Show-Me Five: Things to See and Do in Hannibal

There’s a lot to do in Hannibal. I mean, just look at this list of events and this list of things to do and see over the next couple of months.

But let’s step back for a bit. If there were only five things you could do – think a one-day trip – what would you do? Here’s a quick list to get you inspired.

1. Visit Java Jive, order a coffee and stroll around downtown.
Java Jive

Java Jive has some really great coffee to go with their really great decor. I didn’t get around to trying their food, but I’m sure it’s on par with the rest. Java Jive is also attached to Ayers Pottery, which makes lead-free, food-safe, functional and beautiful pottery. Ayers Pottery  is a good starting point to walking the rest of North Third Street, which is lined with boutiques, museums and other shops. Take your coffee, and your time, exploring some really unique and fascinating shops.

2. Take a guided tour of Mark Twain Cave.

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Mark Twain Cave is an amazing experience. Couple the wandering tunnels with the history and tales told by the guide and you become lost in the cave’s staggering story. The cave has  260 passages that cover six and a half miles. Along the tour you pass history markers and learn about the generations that etched their names into some of the stone. What’s most interesting is even with his deep history inside the cave, Mark Twain’s own name has yet to be discovered. You know it’s in there somewhere.

3. Dine at the Becky Thatcher 3rd Street Diner.
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The Becky Thatcher 3rd Street Diner is not only cozy (just look at it’s 50s decor), but it also caters to the vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free foodies of the world. The Diner’s food is good, too. If you’re going, get something healthy, the quinoa salad hits the spot. If you’re going to get something, well, not so healthy, the coconut cream pie and/or apple pie will satisfy that craving.

4. Walk down to the Hannibal riverfront and take a narrated cruise on the Mark Twain Riverboat.
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The Hannibal riverfront and the Mark Twain Riverboat are a brisk walk from the Diner. You should explore the riverfront before boarding; there’s the Mark Twain statue at Glascocks Landing and the Schartz Gardens. When you do board and depart from the dock, you’ll be delighted by the wittily narrated Hannibal tales told by Captain Steve Terry. He serves the perfect proportion of story to wit as you cruise up and down the Mississippi River. On a nice day, there’s nothing more peaceful than the views and stories of the Hannibal area.

5. Visit the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum and immerse yourself in Mark Twain history.

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There’s so much to see — and do — at the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum. There are plenty of exhibits to immerse yourself in the fascinating life of Mark Twain. If you’ve read any of Twain’s books, or even if you haven’t had the chance to, you’ll enjoy exploring and getting your hands on the many exhibits that showcase his stories excellently. You can also learn about Twain himself and Hannibal, the inspiration for many of his stories.

I’m only tipping the iceberg on what you can do in Hannibal. Enjoy yourself at one of the charming and deliciously fun restaurants downtown . There’s the Hannibal History Museum, which heralds an abundance of old artifacts and photos. You can go on ghost tours, visit a lighthouse, sip on some wine at the winery… Hannibal is a lot of fun and if you have the chance to visit sometime, you should absolutely take that opportunity.

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