Family vacations in Key West can be rewarding experiences or absolute disasters -- it all depends on pre-trip homework. To make planning easier, we've done all the preparation. As part of a Huffington Post series on traveling with children, here are recommended attractions for those planning Key West family vacations.
Ernest Hemingway Home And Museum
The former Key West home of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The Ernest Hemingway House and Museum welcomes visitors to tour the two-story classic Key West-style home and adjacent gardens and to meet some of the famous six-toed cats that live there.
Address: 907 Whitehead St., Key West, Florida 33040
Hours: The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Price: Adults, $12.50; children $6; children 4 and younger, free.
Harry S. Truman Little White House
President Harry Truman used the Harry S. Truman Little White House as the winter White House from 1946 to 1952. Later presidents also used the house. Today, the site is a museum and has been restored to its 1949 appearance. Visitors can take a tour of the house and its grounds.
Address: 111 Front St., Key West, FL 33040
Hours: The house is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Price: Adults, $16.13; seniors, $13.98; children 5 to 12, $5.38; children 4 and younger, free; local residents with paid guest, free.
Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum
The Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum is a treasure trove of artifacts from shipwrecks around the Key West area. The intriguing museum contains salvaged items from 17th century vessels the Santa Margarita and the Henrietta Marie, among others.
Address: 200 Greene St., Key West, FL 33040
Hours: The museum is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m to 5 p.m. and on weekends and holidays from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Price: Adults, $12.50; students, $10.50; children, $6.25.
It's mandatory to visit a beach while in Key West, and Smathers Beach is one of the best. This half-mile stretch of sand offers sun and surf as well as bike paths, picnic facilities and concessions.
Address: South Roosevelt Boulevard, Key West, FL 33040
Hours: The beach is open 24 hours.
Fort Zachary Taylor National Historic Park
America's southernmost national park, the Fort Zachary Taylor National Historic Park centers on a Civil War-era fort. The waterfront fort is open to visitors and hosts a variety of Civil War re-enactments each year. Rumor has it that the fort is haunted.
Address: Southard Street and Truman Annex, Key West, FL 33040
Hours: The park is open from daily from 8 a.m. until sundown; the fort closes at 5 p.m.
Price: Vehicles (maximum eight occupants), $6; pedestrians/cyclists, $2; single-occupancy vehicles, $4.
Pirates In Paradise
The annual pirate festival, Pirates in Paradise, takes place each year for 10 days in late November and early December. The dozens of related events include arts and crafts, live entertainment, costume contests and a parade, along with other kid-friendly activities.
Address: Southard Street and East Quay Road, Key West, FL 33040
Hours: The festival is held annually for 10 days during late November and early December.
Price: Event prices vary.
Key West Butterfly And Nature Conservatory
Located on Duval Street in the heart of Key West, the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory houses more than 50 species of butterflies from all over the world in an enclosed habitat. The conservatory is also home to a variety of tropical plants.
Address: 1316 Duval St., Key West, FL 33040
Hours: The conservatory is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Price: Adults, $12; seniors and military, $9; children 4 to 12, $8.50; children 3 and younger, free.
What are your family's favorite Key West destinations?
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