Most of us have made it through the tumultuous adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Most of us have imagined ourselves in the mischief or adventure those two little boys always seemed to find themselves in. But I wonder how many of us have made the journey to the little town in Missouri where Samuel Longhorne Clemens grew up. There is so much to see in this hometown of Clemens-turned-Twain and my goal for this article is to highlight some of the gems of Hannibal for you!
I would highly recommend this weekend getaway to any and all fans of the work of Mark Twain. The town has served him well in maintaining his legacy. Tours to see Mark Twain’s Boyhood Home and Museum are available. This property has on it not just Twain’s home but also the Huckleberry Finn House and the Becky Thatcher House! What a thrill to see his stories come alive inside these walls!
The museum hosts fifteen original Norman Rockwell paintings and Clemens’ Oxford gown. The Boyhood Home and Museum are open seven days a week throughout the year. Tickets range in price from $4 for children to $9 for adults (there is a reduced rate for senior citizens) and the ticket includes access to all parts of the complex.
A perfect stop for the afternoon is the Mark Twain Cave Complex. The cave stays at 52 degrees year round and can be a nice break from the chill or the heat! Although it is not wheelchair accessible it is a very manageable 55 minute tour with level walkways the entire time. If you feel like staying for the night the complex has a full-service campground perfect for tents and/or RV’s! The complex is open year round except for several holidays. The rates vary dependent upon what tour you’re interested in.
If you happen to be visiting Hannibal anytime between May and October you would have the splendid opportunity of taking a ride on the Mark Twain Riverboat! There are several different options of cruises available.
There is a Sightseeing Cruise that delves into the history, legends, and sights of Hannibal. There are the Dinner Cruises which come full of entertainment from good food to live music and dancing! The Saturday Night Jazz Cruises leave at 9:30 p.m. and maintain a relaxing atmosphere for the two-hour duration of the trip with live jazz and blues.
Hannibal, Missouri has done a great job of continuing to inspire the curiosity, flavor, and adventure in each of us the same way its famous son has for years through his characters and literature. If you get a chance to visit “America’s Hometown” I’m sure you’ll agree!