As part of my first trip of 2016, I recently spent the night on the banks of the Mississippi in Hannibal, Missouri. The famous hometown of American author Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain), Hannibal is the perfect little getaway, steeped in history and charm.
We arrived in town just as it was starting to get dark and, unfortunately, after the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum (120 N. Main Street) and many of the local shops had closed.
Wrapped tightly in our winter layers, we headed out to explore the quiet downtown by the twinkling glow of the leftover holidays lights. After spending almost four hours in the car we stretched our legs with a slow climb to the city’s highest point for a nighttime view of Hannibal and the Mississippi River from the Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse.
Stomachs rumbling, we headed inland for dinner at the LaBinnah Bistro (207 N. 5th Street), a cozy, intimate restaurant located in a historic Hannibal home. Born in tribute to the Labinnah Social Club (which opened its doors on October 10, 1901), LaBinnah Bistro is a charmingly eclectic eatery that is as inviting as it is delicious. With bandana napkins, New York City themed appetizer plates and soft French melodies floating through the speakers, it’s easy to forget that you’re dining in Hannibal, Missouri.
After much deliberation and on a recommendation from our server, we opted for the Ulysses, a savory, bruschetta-like dish, as an appetizer followed by the applewood smoked pork chop and chicken florentine as main courses. Needless to say, everything was incredible and we wandered back to our hotel with full stomachs and heavy eyelids.
Our morning started early so we opted for breakfast to go, but I was majorly tempted by the Mark Twain Dinette‘s claim to be the “Home of Mark Twain Fried Chicken.”
Before climbing in the car for another day of driving (and avoiding the flooding happening to the south), we stopped in at Java Jive (211 N. Main Street). The store was the first coffee shop west of the Mississippi River and perfect for our morning caffeine fix.
While our time in Hannibal was short, I would definitely recommend a day trip or overnight to this historic town. I’m hoping to return sometime soon to soak up more history and enjoy more time along the banks of the Mississippi!
Have you been to Hannibal, Missouri? What was your favorite part of the city?