Yes, you will find Mark Twain and the Mississippi River, obviously. (If this wasn’t obvious, you may want to hit up our attractions pages and then re-visit this blog post.) But here are some things you may not expect to find in the town that inspired Mr. Twain.
1. Cave-Aged Cheese. Huh? That’s right; cave-aged cheese. You can enjoy a glass of wine at Cave Hollow West Winery with cheese aged in the world-famous Mark Twain Cave – monitored from Heartland Dairy. Pretty high-tech for an age-old process.
2. Jewelry created by Indigenous people of North America. Native American Trading Company boasts a huge selection of hand-crafted sterling silver creations, including rare varieties of turquoise from mines in the American Southwest.
3. An 18-hole mini-golf course certified by the Professional Miniature Golf Association. We don’t know what’s more unexpected; the fact that we have a certified PMGA course, or the fact that the PMGA is an actual thing. Regardless, Sawyer’s Creek Fun Park boasts a course certified by the Professional Miniature Golf Association. (Pro tip: DO NOT ask a golfer on the Professional Miniature Golf Association circuit if they win a mini green jacket if they win the mini-golf Masters. They don’t see the humor in it.)
4. Fireworks. They’re not just for the 4th of July! Unlike some of our less-explosive neighboring states, fireworks are indeed legal for out-of-state visitors to purchase in Missouri year-round. That’s why we have The Fireworks Superstore – Missouri’s largest fireworks showroom. Boom.
5. Wax Museum. Think Madame Tussaud’s meets Mark Twain. 27 life-sized wax figures, based on Mark Twain’s characters were lovingly carved many years ago by sculptor Martin Krewson. The museum is just a stone’s throw away from Twain’s boyhood home. Why? Because everyone should be immortalized in wax.
6. Cliff Edwards. This is one of Hannibal’s lesser-known notables. You may have never heard of him, but we bet you’ve heard him; he was the voice of Disney’s Jiminy Cricket! Find out about his life and surprisingly large career at the Hannibal History Museum.
7. Ilasco. How many towns can claim they are named for the ingredients of cement? Ilasco certainly can; it was a company town for the nearby cement company, Atlas Portland Cement Company hired many European Immigrants to work in the mines, and this town contained many private businesses and residences. Although it is no longer there, a memorial stands to the workers who came to this area, working for a better life. Oh, and in case you are wondering, the ingredients are: iron, lime, alumina, silica, coal and oxygen.