Just take a two-hour drive north of St. Louis and travel from the bright lights of the big city to the inspiration behind America’s best literature: Hannibal, childhood home of author Mark Twain.
Be sure to check each attraction’s website for updated hours.
Hannibal was just a small village when Samuel Clemens grew up there. Discover the town that encouraged a young man to become first a riverboat pilot and then author Mark Twain by taking a self-guided tour of the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum. The two interactive museums also include 15 original Norman Rockwell paintings, live performances, historic artifacts and treasured Clemens family belongings.
Meet the man himself – in a way – by attending one of the Mark Twain shows. See Mark Twain Live at Mark Twain Cave’s Cave Hollow Complex, featuring Jim Waddell as the famous author.
Actor Richard Garey’s stage show brings back the famous Mark Twain Shows of more than 100 years ago at the Planters Barn Theater.
Learn the story of Daniel Quarles (the real-life Jim, Huck’s friend and companion in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn), one of the most memorable – and at the time, controversial – characters in American literature.
Due to COVID19 this attraction is not open for the 2020 season.
Molly Brown was on her way home to Hannibal when the Titanic sank. Learn more about this "Unsinkable" heroine of the Titanic. Visit the place where one of America's most fascinating rags-to-riches stories began.
Just a few short blocks from downtown, Margaret (Molly) Tobin Brown's birthplace in an original Irish immigrant's cottage has been restored. See photo displays on her life in Hannibal, and the world, plus a room dedicated to the Titanic's voyage.
Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day
Admission: $5; younger than 12, free; group rates available.
If you like a little adventure in your dining, be sure to treat yourself to dinner at LaBinnah Bistro, featuring dishes from around the globe that have endless variety, history and flavor.
Rev up your energy level at Java Jive, a coffee house with fresh-made menu items and in-house created desserts and pastries. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are available.
If your taste buds are demanding Italian, head to The Brick Oven for a taste of Tuscany, with wood-fired brick oven pizza, pasta and entrees made with the freshest ingredients. Their wine list is stocked with hand-picked Italian imports.
For an afternoon treat or dessert, Becky’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor is a don’t-miss. Indulge in an old-fashioned ice cream confection or special concoction and browse books from children’s classics to Mark Twain and Hannibal region special books and souvenirs.
There’s only one place in the country where a young Samuel Clemens played (and left his autograph) in a cave made famous in his novels: the Mark Twain Cave Complex. Set aside about an hour to tour this registered National Natural Landmark, and remember: the temperature down under is 52 degrees year-round.
All aboard! Journey to the Golden Age of railroading and toys. You’ll enjoy all the memorabilia but what you’ll love best are the operating and interactive train layouts. Just be sure to call ahead to make sure they’re open.
Any town with as much history as Hannibal is sure to have a few ghosts. So climb aboard the shuttle for a Haunted Hannibal Ghost Tour and learn the secrets of the town’s most notoriously haunted sites, including the present-day ghosts of the mansions on Millionaire’s Row. The stories on the tour can be modified to accommodate younger guests.
Combine an elegant place to lay your head with a spectacular river view at Rockcliffe Mansion Bed and Breakfast. The historic Georgian Revival mansion was built between 1898 and 1900, is furnished with original antiques and offers daily guided tours. But be aware, the mansion is closed during the winter months.
If Victorian is more to your taste, plan your visit around a stay at Reagan’s Queen Anne Bed and Breakfast. The 1889 lumber baron’s home pampers you with featherbeds, period décor, private baths (some with claw foot tubs) and candlelit breakfasts served on fine china in the oak dining room.
This exquisitely and extensively restored 1859 Italianate mansion is just four blocks from Hannibal’s Historic Downtown. The building may be mid-19th century, but the luxury is all 21st century, with two-person subway-tiled showers, high thread count sheets and smart TVs. Breakfast is all made from scratch, accompanied by freshly ground dark roast coffee.