Hit these diverse historic sites and museums on a road trip along the Mississippi.

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, Collinsville, Illinois

Earthen mounds mark the ghostly footprint of a great Native American city that rose and mostly vanished before Columbus ever left Europe. (Interpretive center at Cahokia Mounds currently closed for renovations, but visitors can still access Monks Mound and trails.)

Georgia Street Historic District, Louisiana, Missouri

The thoroughfares of the antebellum-style area that's on the National Register of Historic Places have been called the state's most intact Victorian streetscapes.

National Great Rivers Museum, Alton, Illinois

Look below the literal and figurative surface with exhibits at the National Great Rivers Museum about the river valley's history and aquariums stocked with native species. Learn about locks on a guided tour.

Kaskaskia Bell State Memorial, Kaskaskia, Illinois

The "Liberty Bell of the West" was a gift from France's King Louis XV. It's housed in the only Illinois town west of the Mississippi. (An 1881 flood rerouted the river.)

New Madrid Historical Museum, New Madrid, Missouri

Learn how earthquakes along the town's famous fault line made the Mississippi briefly flow backward in 1811 and 1812. A seismograph at the museum shows activity today.