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“What a Wonderful Surprise”

Audubon House & Tropical Gardens
Ranked #27 of 181 things to do in Key West
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The home of Capt. John H. Geiger, harbor pilot and master wrecker, was built between 1846 and 1849. Slated for destruction in 1958, it was saved by the Mitchell Wolfson Family Foundation, a nonprofit educational institution. This large scale restoration was the first of its kind in Key West, thus sparking the restoration movement in Key West.Antique enthusiasts will appreciate the unique quality of the furnishings displayed in the Audubon House Museum. All furnishings reflect the elegance and comfortable living enjoyed for a wealthy family in Key West during the mid-1800’s. 31 of the original hand colored Antique engravings of the 22 birds J.J. Audubon painted in the Florida Keys during his 6 week visit in 1832 can be seen throughout the House. In addition to informative reading panels, an introduction to the property and its history will be given by your guide, and then you will roam the house and gardens at your leisure. Varieties of orchids and bromeliads emerge from the foliage and trees to surprise you with their vibrant blooms. Native plants and exotics provide an environment that is reminiscent of old Key West. Trees and plants are labeled with their common names, Latin names, and country of origin. This is the finest tropical garden in the Florida Keys. You may even catch a glimpse of some of our local birds! The garden tour also includes a self-guided visit to the Cook House. Houses of the period in the Florida Keys did not have inside kitchens as they were sources of heat and of course, fire hazards. A visit to the Audubon Gallery of Fine Arts will take you through the wonderful world of original Audubon Antique hand painted lithographs. The original Antique prints of some of J.J. Audubon’s contemporaries are also available for sale.The Museum Shop offers a wide selection of unique one-of-a-kind gifts, home décor, Antiques and educational materials.Our lush tropical gardens can be the site of your event:, whether you are planning a wedding or a corporate event. Let us make your event happen.
Reviewed 4 November 2013

My husband thought I was crazy when I said I wanted to take the tour. I had to remind him there were other things to see as he became engrossed in the history and the stories within the house. All of the bird pictures had captions, and I think he read them all. I am interested in architecture, so I found the house and the grounds to be exquisite. I would recommend this to people who like history and the simple things in life. It was well worth the price.

Thank Lisajasonrv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AudubonHouse, Manager at Audubon House & Tropical Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 7 November 2013

Dear Lisa,

Many thanks for taking the time to review the Audubon House and sharing the experience your husband had while visiting with us. We always enjoy hearing from everyone, but especially from those who end up thoroughly entranced with their stay after being only minimally interested in the tour. We are certainly all about the history of the Key West of the mid-19th Century and it is a pleasure to know that both of you came away with such a positive feeling, Thanks for your very kind words and we hope to see you again soon, next time you visit Key West.

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"gift shop"
in 64 reviews
"period pieces"
in 12 reviews
"brief introduction"
in 8 reviews
"florida birds"
in 8 reviews
"koi pond"
in 8 reviews
"self guided tour"
in 27 reviews
"house tour"
in 11 reviews
"nice house"
in 10 reviews
"beautiful home"
in 13 reviews
"on display"
in 13 reviews
"whitehead street"
in 6 reviews
"own pace"
in 11 reviews
"old key west"
in 12 reviews
"interesting history"
in 13 reviews
"for sale"
in 8 reviews
"nice tour"
in 8 reviews
"mallory square"
in 7 reviews
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377 - 381 of 544 reviews

Reviewed 14 October 2013

The "Audubon House" is actually a misnomer, as Audubon never actually lived in the house. He "camped" on the property, doing his research and drawing of wildlife in the area, but that was before the beautiful house was ever built. The house, however, is well worth the time to visit , as it is an excellent example of period architecture and is very well-restored. The grounds abound in beautiful plantings, providing many nice photo opportunities. He highlight of this place, to me, was the outstanding gift shop. It has a HUGE collection of both original and reproduction lithographs, as well as many books and other Audubon memorabilia. The prices for the prints were much more reasonable than at other shops I've visited around the country, and is worth a trip to Key West for this shop, alone, if you're an admirer and collector of Audubon's work.

Thank Harry M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AudubonHouse, Manager at Audubon House & Tropical Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 18 October 2013

Dear Harry M.,

Thank you for taking the time to review the Audubon House. We are delighted you enjoyed your visit.

Thank you so much for your kind words regarding the Gallery and Gift Store. We all work extremely hard to make sure the quality of our offerings reflects the quality of the House and its furnishings.

We hope to see you again in the not too distant future.

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Reviewed 9 October 2013

The tour of the Geiger House consists of a nice explanation in the vestibule of the history of the house and the of the Geiger family. As the guide makes clear, Audubon probably never set foot in the house. Then why use his name unless it is to draw people in. the first and second floors contain period pieces from the 1800's while the third floor is devoted to some of Audubon's works. The gardens are ok and nothing special to write home about. Not near the top of my list of things to see in Key West.

Thank GolferKen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AudubonHouse, Manager at Audubon House & Tropical Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 18 October 2013

Dear Ken,

We want to thank you for taking the time to review the Audubon House. The House became known as the Audubon House way before any one of us was born. When Ms. Jesse Porter contacted Col. and Mrs. Wolfson, back in the late 1950's, and informed them of the soon to be horrid future of the Audubon House (destroyed to be replaced by a gas station), it was in good faith that the House was purchased as such - the Audubon House. Our more recent research has proven that there was no validity to the claim since the House was built by Capt. Geiger some 14 years after JJ Audubon's visit. As this was the first large scale restoration project in Key West, sparking a wider preservation movement throughout the town, we believe that the wonderfully quaint Key West that we know and love would probably not look so quaint had it not been for this piece of misleading Key West folklore.

Our mission is to accurately represent life in the 19th Century, and we are delighted that you enjoyed the tour and the furniture.

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Reviewed 2 October 2013

My lovely wife and I visited the Audubon House on 25 September 2013. We were able to speak at length with the staff and guides, who took the time and care to see that all our queries were answered. We were able to learn much of the early history of Key West, the founders and their families, how they lived in a somewhat pestilential frontier island, and the slow development of the island into what it is today. It was much more than a simple display of the worthy art of John James Audubon, it was an immersion into the world of the past.
The gardens surrounding the House are among the finest in Key West, with a host of different epiphytes clinging to the majestic trees. A full hour was spent wandering this way and that, looking at one splendid orchid or other flowering thing after another. Absolutely lovely!

1  Thank Robert W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AudubonHouse, Manager at Audubon House & Tropical Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 3 October 2013

Robert, we are so grateful you took the time to write such a wonderful review. You and your lovely wife absolutely understood the mission of the Audubon House! We mean to represent Key West's history as seen through the lives of its most preeminent family, the Geigers. We honor JJ Audubon's contribution to art and science by showing his Key West works, but we are so much than that. The gardens are truly spectacular, and as you mentioned the orchids are always flowering. Thank you also for mentioning our staff. We all make sure that our guests feel as though they are part of our family, and always make the time to answer their questions. We look forward to seeing you again soon (there will probably be something different to admire, whether in the House or the Gardens!)

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Reviewed 1 October 2013

The Audubon House has an interesting history that will really surprise you! It's contribution to the history of Key West will give you a good look into the towns people, their vocations, and the industry of past years. The house itself is interesting and the Audubon drawings amazing. The grounds are beautifully kept. Found the historical facts referencing the art, the steps in making the plates, and how the artist was able to get the birds tiny details on paper quite astonishing. Our guide was well versed, ( can't remember her name), and Frankie who greeted us was friendly, helpful and most hospitable. Will definitely return.

Thank AdventuresInParadise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AudubonHouse, Manager at Audubon House & Tropical Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 3 October 2013

We are always so grateful when someone takes the time to write a positive review. Thank you so much for doing so. Our aim is to accurately depict life in 19th Century Key West, through the fascinating lives of the Geigers, one of the preeminent families of the city. Although we honor JJ Audubon's contribution to arts and sciences by representing the works painted in Key West during his stay, we are about so much more. Both our gardeners are passionate about their work in the gardens, we will pass on your kind words to them. Also, thank you for recognizing our staff, Mary and Frankie are truly amazing, and as everyone else on staff believe that our guest should be treated like family. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

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