The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium is the centerpiece of the tri-state area when it comes to museums.

Visitors to this Smithsonian-affiliated museum can take in the sights of North American river otters and an American alligator, learn about the history of rivers’ role in transportation and tour a 1934 dredge boat, among a bevy of different activities. The museum also features different rotating exhibits and a 4D theater.

The museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A general admission ticket is $19.95 for adults, $17.95 for seniors and $14.95 for youth, with options to add on to see films or participate in a stingray feeding.

Dubuque Museum of Art: It has a rich permanent art collection of approximately 2,200 works, including one of the world’s largest collections of Grant Wood art. The museum is also home to a rare and complete collection of Edward S. Curtis’ photogravures of the North American Indian and is the repository for the work of world-renowned artist, etcher and illustrator Arthur Geisert.

Other area museums

Please check ahead to see if each of the following are open.

Delaware County Historical Museum complex, Hopkinton, Iowa: The old Lenox College campus is dotted with sites.

Doll & Toy Museum, Fennimore, Wis.: You’ll find lots of colorful examples on display from the 1800s to 2010s.

Dyer-Bostsford Doll Museum, Dyersville, Iowa: A 19th-century Victorian home houses a huge collection.

George Maier Rural Heritage Center, Elkader, Iowa: A display of thousands of artifacts from Midwest rural living since the 1850s.

Lockmaster’s Heritage House Museum, Guttenberg, Iowa: The last lockmaster house along the Mississippi still in its original location.

National Farm Toy Museum, Dyersville, Iowa: The history of agriculture is exhibited through toys of all sizes.

National Brewery Museum, Potosi, Wis.: Take a tour of the brewery and view a vast collection.

Railroad Historical Museum, Fennimore, Wis.: You’ll find “Dinky” the train and all things railroad in this complex.

The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, Galena, Ill.: Boasts a variety of styles and exhibits.

Woodbine (Ill.) Glass Museum & Gift Shop: Hand-blown glass displays and antique works from around the world.