Two-day getaway in Hannibal, Missouri
Mark Twain's stories of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn began in this Mississippi River town.
Get a pleasant overview of local attractions with a ride on an old-fashioned trolley. Experienced drivers for Hannibal Trolley Company Sightseeing Tours know their stuff and take great pride in sharing their town with visitors. Stops allow ample time for exploring.
For lunch, grab a sandwich, salad or soup at Java Jive, then head for the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum. One ticket gets you into eight buildings near the Mississippi.
Finish your afternoon by browsing local art at the Hannibal Arts Council's new Home for the Arts on Main Street or Ayers Pottery, just a few blocks from the river.
Check in for your overnight stay at the Garth Woodside Mansion, a birthday cake of a Victorian house where Twain stayed, or the lavish Reagan's Queen Anne Bed and Breakfast, in walking distance of downtown.
For dinner, try the Ole Planters Restaurant. The menu declares, "Our Specialty: Homemade Pie," and the owners mean it. From-scratch German chocolate is a local favorite. They're also known for barbecue.
To round out the day, see Twain's modern-day counterpart, Richard Garey, perform Mark Twain Himself at Planter's Barn Theater (May to September).
Enjoy the regular breakfast at your B&B, or make reservations ahead for "Breakfast with Twain," featuring Richard Garey, at Reagan's Queen Anne Bed and Breakfast (available select days in summer).
Depending on the weather and the time of year, you can spend part of the second day underground-or on the river.
Samuel Clemens immortalized the underground passages of Mark Twain Cave Complex, where he played as a boy, when he wrote about Tom and Becky getting lost in McDougal's Cave. Guided tours, available year-round, last about an hour. See A Mark Twain Live Show along with the cave tour in the summer.
The Mark Twain Riverboat plies the Mississippi on sightseeing tours and dinner cruises, available seasonally.
Before heading out of town, stop by Riverview Park, a 465-acre park off Harrison Hill Road that features a statue of Samuel Clemens and one of the area's best Mississippi River overlooks.
For more information: Hannibal Convention and Visitors Bureau (866) 263-4825; visithannibal.com