Audubon House Garden
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Audubon House and Gallery

Audubon House

Audubon House is Mid 1800s Architecture

Audubon House is many things: a gallery of fine art filled with Audubon original lithographs and engravings, a tropical garden that can hold an event with up to 300 people, and a museum dedicated to a fascinating part of Key West history.  However you decide to look at it, a visit to Audobon House makes a very pleasant afternoon.  Set near the northern end of Duval Street amid the hustle and bustle, the mid nineteenth century house and gardens offer a very welcome retreat from the crowds and sensory overload of this busy end of town.

The docent will give an extremely informative and interesting tour of the House where John James Audubon stayed while studying birds and capturing them on paper.  You’ll learn about Audubon but also about the family that hosted him while he drew birds in their garden and at the Dry Tortugas.  Captain John H. Geiger, his wife, and  family of nine children were wealthy as a result of Captain Geiger’s work in the salvaging industry.

The gardens out back are lovingly kept, with orchids, lush tropical foliage, a brick patio, and more than an acre of delightful gardens with moon lighting at night.  Weddings are held here, as well as other large functions.

The gift shop is reason enough to visit Audubon House, for it is filled with fanciful and eclectic items aimed at the bird lover.  In addition to the original engravings and lithographs circa 1830 to 1859, visitors can also purchase reproductions of the originals and gift items as well.

Audubon House Garden

Audubon House Garden

The Key West Lighthouse
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Key West Lighthouse

The Key West Lighthouse

The Key West Lighthouse

Tucked away on the edge of  Bahama Village, near Hemingway House, is the Key West lighthouse.  It’s an historical lighthouse, built in 1847 and together with the lighthouse keeper’s house, makes a fun Key West attraction for anyone who wants to learn about the history of Key West or who loves lighthouses.  It replaced an older tower that was built in 1825 to help ships navigate the dangerous reefs off Key West.  The original was 46 feet high.  In 1894 it was extended to 86 feet tall.

Visitors can climb all the way to the top of the lighthouse on a circular stairway for a great view of Key West if they reach the top.  Many of the old features of the lighthouse have been restored, including pipes that carried acetylene gas for the lights.  Originally, the lighthouse was lit by oil lamps – 15 of them.  It was electrified in the 1920s.

The Key West lighthouse was operational until 1969 and made a museum twenty years later.  The keeper’s quarters are also restored and open to the public.