Quiz: What Do You Know About USA Geography?

Which American urban center is known as the "Windy City"?

That's Chicago, of course! The nickname is known all over the world, but where does it come from? Most people assume that the climate near Lake Michigan causes the squalls. But the backstory is about corrupt politicians in the old days. The windbags of their time are the real culprits!

Over which river was the Hoover Dam built?

Hoover Dam is located in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River. The concrete structure is a well-known landmark on the Nevada-Arizona border. Built during the Great Depression, the dam was named after President Herbert Hoover and inaugurated by FDR. It is still in operation today!

In which state is the Indianapolis 500 held each year?

This question is a no-brainer. Of course, Indiana! But it's worth talking about because it's so big: the Indy 500 is really a 500-mile race held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It's traditionally held on Memorial Day weekend and is a rare place to race in the Hoosier state. More than 30 cars race at 225 miles per hour in this special loop!

New York City is sometimes referred to as the Big _____?

The city is known around the world as "The Big Apple," but where did this nickname for NYC come from? Apparently, it was first popularized by a sportswriter in the 1920s. The New York Morning Telegraph printed the famous words, and the city's tourism authorities used it in their campaigns. Since then, the name has stuck!

Where is the glorious Mount Rushmore located?

Mount Rushmore is a national memorial unlike any other not only in America, but in the world. The massive sculpture carved into a mountain is located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Four presidents are honored here in stone: George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. Well done, South Dakota!

What state is shaped like this?

It's true, Utah doesn't have the wildest shape out there. It's a box, for the most part. But because of its symmetry and design, there's an interesting crossroads: as one of the "Four Corners States," Utah is one of four states that all touch at one point. It is possible to stand right on the border of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah at the same time!

Which is the smallest state of all?

Itty-bitty Rhode Island is actually the smallest state in the USA. It was founded by religious dissidents who were expelled from other early colonies and made a small home nearby. With an area of only 1,214 square miles, the distance from north to south is just 48 miles!

What 2,320-mile-long river begins in Minnesota and ends in Louisiana?

Every American child has learned to spell this word with a playground song: M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I. And as it turns out, it's not just the name that's long and majestic! The Mississippi River flows through 10 states and has been a major transportation and trade route since before the automobile. Pretty convenient, in fact.

Which state in the USA is called "The First State"?

In 1787, Delaware became the first American state by ratifying the United States Constitution. Since then, it has retained this well-deserved nickname. Not surprisingly, Delaware remained in the Union during the Civil War: Governor William Burton declared that the first to join is the last to leave!

Where is the northernmost point of the USA?

Surprise, surprise: Alaksa is much farther north than any other American state! And it's pretty cold up there, too. Near the Arctic, Alaska has about 100,000 icy glaciers that cover about 5% of the country. And while it can get as warm as 75 °F in the summer, the winters have a well-deserved reputation: temperatures around -60 degrees are not uncommon!

Which state was the last to be admitted to the Union?

Pineapples, volcanoes, and surfing in Hawaii may be far away, but it is still a full-fledged American state! The Americans dealt with the kingdom for a while, annexing it in 1898 and giving it territorial status 2 years later. In 1959 it became the 50th state, 7 months after Alaska!

Which state has the highest peak in the U.S.?

Alaska is home to Mount McKinley, the highest mountain in North America. Its summit is 20,310 feet above sea level, and many brave souls have attempted to climb it. But adventurers who have this peak on their wish list may not know that President Barack Obama renamed it in 2015: Mt. McKinley is now called Denali, after the local Native American language!

Where is the Grand Canyon located?

A popular destination for Americans and tourists, the Grand Canyon is known throughout the world. At 277 miles long, 18 miles wide, and more than a mile deep, it's not your average canyon. The Colorado River has formed it naturally, and the ancient water has really done a great job here!

What is the name of a mountain range in the eastern United States?

Science confirms it: The Appalachian Mountains formed about 480 million years ago. Since then, they have become the subject of songs, movies and many iron, zinc and coal mines. They also have oil and natural gas deposits, making them a rich resource in the middle of the USA!

What is the largest island of Hawaii?

Many may not know that the US state of Hawaii is actually a system of islands. There are 137 islands in total, but not all of them are the same size. Some are much larger than others! Kauai, Oahu, and Maui have a lot of media presence and are at the top of the list, but they are not the biggest. The big island is simply called Hawaii!

Which state has the smallest capital city in terms of population?

A state's capital is often a bustling metropolis, but Vermont is pretty sleepy to begin with. Montpelier is only the seat of state government, and not many Americans really call it home. During the day, about 21,000 people work in the city. According to the 2010 census, however, the actual population is only 7,855!

What is the largest city in Texas?

Houston is the largest city in the Lone Star State in terms of both population and area. More than 2.3 million Texans spread out over 1,733 square miles in the city. Located directly on Galveston Bay, residents can be proud of their downtown theater and opera house, as well as the Space Center. NASA loves the city, too!

Where is the lowest point in the USA?

Few make it there, but California's Death Valley is the deepest place in the country. At 282 feet below sea level, this legendary place is pretty extreme. Not only is Death Valley dangerously cold in the winter, but the summers have earned it the nickname: In August, it can get as hot as 120 degrees!

Milwaukee is the largest city in what state?

Wisconsin is home to this urban center on the shores of Lake Michigan. Historically known for breweries, Harley-Davidson and a few sitcoms - Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley - the city is now home to about 1.5 million residents in the metropolitan area. Downtown, the Fonz is honored in bronze!

How many Great Lakes are there in total?

The Great Lakes are really great. In this sense, even great! Known as the largest freshwater system on Earth, the five bodies of water cover 94,600 square miles. Lakes Michigan, Superior, Erie, Huron and Ontario are connected by rivers and streams. For locals, that's a lot of boating!

Which state extends the farthest west?

Alaska is a huge landmass connected to Canada, but its territory also includes some islands off its coast. The Aleutian Islands are a little known chain of volcanic islands. If you add them up, 14 are large and 55 are smaller. They are all about 2.5 miles from Russia!

Which of the Great Lakes is the only lake located entirely in the United States?

Sure, some people think Lake Michigan is just a normal swimming lake. But in truth, at 22,404 square miles, this huge lake is bigger than countries like Israel or Taiwan! Even though it sounds like an ocean, it's just fresh water to drink for two major cities that enjoy its ocean-like views: Milwaukee and Chicago. Sorry, Canada!

In what state is the Gateway Arch located?

The iconic Gateway Arch is a monument in St. Louis, Missouri that towers 630 feet above the city. The stainless steel landmark is the tallest arch in the world and the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere. Missouri residents are proud, and rightfully so!

Which state is nicknamed The Garden State?

Many have seen the movie Garden State with Natalie Portman and Zach Braff. The movie is set in New Jersey, of course! But the truth is that no one really remembers why it has that title. The state has been around for over a hundred years, but there don't seem to be any more gardens there than anywhere else. The mystery continues for New Jersey residents!

What is the longest river in the United States?

The Mississippi may get a lot more attention, but it's actually its connected cousin that gets that honor. At 2,565 miles long, the Missouri River is the longest river in the country. But combined, the two rivers are even longer: the Missouri-Mississippi river system ranks fourth among the longest rivers in the world. Very beautiful!

Where is the largest forest in the U.S. located?

Once again, Alaska wins! The Tongass National Forest is located in the southeastern part of the state and boasts the title of the largest U.S. national forest. It is home to endangered plant and animal species and, at approximately 16.7 million acres, offers a lot to explore!

What is the most sparsely populated state in the U.S.?

Some suspect the answer is Rhode Island or Delaware, but its small area means it's the most sparsely populated. Landlocked Wyoming is one of the 10 largest states by area, but it has the fewest residents: just over 550,000 people live in this western wonderland. Yellowstone National Park, however, is visited by millions of tourists all year round!

Which American city had the first daily newspaper?

The city of brotherly love that wins! This newspaper was none other than The Pennsylvania Packet, founded as early as 1784. Philadelphia, as an early American project, is a place of many firsts. The city also boasts the first national zoo, hospital, and medical school!

Which state has more than 10,000 bridges?

Missouri actually has more than 10,400 bridges, believe it or not. And the state has an entire agency dedicated just to them: The Missouri Department of Transportation, MoDOT, maintains them all. The state that has the most bridges nationwide, however, is Texas. Big and lead Texas, with more than 50,000!

In which state is the original Trinity Church located?

The present Trinity Church is the third building and was designed by Richard Upjohn in the neo-Gothic style. The first Trinity Church building was a one-story rectangular building overlooking the Hudson River, built in 1698 and destroyed in the Great New York City Fire of 1776. The second Trinity Church was built across Wall Street and dedicated in 1790. The present church building was constructed from 1839 to 1846 and was the tallest building in the United States until 1869 and the tallest in New York City until 1890.