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Garth Woodside Mansion
www.weloveourlife.com. This is our page dedicated to our experiences while staying at
Garth Woodside Mansion in Hannibal, Missouri.
Regarding the amenities, they are mostly all the things in the accommodations. Besides the cottage we stayed in there were an additional two cottages, both with hot tubs outside. There are an additional eight rooms in the main house. The inn offers plenty of DVDs. A particularly nice feature is an on-site restaurant.
There is a restaurant on-site and while we were there, one dinner was included in our two-night reservation (it included the food, while we paid taxes, liquor, and tip). Their menu changes daily and features several entrees. The restaurant is sort of a large sunroom addition to the back of the house with lots of windows that overlook the grounds. The restaurant offers a full bar and we chose a bottle of Cakebread white wine to accompany our meal. The dinner began with warm rolls and garlic butter. We were then served salads. Lori chose a pasta dish with chicken and Keith had a large stuffed chicken breast. Dinner was a wonderful pastry stuffed with brie and accompanied by some vanilla ice cream. After dinner, we got glasses of sambuca to take back to our cottage. This was the one sour note – when we sipped the sambuca it had turned and was undrinkable. Our guess is it was sitting there in an open bottle at the bar for some time and perhaps not many people order sambuca in Hannibal!
Because we stayed in a cottage, breakfast was brought to us. There was a pocket door that we pulled shut to our bedroom. In the morning shortly before 9, they would enter our cottage and set the table with breakfast. They would then flick a switch that turned on a little red light in the sleeping area indicating that breakfast was ready. What a neat idea! You get served a warm breakfast but don’t even have to see anyone – we could sit there in our robes.
On our first morning we were served a vegetable frittata that was quite delicious, accompanied by muffins and fresh fruit. On the second morning we had pecan French toast and more fresh fruit. They served a carafe of a delicious fruit juice – not your typical orange juice but more of a purplish color – we’re not sure what it was; perhaps some sort of guava berry concoction, but we both liked it.
Our guess is John’s wife Julie is the cook (she seemed to be the chef at dinner) and she is very good.
There is a full bar in the restaurant but it’s more of a place where the alcohol comes from – the place isn’t meant to be a bar scene where people hang out. That just wouldn’t fit in with the peaceful, laidback atmosphere.
The innkeepers and the servers in the restaurant were unfailingly pleasant and friendly. John and Julie obviously are doing something they love and they seem to relish it. We would recommend this place – based on what we saw, we think it’s the nicest place in the Hannibal area.
We went to Hannibal to see where Mark Twain grew up. There were several attractions we visited – check out our Missouri travelogue for details.
Mark Twain Cave - 300 Cave Hollow Road Hannibal, MO 573-221-1656
Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum - 208 Hill Street Hannibal, MO 573-221-9010
Mark Twain Riverboat - Center Street Landing Hannibal, MO 573-221-3222
We took a one-hour cruise that departed at 1:30 p.m. Guests could sit inside on the main deck, inside or outside on the second floor, or outside on the top deck. Drinks and snacks are available on the main deck and we each had a glass of wine. We initially planned to sit on the top deck and get a little sun but the boat moves slowly and it was simply too warm, so we treated down one deck where we sat at a table outside that was covered. The crew was super friendly. The cruise is narrated and when the captain isn’t speaking, beware – they play banjo music. They also offer dinner and jazz cruises that are longer in duration (our cruise was one hour). We were glad we did this although we have to admit that the Mississippi is easily the muddiest river we’ve ever seen!
Lulabelle’s Restaurant – 111 Bird Street Hannibal, MO 573-221-6662
Every entrée comes with peel & eat shrimp, Caesar salad, fresh bread, and baked potato topped with butter, sour cream, green onion, bleu cheese crumbles, and bacon bits (or whatever combination of those toppings is desired). Guests can also substitute steamed broccoli, fettuccine alfredo, or twice baked potato. Keith doesn’t do shrimp and Lori happily scarfed up his. Keith had a pasta dish with sausage – there had to be at least a pound of pasta in it! Lori had shrimp scampi and was thrilled to discover it was simply shrimp in scampi sauce and not over a bed of pasta or rice. We had a chilled bottle of white wine with dinner. Service was good and it was a nice upscale (yet relaxed) experience. We definitely recommend this place.
There are bars along Main Street but we didn’t stay to see if there was any real nightlife. Before we went to Lulabelle’s we sat outside a bar along Main Street having a couple drinks and watching the people go by.
We visited Hannibal the first week of September. It is usually hot and humid but we had unseasonably cooler weather – although it still got warm during the day.
We realize Hannibal attracts people because of Mark Twain and there are places to stay in town. Garth Woodside Mansion is only a couple miles from town but miles away in atmosphere – you feel like you’re out in the woods. Stay here!