Guide to Visiting
To ensure an excellent experience during your tour of the Mark Twain House, here are some guidelines and general information:
The House is Shown Only by Guided Tour.
The General House Tour takes 45 to 60 minutes, but we suggest you leave about two hours for your entire visit so you have time to see the Ken Burns film Mark Twain and our museum exhibits. Living History tours take 1 hour 15 minutes.
To ensure an optimum experience, house tours are limited to 14 people, first-come, first-served. If your group has more than 10 people, call (860) 280-3130 to reserve a discounted group tour in advance of your visit. If you have a party of fewer than 10 people feel free to purchase tickets online. We will hold them at Will Call. The tour schedule is usually online about a month in advance.
Tours fill up quickly on weekends and holidays.
The tour schedule changes daily, but we generally start a new tour every half hour. If you know the day you want to visit, we strongly encourage purchasing tickets in advance.
If you are planning a walk-in visit for a Saturday, please arrive on site as early as possible.
Saturday is our busiest day of the week, and we occasionally sell out our tours by early afternoon. Arriving early will increase your chances of getting on a tour.
Our site is made up of three buildings.
The Webster Bank Museum Center at the Mark Twain House & Museum is always your first and last stop as it houses our ticket counter, museum store, film, exhibits and café. All tours gather in the museum center before heading over to Mark Twain’s historic 1874 home. Any visit will include a short walk outdoors, between buildings. Paths around these buildings are made of stone and gravel that can be uneven and slippery in some weather. Mark Twain’s historic carriage house is the third building on our property, but is generally not open to the public. The hayloft has been repurposed into offices and the main floor of the barn is a space available for rent for parties and meetings. See more about Facility Rentals here.
The House Tour has a LOT of stairs and no elevator.
The Mark Twain House is three floors with 41 stairs up to the billiard room and 40 stairs back down to the kitchen. The first floor of the historic structure is wheelchair accessible. The Webster Bank Museum Center at the Mark Twain House & museum is fully wheelchair accessible. For more details about accessibility, click here.
We host many school field trips.
During the school year, we have lots of field trips. School field trips generally take place between 9:30 am and Noon. Longer wait times for tours may occur at these times.
Tours may not be suitable for some very young children.
Little ones 6 and under are certainly welcome on the hour-long tour; in fact, they get in free! However, a parent with a loud or disruptive child may be asked to leave the tour if the noise is detracting from the experience for others. We are happy to refund the money of any parent who needs to step out to care for a young child. The Living History and Graveyard Shift Ghost tours are not recommended for children younger than 10. We encourage parents use their discretion on whether a tour is right for their child.
Coupons & Discounts
The Mark Twain House offers only a few coupons and discounts. The price you pay for admission helps us maintain the beauty of this icon of American architecture, and supports the many public programs we offer throughout the year. If you are lucky enough to find one of those special offers online or at your local library, keep in mind they are good only for the general Mark Twain House Tours. No passes or discounts may be applied to our specialty tours.
Cell Phones and Photography
We ask visitors to turn off cell phones while on the guided tour.
Thank you for not taking photographs in our historic house. Our photography policy is in place for the safety of our visitors and the safety of our exceptional collections for future generations to enjoy.
We do not allow photography or videography while on tour of the Mark Twain House for several reasons:
- Flash photography is damaging to artifacts, especially textiles and paper.
- Some artifacts on display are on loan from institutions whose loan contracts require that their object not be photographed for proprietary reasons.
- Photography is distracting for other visitors.
- It is easy to trip or bump into an artifact when looking though a lens or at your cell-phone screen. Please respect our mission for preservation and our concern for your own personal safety.We welcome you to enjoy taking as many photographs of the exterior of the house as you like. As part of our special Living History tours, visitors are allowed to take photographs in the basement of the house.
Postcards with images of the interiors of the house are available for purchase in our gift shop, as is our pictorial guide to the house, The Loveliest Home That Ever Was by Steve Courtney, which includes stunning interior views by photographer John Groo.