Fort East Martello Museum and Gallery

Vacation Travel Guide
Fort East Martello Museum and Gallery showing heritage elements

Built to protect the Florida Keys from a Confederate attack, this towering fort is today home to historic relics and intriguing works of 20th-century art.

The Florida Keys’ Civil War legacy can be discovered at this 19th-century fortress turned art gallery. Fort East Martello was constructed in 1860 to protect the Union-controlled Florida Keys from a Confederate attack. Interestingly, despite being under the leadership of the Union, the majority of Key West residents were Confederate supporters. While a battle never broke out in the area, the Fort East Martello is still considered an important part of America’s Civil War history. Explore the complex to see the significant works of architecture, hundreds of relics and an expanding collection of folk art and contemporary works.

Since 1950 the fort has been operated by the Key West Art & Historical Society. Admire the extraordinary restoration efforts undertaken by the society as you wander around the fort’s perimeter. The fort has been returned to its original 1860s plan. Walk through the expansive collection of civil war memorabilia, including guns, uniforms and paintings. See the original industries of Key West, including wrecking and cigar manufacturing, return to life before your eyes as you explore the exhibits.

Among the most impressive attractions of the fort is the museum’s collection of local art. See the stunning work of Mario Sanchez, a local folk artist who was responsible for more than 600 iconic paintings and woodcarvings of the local area. Continue through the gallery to find the metal sculptures of Stanley Papio.

If you’ve embarked on one of Key West’s many ghost tours you’re sure to have heard about Robert the Haunted Doll. Since 2014 Robert has called the fort home and has become one of the major attractions to the fort.

Fort East Martello Museum and Gallery is located approximately 5 miles (8 kilometers) from the center of Key West, immediately adjacent to the Key West International Airport, and is best reached by car or taxi. A free parking lot is provided by the Key West Art & Historical Society. A public bus also services the fort. The museum is closed on Christmas Day and an admission fee applies.

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Top Hotels Close to Fort East Martello Museum and Gallery

Hampton Inn Key West FL
Hampton Inn Key West FL
2.5 out of 5
3755 S Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL
The price is $138 per night from Nov 29 to Nov 29
Situated on the waterfront, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Fort East Martello Museum and Gallery and Smathers Beach. Higgs Beach and Robbie's are also within ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (1,246 reviews)
"Very beautiful and wonderful view of the ocean!"

Reviewed on Nov 18, 2021

Hampton Inn Key West FL
DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key - Key West
DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key - Key West
4 out of 5
3990 S Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL
The price is $166 per night from Nov 30 to Nov 30
Situated near the airport, this hotel is 1 mi (1.7 km) from Fort East Martello Museum and Gallery and within 3 mi (5 km) of Smathers Beach and Robbie's. Key ...
4/5 Very Good! (992 reviews)
"Friendly staff"

Reviewed on Nov 24, 2021

DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key - Key West
Margaritaville Beach House Key West
Margaritaville Beach House Key West
4 out of 5
2001 South Roosevelt Boulevard, Key West, FL
The price is $249 per night from Dec 1 to Dec 1
Offering direct access to the beach, this Key West hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Smathers Beach and Higgs Beach. Duval Street and South Beach are also within ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (821 reviews)
"This is a beautiful property with great access to the beach. The staff were very friendly and helpful."

Reviewed on Nov 25, 2021

Margaritaville Beach House Key West
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Fort East Martello Museum and Gallery

The Gates Hotel Key West
The Gates Hotel Key West
4 out of 5
3824 N Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL
The price is $130 per night from Nov 28 to Nov 28
The Gates Hotel Key West
Hampton Inn Key West FL
Hampton Inn Key West FL
2.5 out of 5
3755 S Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL
The price is $138 per night from Nov 29 to Nov 29
Hampton Inn Key West FL
DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key - Key West
DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key - Key West
4 out of 5
3990 S Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL
The price is $166 per night from Nov 30 to Nov 30
DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key - Key West
Margaritaville Beach House Key West
Margaritaville Beach House Key West
4 out of 5
2001 South Roosevelt Boulevard, Key West, FL
The price is $249 per night from Dec 1 to Dec 1
Margaritaville Beach House Key West
Havana Cabana at Key West
Havana Cabana at Key West
4 out of 5
3420 N. Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL
The price is $199 per night from Nov 30 to Nov 30
Havana Cabana at Key West
Oceans Edge Key West Resort, Hotel & Marina
Oceans Edge Key West Resort, Hotel & Marina
4 out of 5
5950 Peninsular Avenue, Key West, FL
The price is $175 per night from Nov 28 to Nov 28
Oceans Edge Key West Resort, Hotel & Marina
Ibis Bay Beach Resort
Ibis Bay Beach Resort
2.5 out of 5
3101 N. Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL
The price is $185 per night from Nov 28 to Nov 28
Ibis Bay Beach Resort
Hyatt Residence Club Key West, Windward Pointe
Hyatt Residence Club Key West, Windward Pointe
3.5 out of 5
3675 South Roosevelt Boulevard, Key West, FL
The price is $399 per night from Nov 28 to Nov 28
Hyatt Residence Club Key West, Windward Pointe
24 North Hotel Key West
24 North Hotel Key West
4 out of 5
3820 North Roosevelt Boulevard, Key West, FL
The price is $134 per night from Nov 28 to Nov 28
24 North Hotel Key West
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.