Visiting the homes of famous people can give you an insight into what inspired their creativity and success. This is certainly true about Florida-based writers.
The greatest attraction is Cross Creek, the rustic farm cottage where Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings wrote The Yearling, probably Florida’s most beloved book. The small village off I-75 south of Gainesville has not changed much and the state maintained property will take you back to rural Florida in the 1930’s. Look for her typewriter and her automobile.
Cross Creek Looks Like Rawlings Is Still There
Florida’s most literary community is Key West where dozens of famous writers and artists spent their winters and no one is more of a super-star than Ernest Hemingway. His 1851 Spanish colonial-house where he wrote For Whom The Bell Tolls and Death in the Afternoon is a worthwhile tour even if you just want to see the stoic bathroom and the famous Hemingway cats.
A Cat Doesn’t Share the Hemingway Bedroom Today
Less known to Key West visitors is Casa Antigua Hotel where in 1928 Hemingway and his second wife Pauline first visited Key West. They fell in love with the island and stayed at the then Trev-Mor Hotel where Hemingway completed a novel called A Farewell To Arms.
Hemingway’s First Key West Residence
Zora Neale Hurston is Florida’s most famous African-American author and her works about growing up in Eatonville, America’s oldest incorporated black community, became classics. Just off I-4 north of Orlando, Eatonville has a Zora Neale Hurston Museum and the Moseley House, where she later visited as an author. It is standing as a historic site typical of life in the town.
Part of the Zora Neale Hurston Tour in Eatonville
While Jack Kerouac’s last house and apartment are in Saint Petersburg, the Jack Kerouac Cottage on Clouser Avenue south of Shady Lane Drive in northwest Orlando is where in 1957-58 Jack finished the last type of On The Road and started the first chapters of Dharma Bums. Appropriately the house is the residence of writers from around the world inspired by the author’s works.
Jack Kerouac’s Literary Hideaway