Sailing the Mighty Mississippi with Twain

Enjoy a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi River in Hannibal.

Enjoy a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi River in Hannibal.

Growing up, if you asked me my favorite place to visit, I would have said the library. I loved to read everything, from Judy Blume to J.K. Rowling, and of course, being a Missouri girl, Mark Twain.

I was fascinated with the way his novels and short stories offered a great adventure you could revel in – one that led you to imagine you were on these explorations right along with the characters.

So naturally, I have always wanted to travel to Hannibal, to see Mark Twain’s hometown and the places that inspired so many of his famous works.

I wanted to see the great outdoors Twain wrote about so eloquently. I wanted to see the river boats, the ever-so-famous cave, and the quaint little town along the Mighty Mississippi for myself.

After years of thinking about it, a trip to Hannibal finally materialized for me. I did not have an itinerary set; I wanted my sight-seeing to be more laid back so I could take in everything that Hannibal had to offer.

Not having a plan, I stumbled upon the Mark Twain Riverboat cruise. This was possibly the greatest discovery on my trip!

The cruise allowed for a different perspective of the town and introduced me to the life Samuel Clemens lived as a riverboat pilot. This hour-long cruise navigated along the Mississippi and offered a look at Hannibal that Twain himself saw when traveling the Mighty Mississippi in the late 1850s.

Lovers Leap offers a beautiful view of the Mississippi in Hannibal.

Lover’s Leap offers a beautiful view of the Mississippi in Hannibal.

The cruise offered information about the town in its early years, providing great commentary on the different sites you see along the river, and the remarkable legends that involve the town, including the famous Lover’s Leap.

If you are looking for a great weekend trip away from home, Hannibal is a must-see!

You get to experience how life as a riverboat pilot and explorer would have been. And, let’s face it, who hasn’t pictured themselves sailing the Mighty Mississippi River with the likes of Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, and Twain himself?

In Hannibal, you’ll be transported back in time, and will get a sense you are experiencing a classic adventure straight from one of Mark Twain’s novels.

Written by Brittney Mormann, summer intern for the Missouri Division of Tourism.

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