Ernest Hemingway Museum and House

Peek into the early life of one America’s best-loved writers. 

The Ernest Hemingway Museum and House is a celebration of one of America’s most famous writers. These two separate buildings are located within a short walk of one another in Oak Park, just west of the downtown Loop. Start at the museum, housed in the Oak Park Arts Center. It gives a detailed exploration of the life of the author, who sold millions of books and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. Examine the author’s childhood diary, rare photos from his early years and a break-up note from his first love, the nurse Agnes von Kurowsky. Also on display is some of his early writing, which shows the development of the concise style that became his trademark. The Museum shop has gifts and posters for sale, as well as many of Hemingway’s books.

Take a short walk from the museum to the beautiful home where Hemingway was born in 1899 and spent the first six years of his life. This house was built by his grandparents and the rich Victorian décor has been lovingly restored. The lavish Victorian architectural style is similar to many other homes in the Oak Park neighborhood, one of the oldest in Chicago. You’ll also notice the distinctly different style of the many homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, an Oak Park resident for years.

Guided tours are available for both buildings, which are located about ten miles (16 kilometers) west of downtown Chicago. These are run by Museum staff with an excellent understanding of all things Hemingway, and last one to two hours. Groups larger than ten need to book in advance online or by phone.