Blake Walsh

25 Best Things to Do in Hannibal, MO

  • Published 2023/03/29

Are you interested in visiting a city that is full of culture and memories of the fascinating people it once homed?

Hannibal is the one you have been looking for.

This small, beautiful city in Missouri is bursting with history and culture.

With a great number of tourist attractions and spots to hang around, this place has a variety of cool spots for you to explore.

From wildlife sanctuaries and beautiful parks to fascinating museums that showcase the homes of a famous author and a Titanic passenger, the city is brimming with amazing places to explore.

Are you interested in making this captivating city your next travel destination?

Check out this list of the best things to do in Hannibal, Missouri:

Hike to the Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse

Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse

K. Bradley Washburn /

This memorial lighthouse was built in memory of the late Mark Twain.

He was a very famous writer, author, lecturer, intellectual, and critical thinker back in the day, and this memorial lighthouse is a tribute to him.

Stairs leading to Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse

Terry Ballard from Merrick, New York, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you are into literature, this place is truly unmissable, since you can get learn everything about this very famous author.

The Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse gives a panoramic view of the whole town, which is a very beautiful sight.

It is a nice place to go for a quick hike.

The lighthouse is lit up at night and looks extremely beautiful!

This attraction is full of history and memories and truly is a must-visit if you are in or around Hannibal.

Explore the Caves at Jesse James Hideout

Mark Twain Cave

Superphoebe a.k.a. Phoebe Owens, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This adventurous cave and camping ground is the most fun place you are going to come across in this city.

You can walk through the caves and experience how cavemen lived in the past.

Jesse James Hideout is also great for camping in tents to give you the best experience of it all.

Neon sign at Jesse James Hideout

Logan Bush /

The spot all comes with a winery, just in case you might like to unwind with a glass of wine.

What could be more fun than camping out in a cave and going wine tasting?

This experience is surely going to be a memorable one.

Join the Thrilling Haunted Hannibal Ghost Tours

If you are into horror and spooky fiction, this attraction is for you.

The tale tells that the Hannibal History Museum is haunted.

Perfect for those interested in learning more about these scary stories, the Haunted Hannibal Ghost Tours are held at this venue every night.

The museum holds a lot of the culture and history of Hannibal, but you get to see another side of it during the ghost tours.

There’s a cemetery right beside the museum, which makes the experience even spookier and more thrilling.

Explore Hannibal’s Vibrant Downtown Area


Photos BrianScantlebury /

The best part about every city is its downtown area, don’t you think?

Well, this is the case for Hannibal.

Its downtown area is full of shops and food centers.

The beautiful little eateries are definitely among the area’s must-visit spots.

Street view of Downtown Hannibal

Sabrina Janelle Gordon /

Downtown Hannibal is beautifully lit up at night, making it an amazing experience.

The small bakeries here have outdoor seating, and the whole vibe of this place is very positive and beautiful.

Spending time downtown can be a very soothing and serene experience, and it will surely fill your heart with joy.

You can go here to go shopping, explore some nice cafes, or simply breathe in some fresh air.

Do not miss a visit to the downtown area if you want to experience the true beauty and serenity of Hannibal.

Have a Picnic at Huckleberry Park

The ideal spot for picnicking, recreational sports, and hiking, Huckleberry Park has got you covered for all your needs.

You can visit this park to casually hang around, have a picnic, or enjoy sports like bike riding, hiking, running, volleyball, football, and more.

From disc golf to baseball and tennis to Frisbee, this park has got it all.

To add to your experience, this park also has an area where visitors may go fishing and have some fun in the water.

You can also watch the wildlife and the beautiful scenery that this place offers.

The experience in this park is going to be truly soothing; such is the beauty of this place.

Enjoy a Relaxing Stroll around Nipper Park

Nipper Park is a small waterfront park with a fountain.

It is a simple little park with a nice walking path to see the mighty Mississippi.

The park is a nice place to chill and watch the sunset.

It has lots of room for visitors to run around.

There’s also a neat swing for parents and babies, along with a really big shelter house.

Nipper Park comes with a nice view of the river to walk around the track, plus tranquil nature trails.

You can feel the cool air coming out of the park’s cave entrances.

The Hannibal Parks and Rec. Department hosts a scavenger hunt for the park, and it is a great way to engage in some events and win amazing prizes.

Do check this park out if you are in Hannibal.

Go Hiking in the Julian Steyermark Woods Conservation Area

The Julian Steyermark Woods Conservation Area is a great place for hiking and for watching wildlife.

This park has a lot of well-maintained and beautiful trails where you and your family can walk, go hiking, or simply ride your bike.

The scenic beauty of this place is mesmerizing.

The views at the top of the trails will make the whole journey worth it.

At the Julian Steyermark Woods Conservation Area, you can experience and watch the local wildlife of the area and take loads of amazing photos.

You can simply come here by yourself and enjoy the beauty of nature, read a book, meditate, or just sit and hang around.

The beauty and scenery of this park would most definitely not fail you.

Snap Photos with the Wax Statues at Haunted House on Hill Street

This wax museum on Hill Street is spooky, fun, and a great place for both kids and adults.

There are a lot of unique displays around this place, promising a memorable experience for you and your family.

Haunted House on Hill Street is best known for its wax statues of various famous artists and singers, which will blow you away as they look extremely real.

You’ll surely enjoy taking photos with them to post on Instagram!

Explore the Hannibal History Museum

The Hannibal History Museum has various exhibits exploring local history.

You can get to experience the amazing Harry Potter Christmas carnival here.

The museum also puts on a lot of other fantastic events for visitors’ amusement.

The Hannibal History Museum gives you all the details on the life of Mark Twain and his hometown.

They produce the Big River Steampunk Festival every Labour Day, where 15,000 people in top hats and goggles take over the charming town.

It is truly a mesmerizing experience.

This museum is also where you can get tickets to Hannibal’s famous ghost tours.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors at Riverview Park

Riverview Park

Weldon Schloneger /

Riverview Park is all about scenic woods, hiking, and wildlife.

It is a beautiful place to witness the first signs of spring.

View of Missippi river from Riverview Park

Patrick Jennings /

The park is the ideal venue for hiking and admiring the spring beauty and blood roots blooming.

It is home to an interesting spring house and a waterfall on the extended loop.

Mark Twain statue at Riverview Park

Jim Roberts, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Riverview Park is a great spot for a nice walk and has lots of wildlife tracks for you to experience.

You can view ducks, deer, coyotes, and wild dogs, and even go fishing.

Spot Wildlife in Their Natural Habitat at Sodalis Nature Preserve

Sodalis Nature Preserve is a very famous tourist attraction in Hannibal.

Comprising a nature park and garden, this place preserves a lot of species of flora and fauna.

It is an amazing wildlife sanctuary with such a beautiful diversity of wildlife for you to watch.

You can get an experience of the most exotic of species of animals and take the most beautiful pictures.

This place is great for wildlife photographers and those who simply want to admire the beautiful scenery of Hannibal.

Visit the Rockcliffe Mansion

Snow covered Rockcliffe Mansion

Rockcliffemansion, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Rockcliffe Mansion offers a fantastic tour at a bargain of a price.

If you are into exploring historical monuments, this is the place for you.

This amazing mansion in Hannibal is a really grand and opulent 19th-century B&B.

It was built in the 1890s, and the preservation of this grand house is simply astonishing.

The proprietors will welcome you with a lovely experience, starting with wine and cheese upon arrival.

Tours of the historic mansion are always delightful.

The mansion is absolutely remarkable, and its architecture and furniture are extremely gorgeous.

You should most definitely check this place out for yourself.

Learn about the Famous Titanic Passenger at the Molly Brown Birthplace Museum

Almost everyone is a fan of the Titanic movie.

If you are, this place is going to be really interesting for you.

The Molly Brown Birthplace Museum is the former home of the famous Titanic passenger, Molly Brown.

Her home has been preserved and transformed into a tourist site.

It is her original home and is currently owned by the city of Hannibal.

This place is a jewel in disguise.

It is going to be a great experience for anyone interested in American history, specifically feminism and the Titanic tragedy.

See the Vintage Displays at Karlocks Kars and Pop Culture

Karlocks Kars and Pop Culture is like heaven for car lovers.

This place is full of high-tech infrastructure and architecture and holds a great collection of automobiles, ranging from ancient to modern cars.

The museum houses unique old cars that date back from the ’20s through the ’60s.

These cars are treated like works of art, and the museum space is a tastefully restored warehouse.

Karlocks Kars and Pop Culture is a cool pop culture museum with classic cars, arcade games, jukeboxes, and more.

The museum also has tons of awesome toys from 1900 or later.

This place is definitely a must-visit if you are in town.

Visit Big River Train Town

Big River Train Town is known for its old-fashioned toy trains and memorabilia.

The place makes a lot of efforts to maintain and operate the train museum.

It is a great attraction for people who love trains and automobiles.

The museum offers the whole experience at a very pocket-friendly price, and it is truly a must-visit if you are into trains.

Spend a Night under the Stars at the Mark Twain Cave & Campground

The Mark Twain Cave & Campground is a majestic cave complex offering 99 campsites surrounded by gorgeous natural scenery.

This is Missouri’s largest cave system and the only show cave in the state.

Here, you can enjoy the various views of Hardin County, not to mention the stunning rock formations and 260 passageways.

The picturesque grounds are perfect for spending quiet evenings under the stars.

If you’re interested in exploring these winding tunnels, you can join a guided tour of the cavern that gave inspiration to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is arguably one of America’s favorite books, written by one of the country’s most famous authors, Mark Twain.

This tourist attraction offers a nice cool change from the scorching heat, and it comes with a tour guide who you’ll truly appreciate.

The water from the creek feels great, and you sleeping below all these big trees at night will bring you a lot of comfort during camping time.

Leave Your Love Locks on the Fence of Lover’s Leap

Bird's eye view from Lover's Leap


Lover’s Leap is a five-acre piece of land along the south edge of town that sits atop a bluff next to highway 79.

It’s famous for its view of the Mississippi River, Hannibal, and miles across into Illinois.

There’s even a barbecue grill, shelter, historical information, benches, and a lighted flag for your enjoyment.

Lover's Leap at Hannibal

Sandra.Loving.Life /

At Lover’s Leap, you’ll see a fence lined with padlocks on it.

This is because many visitors have started writing their names on them and then placing the lock there as if to say that they were “locked in love” when visiting the site.

The road up Lover’s Leap is steep and short, so driving your car up is discouraged.

Hitting the summit will provide visitors with a beautiful panoramic view across the city.

Enjoy a Game of Bowling at Ten Pin Alleys

It’s all about having fun at Ten Pin Alleys, which is why you’ll feel like you’ll never want to leave once it’s time to bowl with your friends and family.

With an automatic scoring system, 16 bowling lanes, a food service, and a bar, Ten Pin Alleys has all the amenities a person needs when spending time with loved ones.

The bowling alley can also help you welcome more competition into your life, as they offer a slew of bowling leagues.

You can always sign up if you feel like tapping into your competitive side.

Ten Pin Alleys is more than your traditional bowling alley.

It’s a fun, ideal place to go for late-night galactic bowling, delicious battered chicken sandwich meals at very affordable prices, and friendly customer service.

Enjoy Wine Tasting at Cave Hollow West Winery

For a taste of exquisite Missouri wines, try samples offered by Cave Hollow West Winery.

The winery is right on Cave Hollow Road welcoming guests with a relaxing, laid-back ambiance.

Since 2012, owner Linda Coleberd serves small batches of quality wines produced by their partner, West Winery.

Try their featured Mark Twain Series exclusively at the tasting room and you’re sure to enjoy the experience.

Savor a glass of Smokestack White, a Vidal and Chardonel dry, with a bright and fruity flavor and clean finish, or try something semi-dry and lively like a Little Red Caboose.

Let other flavorful wines linger in your mouth like the Roundhouse Red, Vidal Blanc, White Catawba, and so much more.

Enjoy wines by the glass or bottle at Cave Hollow West Winery.

Visit the Jim’s Journey: The Huck Finn Freedom Center

An interesting attraction you can visit downtown is Jim’s Journey: The Huck Finn Freedom Center located on North 3rd Street.

The center pays tribute to Daniel Quarles’ fictional counterpart Jim and also serves as Northeast Missouri’s only African American history museum.

Quarles was a slave in Hannibal during the 1890s and the center features his legacy allowing visitors to learn about the African-American heritage during the city’s founding.

Browse through the eye-opening exhibits and step into the early days of slavery and the stories of resilience that shaped the community.

Learn about significant events in history through firsthand pieces of evidence like rare historic and legal documents.

See over 600 artifacts including old photos, memorabilia, and art objects representing that era.

You’ll also find more about Mark Twain’s inspiration and have a deeper understanding of his works.

Visit Jim’s Journey: The Huck Finn Freedom Center on the weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

View More Exhibits at the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum

Exterior of Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum

Andrew Balet, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Have more learning experiences with the family at the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum.

Step inside the Norman Rockwell Gallery and learn about the artist behind the Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn illustrations.

You can also catch the 7th-grade students portraying Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher through a contest run by the Hannibal Chamber of Commerce from February to the 4th of July every year.

If you’re visiting from June to August, come by on a Thursday evening and join the Music Under the Stars.

This free concert features different music genres from Jazz, Soul, and Blues, to Reggae, Southern Rock, and more; likewise, you’ll enjoy assorted food to enjoy with the music.

Come and tour the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum on North Main Street.

Watch Excellent Stage Productions at the Bluff City Theater

Founded in 2013,Bluff City Theater features stage adaptations mostly of different literary works.

Enjoy first-class live theater plays performed by a remarkable mix of professional directors, actors, musicians, and technicians.

Relax and get immersed in each performance at this 90-seat theater auditorium with an intimate setting and excellent acoustics.

Get tickets online and check out upcoming stage performances; you can also catch some updates on Free Season Theater Shows.

Aside from regular productions, you can also join featured events like lectures, films, and visual art presentations.

You’ll find the Bluff City Theater at 212 Broadway.

Head Downtown and See Hannibal’s Street Murals

While the city is known as America’s Hometown, you’ll find that it has plenty of art stops you can admire.

Take time to stroll downtown and see each of Hannibal’s Street Murals.

More than 25 murals and friezes are dotted around local businesses and the historic area, along with areas around Market Streets and Broadway, most of which were artistic creations of artists Bob Allen and Ray Harvey.

It was in 2019 during Hannibal’s Bicentennial that “Ghost Sign” advertisements by local Hannibal businesses like the Ladies Shoe, Diamond Jo Line Steamers, and the Bear Creek Lime Co. were started, and more murals were followed after that.

See the Sam Clemens/American Flag at Mark Twain Avenue which rightly represents America’s Hometown.

There’s more of Tom Sawyer and Mark Twain on the mural at South Third, featuring the famed author and his mischievous character.

On North Main, you’ll come across the Hannibal Union Depot and Hannibal Street Railway Trolley honoring the old railroad and streetcar company that ran during the late 1800s.

Meet Huck Finn and Molly Brown on the North Main murals and take a peek at the Farming and Freedom mural which symbolizes the local agriculture industry.

Spot more of Hannibal’s Street Murals along South Third, South Main, and Bird Street, and you’re sure to enjoy taking pictures, appreciating the artwork, and learning more about Hannibal through these artistic expressions.

Final Thoughts

Some small cities just have that charm about them.

Take Hannibal, for example, with its rolling hills and enchanting buildings.

No matter what type of luxury you’re looking for, this charming city is guaranteed to provide.

From tours of Mark Twain’s boyhood home to meeting beautiful creatures at wildlife preserves, there’s always a memorable experience waiting for everyone who comes to Hannibal.

See also: Best Restaurants in Hannibal, MO

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