary📚 #nypl #bigapple #icapture_nyc #ig_nycity #ig_unitedstates #ilove_newyo #ilovenewyork #newyorkcity #newyorknewyork #nyc_explorers #nycityworld #streetsofnewyork #thebigapple #thisisnewyorkcity #unlimited_newyork #what_i_saw_in_nyc #bestvacations #ilovetravel #exploremore #tasteintravel #stayandwander #travel #travelgram #worlderlust #traveladdicts #ipreview via @preview.app
  • What will the future bring?
—
Technically all future plans are on hold. I’m sure you’re in the same boat. It’s hard to factor in what might happen in a month or two months’ time so we’ve hit pause for the time being.
—
But that doesn’t mean we’re aren’t still planning for the future. We’ve got adventures lined up and big dreams, it’s just a case of waiting for when we can unpause.
—
For the moment, I’ll make do with remembering and planning and looking to the future and feeling hopeful ❤️
—
#adventureswithnatasha #makingplans #planningforthefuture #lifedoesntstop #topoftherock #therockefellercenter #therockefeller #empirestate #visitnyc #visitamerica #bigapple #icapture_nyc #ig_nycity #ig_unitedstates #ilove_newyo #ilovenewyork #newyorkcity #newyorknewyork #nyc_explorers #nycityworld #nycprimeshot #streetsofnewyork #thebigapple #thisisnewyorkcity #unlimited_newyork #what_i_saw_in_nyc

Follow Me!