We road-tripped to Hannibal, Missouri which is 100 miles northwest of St. Louis over Memorial Day weekend. Our goal was to visit the Mark Twain boyhood home and museum and spend the day exploring the town and maybe squeeze in a cave tour. We were lucky and able to experience all three things!
We took a scenic route up there that took us along Highway 79 and through historic Clarksville, Missouri. This town is also one of the largest migrating areas for the Bald Eagle. This charming town is filled with lots of antique shops and provides an up-close view of the Mississippi River.
The river town of Hannibal, Missouri was the inspiration for Mark Twain’s novels- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Adventures of Tom Sawyer. We were able to secure a nice discount to Mark Twain’s Boyhood Home and Interpretive Center on Groupon so be sure to check that out before heading over. The tour gives you access to all the main places- Mark Twain’s boyhood home, Becky Thatcher’s house, Huckleberry Finn’s house, and the Museum Gallery which features 15 original Norman Rockwell paintings. We spent considerable time viewing all the buildings and experiencing all the interactive features.
We ended our day’s adventures with a tour to Mark Twain’s cave. The cave plays a significant role in many of Twain’s novels. It was cold, dark and scary back in those days with only candles as their primary source of light. The tour plays on this and is filled with many creepy stories- fortunately there are plenty of lights throughout! Also- in 1879, Jesse James used the cave as a hide-away place after bank robberies. It was cool to think we were walking through the same caves that held so much history. If only rocks could talk!