15 in ’15: Hannibal

This post is one in a series of 15 posts of 15 things to do in Missouri in 2015. Don’t miss these other “15 in ’15”  posts. Happy exploring in 2015 and enjoy the show!

With museums and art galleries, a famous cave and adventure on the Mississippi River, it’s fair to say there are a lot of things to see and do in Hannibal.

For one of Hannibal’s truly heart-pounding experiences, visit Cardiff Hill. At the top of Cardiff Hill, a beautiful lighthouse overlooks the Mississippi and provides a commanding view of downtown Hannibal.

And while the view is amazing, that’s not what affects your heart. No, your heart starts thumping when you climb the 244-steps it takes to get to the top.

Yes, 244. All the way up. Someone counted (not us).

The climb is invigorating, but might leave you wondering why you ate that second doughnut for breakfast or had an extra helping of dessert after lunch.

3292550995_3311e85ae7_zFortunately, you don’t have to climb all the way up to enjoy Cardiff Hill (plus, you can get to top by car, if you’re so inclined). One of its most-popular features, a statue of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, is right at the base of the hill. It’s a popular spot for photographs and a great tribute to two of hometown hero Mark Twain’s greatest literary creations.

If you don’t climb, you may have visions of Tom and Huck chiding you for a lack of adventurous spirit. It’s okay; just tell them you’re saving your energy for the other fun attractions Hannibal offers.

Another way to get your heart pumping – in a totally different way – is to try to the Drake Burger at Drakes Steak and Ale. It’s an open-faced steakburger on Texas toast. That’s harmless enough, right?

Well, things get cranked up when that burger gets loaded with an order of Drake Tails – curly fries covered in smoked pulled pork, smothered with cheese and a dose of barbecue sauce. It is, in fact, as good as it sounds.

Yes, you better pack an appetite. This isn’t a kiddie meal.


Of course Drakes has plenty of menu options from which to choose, including steaks, seafood, pork and chicken. They also have a nice selection of salads, if you’re so inclined (Tom and Huck won’t forgive you for that, though).

At the end of a long day exploring and dining in Hannibal, get a good night’s rest at one of the city’s bed and breakfast inns. Sleep in a bit, then let one of the friendly innkeepers worry about cooking and cleaning up after breakfast.

That gives you more time to explore all Hannibal has to offer, which earns a nod of approval from Tom and Huck and gets your heart pumping all over again.

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