THE BEST WAY TO HANNIBAL, MO.

From LAX, American and Southwest offer nonstop service to St. Louis. Connecting service (change of planes) is offered on United, American, Frontier, Air Tran, Continental, US Airways, Midwest Express and Delta. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $306. Hannibal sits about 100 miles northwest of St. Louis, along the Mississippi River.

WHERE TO STAY

Garth Woodside Mansion Bed & Breakfast, 11069 New London Road, Hannibal; (573) 221-2789 or (888) 427-8409, http://www.garthmansion.com. The three-story 1874 mansion sits on the edge of town and features eight bedrooms, two llamas in the yard and sprawling grounds. Also on-site, the Woodside restaurant serves breakfast and dinner. Rates usually $175-$395 a night, discounts sometimes available. For an extra $20 a couple, breakfast and dinner are included.

Best Western on the River, 401 N. 3rd St., Hannibal; (573) 248-1150 or (800) WESTERN (937-8376), http://www.bestwestern.com. It isn't really on the river — that's a few blocks away — and its looks are drab, but this hotel is convenient to downtown Hannibal, and its 77 rooms were remodeled in 2009. Indoor pool. Rates usually $80-$100 a night.

WHERE TO EAT

Mark Twain Ice & Coal, 201 Broadway, Hannibal; (573) 221-3332. A convenient spot for coffee, pastries, sandwiches or a browse through owner Harold Pickern's paintings of weather-beaten American cars in wide-open American spaces. Menu tops off with sandwiches at about $5.50.

Mark Twain Dinette & Family Restaurant, 400 N. 3rd St., Hannibal; (573) 221-5511. A local landmark since 1942 and an easy Twain-adjacent retreat for families with children. Pork tenderloins, onion rings and home-made root beer a specialty. Main dishes up to $9.25.

TO LEARN MORE

Mark Twain Childhood Home & Museum: http://www.marktwainmuseum.org.

Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce: http://www.hannibalchamber.org.

Missouri Division of Tourism: visitmo.com.