National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Museum in Cincinnati
Image by Richard Cummins / Getty Images

Cincinnati was a prominent stop on the Underground Railroad and a hub for abolitionist activities. The center displays artifacts from the era, such as an eerie shackle-filled pen that once held slaves bound for auction. The museum also covers modern struggles for civil rights. The Rosa Parks virtual-reality exhibit ($5 extra) shows how it’s done: visitors don a headset and goggles, then sit on a 'bus' to stand in Parks’ shoes when she refused to give up her seat.

Other interactive exhibits let you flip through panels to determine which US presidents owned slaves, and let you listen to slaves’ stories. Start on the 3rd floor and work your way down.