One of the world’s greatest travelers, Mark Twain once said, (we won’t reference the common Twain quote here) “…nothing so liberalizes a man and expands the kindly instincts that nature put in him as travel and contact with many kinds of people.” During our International travels we sometimes come across Mark Twain monuments indicating his prior visit. The man got around.
Mark Twain was born in what is still very rural Missouri. When you inform people that Mark Twain was born in Florida, they automatically think the state and for good reason. His birthplace is actually the tiny historic village of Florida, Missouri which one can still visit and trace some of the Twain family heritage. Nearby is the Mark Twain Birthplace State Historic Site – a modern museum and structure that houses the tiny wooden home that Mark Twain was born in – in 1835. Mark and his family lived in this ramshackle home for 4 years. This site is located within the Mark Twain State Park – containing other Mark Twain named items of interest including the sizable Mark Twain Lake (popular for boating and fishing).
Some 45 minutes away, visitors can stop by the historic town of Hannibal and check out the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum. Located within walking distance of the great Mississippi River (shoutout here to the iconic country crooner Charlie Pride for his “Roll on Mississippi” song) Mark’s boyhood home is displayed next to the famous white washed picket fence. A number of other historically relevant Twain associated buildings are on site including the “Becky Thatcher” house and several replica homes.
This museum also has one of the world’s largest collections of original Normal Rockwell paintings.
From the museum one can walk or make a very short drive to downtown Hannibal. Or just meander down to to the banks of the Mississippi River.