Fans of the renowned American author Samuel Langhorne Clemens - better known as Mark Twain - should add Hannibal, Missouri to their list of travel destinations. The small town on the Mississippi River is home to the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum. And there's no better day to start planning that trip than this week: the author of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was born 181 years ago this week.
Hannibal made such an impression on Twain - who lived there from age 4 to 18 - that it became the basis for the fictional town of St. Petersburg, the home of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. The Twain Museum in Hannibal is spread out over five buildings - including the house where the Clemens family lived from 1844-1853, and the home of Laura Hawkins (the inspiration for Tom’s crush Becky Thatcher).
The museum's collection includes a wide variety of Twain relics. Rare first editions of his works, his writing desk and typewriter, an extensive archive of personal photographs, and 15 original Norman Rockwell paintings that were created for special editions of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.
Visitors can also recreate one of Twain's most famous scenes by rolling up their sleeves and whitewashing a vintage fence. Other interactive galleries include recreations of the graveyard, the cave, and other scenes from Twain’s works.
Unfortunately, the museum doesn't offer rafting excursions along the Mississippi River.
Check out this video tour produced by Live Fast, Die Poor.
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