The Great River Road

The town of Metropolis, Illinois (pop. 6,537), along the Ohio River 25 miles northeast of Cairo but most easily accessible via Paducah, Kentucky, takes pride in its adopted superhero son, Superman. An impressive and photogenic 15-foot-tall statue of the Man of Steel stands along Market Street downtown, on a pedestal promoting “Truth—Justice—The American Way,” on the north side of the Massac County Courthouse. Nearby are a quick-change telephone booth and the “offices” of the Daily Planet newspaper. Every June a festival celebrates the Man of Steel’s crime-fighting efforts. For more information, and a look at one of the most extensive collections of Superman artifacts and memorabilia anywhere, visit the Super Museum (517 Market St., 618/524-5518, daily, $5), across the street from that selfie-ready statue.

The other big attraction in town is the 40,000-square-foot Harrah’s Metropolis Casino, down on the banks of the Ohio River at the base of the railroad bridge.