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By Clyde Powell













Key West Florida Museums and Gardens Information


Sharon Wells’s Walking & Biking Guide
to Historic Key West
Historic preservationist Sharon Wells makes it easy for you to explore and enjoy Key West Florida at your own pace with this superbly organized, information-packed guide. In addition to 10 self-guided tours, complete with maps and descriptions of the important structures you will see along the way, this 64-page booklet contains suggestions for nature treks in and around Key West. Best of all, it’s free. You’ll find copies of Sharon Wells’s Walking & Biking Guide at more than 200 locations in and around Key West, including the Key West Public Library, 700 Fleming Street; and the Key West Chamber of Commerce, Mallory Square.


Museums in Key West

The Key West Museum of Art & History in the Custom House

Follow a path once traveled by wreckers, pirates, and politicians to South Florida's most important historic building. The Custom House, built in 1891, served as a post office, court house and government center when wrecking made Key West the richest city, per capita, in the U.S. But by the 1930s, the island city was bankrupt.

281 Front Street, Key West, Florida 33040
Open Everyday from 9:30 am - 4:30 pm  Closed Christmas

The Key West Lighthouse and Keeper's Quarters Museum:
The tower and nearby Keeper's Quarters have been faithfully restored and maintained as they were before the lighthouse was deactivated in 1969. Many of the historic elements remain, including the pipes used to deliver acetylene gas that powered the light before it was electrified in 1927.

938 Whitehead Street, Key West, Florida 33040
Open daily from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
Closed Christmas Day

The Fort East Martello Museum & Gardens
Today its casemates, citadel and courtyard are home to a vast collection of Key West and Key's artifacts and historical records as well a military memorabilia. The view from atop the central tower affords visitors a spectacular panorama of the Atlantic coast of Key West.

3501 S. Roosevelt Blvd., Key West,
Open daily from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
Closed Christmas Day

Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum

The Ernest Hemingway House, officially known as the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, was the residence of author Ernest Hemingway in Key West, Florida, United States. It is located at 907 Whitehead Street, near a prominent lighthouse close to the Southern coast of the island. On November 24, 1968, it was designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark.

Tour Rates include a 30-minute guided tour.
No reservations needed, Museum is open daily 365 days a year from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum
Today's the Day

The Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum is located at 200 Greene Street, Key West, Florida. The museum contains an extensive collection of artifacts from 17th century shipwrecks, such as the Henrietta Marie, Nuestra Senora de Atocha and Santa Margarita.The museum is named for founder Mel Fisher.
Mon-Fri: 8:30 - 5:00
Sat, Sun & Holidays: 9:30 - 5:00
The Museum is open 365 days a year

Take a step into the past with a trip to this museum showing our link to our railway past
Located at the corner of Caroline and Margaret Streets on the site of the old Margaret Street railway spur at the entrance to the Key West Historic Seaport.

San Carlos Institute

The San Carlos is a multi-purpose facility that serves as a museum, library, art gallery, theater, and school. Located in the heart of Key West's historic district, the San Carlos is considered to be the cradle of Cuba's independence movement.

Friday to Sunday 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Admission is free. Groups are welcomed.
San Carlos Institute 516 Duval Street

The Oldest House in South Florida
Key West house tours are sponsored by the Old Island Restoration Foundation and funded in part about the Monroe County Tourist Development Council. Each tour features lovely homes and gardens reflecting the varied tastes and originality of their owners.

Check for tour Dates
322 Duval Street

USCGC INGHAM Maritime Museum
With over 50 years of service around the work, USCGC INGHAM is a quintessential portrait of Coast Guard history from 1936 to 1988. Click the links above to explore some of the eras of INGHAM's valiant service to our Nation and her allies.

CGC INGHAM is located on the Truman Waterfront on the western edge of Key West, alongside USS MOHAWK (CGC). Parking is plentiful at Truman Waterfront, but you can walk via Southard Street from Duval if you like.

Operating Hours (Summer 2011) in effect
Monday thru Saturday (6 days)  10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Key West Shipwreck Museum

The Key West Shipwreck Museum combines actors, films and the actual artifacts from the 1985 rediscovery of the wrecked vessel Isaac Allerton, which sank in 1856 on the treacherous Florida Keys reef.

Mon - Sun 9:40 am to 5:00 pm, 365 days a year. Last show 4:40 pm
1 Whitehead Street   Key West, Florida


Audubon House & Tropical Gardens

The house contains 28 first edition works of the famous ornithologist John James Audubon. Audubon visited the Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas in 1832 and left Key West having sighted and drawn 18 new birds for his "Birds of America" folio. It is believed that many of those drawings were conceived in the Audubon House garden.
daily from 9:30am-4:30pm.
205 Whitehead Street, Key West


Truman Little White House

The Harry S Truman Little White House in Key West, Florida was the winter White House for President Harry S. Truman for 175 days during 11 visits. The house is located in the Truman Annex neighborhood of Old Town, Key West.
Tours 7 days a week, 365 days a year
every 20 minutes from 9am until 4:30pm daily
111 Front Street - Key West


Ripley's Believe It or Not!

A franchise, founded by Robert Ripley, which deals in bizarre events and items so strange and unusual that readers might question the claims.

Open Daily
108 Duval Street


Not all Museums are inside

Historic Key West Cemetery

Key West's unique and intriguing cemetery lies in the heart of Old Town. The main entrance and Sexton's office are at the intersection of Angela and Margaret Streets. The cemetery sits in a nineteen acre park-like setting where Bahamian mariners, Cuban cigar makers, Spanish-American War veterans, soldiers and civilians, millionaires and paupers, people of all races

Summer hours: 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Winter hours: 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Fort Zachary Taylor

The Fort Zachary Taylor State Historic Site, better known simply as Fort Taylor, (or Fort Zach to locals), is a Florida State Park and National Historic Landmark centered on a Civil War-era fort located near the southern tip of Key West, Florida.

The park is open from 8:00 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year.
The fort closes at 5:00 p.m.

Dry Tortugas National Park
If you are a Civil War buff this is a must trip if you are visiting the Florida Keys. Fort Jefferson is the largest coastal fort built in the 1800s.

bullet Visitor Center - Is open daily with information, exhibits, An orientation
video, and educational sales items are available.
bullet Touring Fort Jefferson - You can take a self-guiding walking tour of the
Fort. Just follow the signs with the Civil War soldier on them.
bullet Ranger conducted Activities - There is an announcement board on the dock
or check at the visitor center for dates and times of ranger-guided tours.

Gardens in and around Key West

West Martello Tower

Visitors to the Key West Garden Club and the Joe Allen Garden Center, the club's meeting and educational facility, are invited to stroll the brick pathways through graceful arched courtyards and lush, colorful foliage of the West Martello Tower, a Civil War fort and a National Historic Site.
Center of Higgs Beach

Nancy Forrester's Secret Garden

I work passionately to save the last undeveloped wooded acre of open land in the heart of "old town" Key West to help life on Earth and to provide environmental education to the public. Each of us can bring innovative action to our lifestyle to be harmonious with nature

Old Site:


The Key West Botanical Garden is home to many exciting species. New visitors will enjoy seeing our beautiful plants and regularly visiting animals, while experienced naturalists can use our checklists to enhance their adventures. Living not too far I stroll these gardens often.

5210 College Road  on Stock Island


Educational Centers in Key West

Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center

9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday Just checked this out and it is a great place to take the kids even if you are an older one. Most all the displays are up with lots of interactive exhibits. The hardest thing is trying to find it. Just take Southard Street like you are going to Fort Zachary Taylor. Just before you get to the park entrance look to your right you will see a big parking lot with a tan color building. That is it. Now if your like me you can just ask the ranger at the park gate and he will point it out. With a visit here you will get a good understanding of the Florida Keys eco system hence their name. It is planned to be fully open a must see for Key West newest attraction. Saving the best for last it is one of the few things in Key West that is free.

Key West Aquarium
Perhaps one of the most unique aquariums in the world, the Key West Aquarium has delighted visitors since 1934. Come join us and see for yourself the beautiful indigenous sea-creatures of Key West and the Florida Keys.

1 Whitehead St.
Key West, Florida 33040

Reef Relief Headquarters
& Environmental Center
We focus on rigorous Science to Educate the public & Advocate policymakers to achieve Conservation, Protection, and Restoration of coral reefs. Encourage and support eco-tourism as part of sustainable community development that protects and preserves coral reef ecosystems

631 Greene Street   Key West, FL 33040


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