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Historic homes, glorious gardens and so much more, Key West is beckoning you to visit!

By Wendy Meyerson Vogeley

There’s just something about a Key West House. If you’ve ever roamed down the peaceful pathways and lush tropical streets that frame the residential areas of Key West you know just what I mean. Whether it’s a historic structure that’s been lovingly restored or a new gem, resonating the warm, free-spirited style that’s synonymous with the island paradise, Key West homes are something to see and experience.

On March 13 and 14th, you’ll have one last chance to visit several of the area’s architectural treasures and most interesting residences during the Old Island’s 49th annual Key West House and Garden Tour.

Featuring homes that date back to the early 1890’s, the Key West House and Garden Tour began in December and ends in just two weeks with the last two tour dates of the season.

I was enthralled with the tour, both for the architectural beauty of the homes and for the obvious warmth and hospitality of the homeowners. On Fleming Street, I visited a home that was originally a historic railway hotel that has since been converted into private condos. Also, a place that was built in the 1890’s and although it has renovated over the years, still holds its original charm with wide plank wood floors and ancient windows and doors.

I don’t know about you, but I love seeing antiques and time period furniture and learning the stories behind the people who inhabited historic places around the country. It’s like taking a journey back in time. In Key West, there are many gorgeous Victorians, dated wooden cottages and structures that were from a time when the island had its earliest beginnings

Key West's Mallory Square

Key West's Mallory Square

If you love history, Key West is just overflowing with it. From Mallory Square, known world-wide as Key West’s historic waterfront and the best place to witness a Key West sunset, to the home of Ernest Hemingway, where you can take a tour and meet the descendents of his feline best friend. There’s Sloppy Joe’s Bar, Harry Truman’s Little White House (my personal favorite!) and so many more places that help tell the story of the tiny little slice of heaven at the end of US Highway number 1.

The Harry S Truman Little White House in Key West

The Harry S Truman Little White House in Key West

While you’re there, stop by a local watering hole or restaurant for some conch fritters and frosty drinks. On my most recent visit, I went into the Cayo Hueso y Habana. This is a collection of shops, museums and an excellent restaurant in Mallory Square. The place is dedicated to the Cuban and Spanish Heritage of the island and even has artisans hand-rolling cuban cigars. I enjoyed learning about the heavy Cuban influence on the island and indulged in the most decadent Cuban food at Meson de Pepe’s Restaurant.

Mark your calendar and make it a point to take part in the Annual Key West House and Garden Tour, see just another delightful side of one of the United State’s most intriguing cities–and be sure to dig into a piece of Key Lime Pie, I make it a practice to always taste the specialty of the house, don’t you?

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