Hemingway first stopped in Key West on a visit home from Paris. He soon fell in love with the island’s charms, and the fact that it felt like living in another country. He and Pauline settled on the tiny island, first renting an apartment for several years, and eventually purchasing a home with help from Pauline’s wealthy uncle.
Key West afforded Hemingway the opportunity to enjoy the sport fishing that he loved so much. He sailed his boat, Pilar, around the Keys and fished the Gulf Stream extensively. Many famous images of Hemingway picture him standing dockside in the Caribbean, the catch of the day hanging beside him.
Hemingway’s presence can still be felt in Key West. The home where he and Pauline lived is now open to the public, offering tours of the house and the studio where Hemingway worked. Many of the places Hemingway loved to visit, such as Sloppy Joe’s Bar, celebrate his patronage.
When not sailing the waters on his boat, or bringing in record-breaking catches, Hemingway was writing. His tenure in Key West saw the publication of A Farewell to Arms, Death in the Afternoon, and many short stories.