Hannibal is a Mississippi River town of 17,700. Famous for its hometown writer, Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), Hannibal is a tourist destination for the literary minded.
Visitors to the historic downtown and Main Street area can walk to a variety of Twain's childhood haunts: his boyhood home, the Mark Twain Museum and Becky Thatcher's House. Other Twain-inspired venues, including a haunted wax museum, theater and Tom Sawyer dioramas are also open downtown. Specialty, craft and antique shops, and restaurants, many with themes from Twain's novels, are plentiful. Visitors in July can join in fence painting and frog jumping contests at the Tom Sawyer Days festival.
Sightseeing tours, by trolley, bus or horse-drawn carriage, allow a broad overview of the city. For more active exploration, visitors can go underground into Mark Twain Cave or take a scenic Mississippi cruise on riverboat named for the city's native son. Hikes to the Mark Twain Lighthouse on Cardiff Hill and at Riverview Park provide eagle-eye views of the Mississippi and Hannibal.
Other outdoor activities include fishing and boating on the Mississippi and Mark Twain Lake. This 18,600-acre lake, 25 miles from Hannibal, is bordered by Mark Twain State Park. It is a popular sail boating and water sports venue. Camping, hunting, hiking and horseback riding trails are available around the lake.
Hannibal is located 120 miles north of St. Louis. It is accessible via U.S. Highways 36 and 61. There are a variety of national and locally owned hotels and bed and breakfasts in Hannibal. Lodging is also available near Mark Twain Lake.