Key West Secrets

Tucked away at the back of an overflowing Caribbean handicrafts store lies one of our favorite Key West secrets: the delightfully kitschy Casa Antigua Garden tour. Behind the looming facade of 314 Simonton Street, through the overflowing artisan shop and a few back-room storage areas, visitors suddenly enter a literal oasis– complete with lush tropical foliage, an impressive orchid collection and a booming, theatrical audio tour to narrate the space. You’d never know it from the street, but this massive building has quite the storied history; both Hemingway’s first residence in Key West and the place where he penned A Farewell to Arms, Casa Antigua also served as a hotel, car dealership and even a brothel in years prior. Now the permanent residence and offices of Key West’s favorite must-read tabloid, Conch Color, visitors are still welcome to sneak through to the interior courtyard for the lowly sum of two dollars, where they can sit back, relax, and enjoy one of the most exclusive self-guided garden tours Key West has to offer. We love stealing away for a few minutes to sit beneath the giant palms and imagine ourselves back in Hemingway’s time. Truly a wonderful place to spend a quiet afternoon.

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