Top 5 Museums in the Florida Keys
There are so many great museums in Key West Florida! From art museums in Key Largo to maritime history and diving museums in Key West, there are tons of excellent options for Florida Keys museum tours. If you are looking for something fun to do indoors in the Florida Keys, just pick the museum that interests you the most from our list below and get exploring!
1. The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
Located in Key West, this museum focuses on the history of one of America’s most celebrated authors – Ernest Hemingway. The Hemingway home was built in 1851 in Spanish Colonial style and was remodeled in the early 1930’s by the Hemingways. They turned the home into the National Historical Landmark that thousands of tourists visit and enjoy today. The Hemingway Museum, aside from having an incredible collection of treasures, angling trophies, and writings from Ernest Hemmingway, is also home to around 60 polydactyl (six-toed) cats. Many of which are descendants of Snow White – a six-toed cat given to Hemingway by a ship’s captain. Whether you’re interested in writing, angling, or six-toed cats, the Hemingway Museum is one of the most content-packed museums in the Florida Keys.
2. Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum
No list of the best museums in the Florida Keys would be complete without a mention of the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum. Learn about the incredible maritime history of the Florida Keys by seeing some incredible shipwrecks and the treasures found within. Packed with jaw-dropping exhibits, like the 1622 Spanish Galleon (the Santa Clara) or an authentic 1700’s slave ship (the Henrieta Marie), the Maritime Heritage Museum is the perfect Florida Keys museum for kids. Though, if you’re more interested in ships that are still actually floating, you’ll want to check out the next museum on our list.
3. U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Ingham Maritime Museum
The USCGC Ingham is one of only two preserved treasury-class coast guard cutters. This incredible warship has been preserved as a fully tourable museum with tons of artifacts from the ship’s history from WWII to the Vietnam War. If you are looking for one of the most underrated attractions in the Florida Keys, look no farther than this incredible gem of a maritime history museum. Make sure to stop by Friday or Saturday evening to grab a few drinks on the deck and watch the beautiful Florida Keys sunset.
4. Key West Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters Museum
The Key West lighthouse museum is an incredible insight into a now lost way of life and a beautiful vantage point to take great panoramic pictures in Key West. Climb the 88 steps to the top of this stunning historic lighthouse and bask in one of the most incredible views of the Florida Keys. Tour the keeper’s house and see the belongings, photographs, and writings from previous lighthouse keepers. Even if nautical history isn’t your favorite, the view alone is well worth the extremely reasonable price of admission.
5. Harry S. Truman Little White House
You couldn’t make a list of the top 5 museums in the Florida Keys without including Florida’s only presidential museum – the Truman Little White House. Originally constructed in 1890 as naval officers’ housing, its most important usage was as the winter White House of Harry Truman. He spent many winters here from 1946 through 1952. While best known for Truman’s use, other presidents including Taft, Eisenhower, and Kennedy have used the Truman Little White House to get away from the stress of running the country to relax in the scenic grounds of this beautiful location.
No matter which of these great museums you pick, you are sure to learn a lot and have a blast getting off the beaten path in the Florida Keys. It’s easy to visit the Florida Keys and spend all your time on incredible outdoor activities like a Key West Sailing Tour, a Key Largo Kayak Tour, or an Islamorada Fishing Charter, but if you’ve had enough sun, head into a Florida Keys museum to cool off and learn more about these incredible islands!