Can You Guess These American Cities Based on Just a Photograph?

If you can score 42 out of 47, you're a geography whiz!

Vibrant Lights Illuminate Modern Fountain Sculpture in Night Scene with Seattle Great Wheel in Seattle, Washington

Every U.S. locale has at least one landmark it's known for. In San Francisco, it's the Golden Gate Bridge. In San Antonio, it's the Alamo. In New York, it's the Statue of Liberty (or tons of other buildings you'd probably recognize). And while we're sure you could identify any of those iconic sites from a basic tourist-guide snapshot, that probably wouldn't be a very fun quiz.

That's why we've rounded up photos from a few of the lesser-known spots throughout the 50 states. For example, can you identify Miami, Florida, based solely on its public transportation? What about Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from just one of its countless museums? How about our country's capital from a monument that isn't the Capitol Building or the White House?

If that sounds like a blast, test your geographic mettle with this challenging quiz. Don't worry, we've included a few hints to help you out along the way. And for more amazing trivia about the land of the free and the home of the brave, don't miss these 50 Facts About America That Most Americans Don't Know.

Where is this public square?

fanueil hall marketplace and the custom house tower in boston massachusetts

Hint: You'll find more than 40 institutions of higher education in this New England town.

Boston, Massachusetts

boston city skyline

First photo: Faneuil Hall Marketplace and the Custom House Tower.
Second photo: The Boston skyline, featuring the John Hancock Tower (left) and the Prudential Center (right).

And for more fun geography lessons, learn all about The 50 Weirdest Town Names in America.

Where is this row of cute houses?

Retro vintage filtered photo of San Francisco skyline, old film style, USA.

Hint: Known for cable cars, hilly terrain, and amazing sourdough, this west coast city is home to a vivacious counterculture. Also, you may recognize this shot from one of your favorite 90s TV shows.

San Francisco, California

san francisco american cities photograph quiz

First photo: A group of homes in San Francisco. (Remember Full House?!)
Second photo: The Golden Gate Bridge at sunset.

Next, learn all about the 17 Surprising American Towns Foreigners Are Dying to Visit.

Where are these high-rise buildings?

Green Lawn and Skyscrapers in Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan, New York of USA.

Hint: In the entire world, the only city with more skyscrapers—that's a building with 40 floors or more—is Hong Kong.

New York, New York

First photo: Bryant Park on a sunny day in New York.
Second photo: The Statue of Liberty—which, technically, is in New Jersey state lines—against a shot of the Manhattan skyline.

And for more fun facts about the good ole U.S.A., know that These Are the Best American Accents—According to Foreigners.

Where is this town square?

Marion Square in Charleston, SC

Hint: This Southern city is sometimes referred to as the Holy City.

Charleston, South Carolina

First photo: Marion Square in downtown Charleston.
Second photo: Charleston's historic French Quarter.

Where is this river?

Chicago downtown and Chicago River at night in USA.

Hint: The world's first high-rise, the 10-story World Insurance Building, was built here. (It has since been torn down.)

Chicago, Illinois

First photo: The magnificent Chicago Riverwalk in all its illuminated nighttime glory.
Second photo: Sir Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate sculpture, located in Millennium Park.

Where is this streetcar?

a cable car in portland oregon

Hint: Another city in the country (on the opposite coast) shares its name.

Portland, Oregon

First photo: The Portland Aerial Tram, which connects the waterfront district to the Oregon Health & Science University.
Second photo: The Portland skyline and the Willamette River in the dead of winter.

Where are these cherry blossoms?

Washington DC, D.C., drunkest cities, happiest cities, fittest cities, healthiest cities, best singles scenes, flip a house, longest commutes, commute, rent, property, best job opportunities, best sports fans

Hint: The streets in this planned city are named after U.S. states.

Washington, D.C.

First photo: Cherry blossom trees bordering the Tidal Basin, on the Potomac River.
Second photo: 
A view of the National Mall, featuring the 555-foot tall Washington Monument (left), at dusk.

Where is this LED-heavy skyline?

the dallas skyline

Hint: It's got a whole lot of great steakhouses, and the residents sure love their football.

Dallas, Texas

dealey plaza in dallas at night

First photo: A view of the city's skyline, featuring the Reunion Tower (right).
Second photo: Dealey Plaza at night.

Where is this bridge?

Downtown Nashville, TN

Hint: This city is the second-largest music production center in the country.

Nashville, Tennessee

First photo: A view of the city's skyline behind the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge.
Second photo: Neon signs of music venues along Nashville's famous Broadway thoroughfare.

Where is this monorail?

Metromover monorail over Miami River

Hint: It's the "Cruise Capital of the World," as far as sheer numbers of cruise ships that dock each year.

Miami, Florida

First photo: The Metromover electric bus zips across the Miami River in this famous beach town.
Second photo: An aerial view of Miami's buildings, river, and ocean front.

Where is this historic landmark?

Philadelphia City Hall

Hint: For exactly 10 years, this city was the U.S. capital.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

First photo: Philadelphia City Hall in Center City.
Second photo: The Liberty Bell, located directly in front of Independence Hall.

And for from our country's past, here are The 40 Most Enduring Myths in American History.

Where is this giant Ferris wheel?

Vibrant Lights Illuminate Modern Fountain Sculpture in Night Scene with Seattle Great Wheel in Seattle, Washington

Hint: The so-called birthplace of grunge, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden all have roots here.

Seattle, Washington

First photo: The Olympic Sculpture Park in front of the Seattle Great Wheel.
Second photo: Come on, you know this one—it's the Space Needle.

Where are these adobe homes?

Suburb in Albuquerque, NM

Hint: Locals abbreviate this city "ABQ."

Albuquerque, New Mexico

First photo: The Gazebo outside San Felipe de Niri Church.
Second photo: Hot air balloons soaring over the Rio Grande in Albuquerque, as part of the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Where is this waterfront?

san diego waterfront

Hint: This city is known as the "birthplace of California."

San Diego, California

gaslamp corner san diego

First photo: The San Diego skyline, featuring the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel (those two peaked skyscrapers).
Second photo: The lively Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego.

Where is this waterside park?

the heartland of america park and fountain in omaha nebraska

Hint: On the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, you'll stop at this midwestern city.

Omaha, Nebraska

First photo: The Heartland of America Park and Fountain.
Second photo: Omaha's downtown city skyline overlooking its waterfront park.

Where are these rolling greens?

eleanor tinsley park houston

Hint: By total land area, this is the largest city in America.

Houston, Texas

houston skyline at night

First photo: Eleanor Tinsley Park, a subsection of the massive Buffalo Bayou Park.
Second photo: Downtown Houston at night.

Where is this mile-high city?

Denver, CO

Hint: There's only one city in America that's exactly 5,280 feet (that's a mile) high, to the inch.

Denver, Colorado

First photo: The Denver downtown skyline peaks out behind City Park.
Second photo: Denver's skyline against the Rockies.

Where is this sunset skyline?

Louisville, KY skyline

Hint: Throughout the history of the French monarchy, 18 kings were named Louis. Only one (XVI) had an American city named after him.

Louisville, Kentucky

First photo: The George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge, which connects Louisville to Indiana.
Second photo: 
The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory.

And for some seriously weird American history, here's The Weirdest Urban Legend in Every State.

Where is this bridge?

john a roebling suspension bridge in cincinnati ohio

Hint: Locals here insist their city's version of chili is the only acceptable version chili.

Cincinnati, Ohio

the cincinnati skyline at night

First photo: The John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, which connects Cincinnati to Covington, Kentucky.
Second photo: 
The Cincinnati skyline at dusk.

Where is this pyramid-like structure?

Sacramento, CA

Hint: One 2017 report deemed this city the "most hipster" city in California.

Sacramento, California

First photo: That's The Ziggurat, a 12-story office building designed to withstand an earthquake up to 6.9 on the Richter Scale.
Second photo: The iconic Golden Tower Bridge and the Sacramento River.

Where is this monument?

washington monument baltimore

Hint: A battle that occurred here inspired the national anthem.

Baltimore, Maryland

First photo: The Washington Monument (no, not that one) in downtown Baltimore.
Second photo: 
Baltimore Harbor.

Where is this skyline?

Atlanta Georgia, best job opportunity, best sports fans

Hint: Since the city is surrounded by a circular highway, I-285, locals make a point of designating between "ITP" ("inside the perimeter") and "OTP" ("outside the perimeter").

Atlanta, Georgia

First photo: The Atlanta skyline on a bluebird day.
Second photo: 
The Varsity, a famous drive-in restaurant that's been open for nine decades.

Where is this mountainside city?

the anchorage skyline at golden hour

Hint: By air, this city is equidistant from New York City, Tokyo, and Germany.

Anchorage, Alaska

First photo: The Anchorage skyline from across the Turnagain Arm.
Second photo: 
The Anchorage skyline against a backdrop of the Chugach Mountains.

Where is this canal?

the san antonio riverwalk at night

Hint: The Battle of the Alamo took place here. (Oh, right: You'll find the Alamo here!)

San Antonio, Texas

the alamo in san antonio texas

First photo: The San Antonio River Walk.
Second photo:
 The Alamo.

Where is this beachfront escape?

cape may new jersey

Hint: The population of this vacation town increases tenfold in the summer.

Cape May, New Jersey

First photo: Grand Victorian buildings looking over Cape May Beach.
Second photo:
 Colorful Victorian houses along Beach Avenue.

And for more amazing seaside getaways, check out The 30 Best Beaches in America.

Where is this statue?

roger williams statue providence rhode island

Hint: In the early 17th century, exiled citizens of Boston sought refuge here.

Providence, Rhode Island

providence rhode island skyline

First photo: A statue of Roger Williams in Prospect Terrace Park.
Second photo:
Bridges over the Providence River.

Where is this high-fashion retail strip?

hollywood boulevard at sunset

Hint: How good are you at reading inverted letters?

Los Angeles, California

griffith observatory los angeles skyline

First photo: Hollywood Boulevard.
Second photo: 
The Griffith Observatory.

Where is this light-up wall?

romare park charlotte south carolina

Hint: There's a neighborhood named SouthPark, but it has no relation to the show. (The name is lifted from the nearby SouthPark Mall.)

Charlotte, North Carolina

marshall park charlotte north carolina

First photo: The 5.4-acre Romare Bearden Park in Charlotte.
Second photo: Marshall Park in Charlotte's Second Ward.

Where is this statue?

the scout statue overlooking kansas city missouri

Hint: This city is on the border of two states.

Kansas City, Missouri

kansas city at dusk

First photo: The Scout, a statue by American sculptor Cyrus E. Dallin, overlooking the Kansas City skyline.
Second photo: 
Union Station, which is now so much more than a train station, and features science exhibits, movies showings, and countless cafes and restaurants.

Where is this urban beachfront?

Honolulu, happiest cities, drunkest cities, fittest cities, healthiest cities, best singles scenes

Hint: An attack near this city kickstarted American involvement in World War II.

Honolulu, Hawaii

honolulu skyline

First photo: Waikiki Beach, with Diamond Head, a hopefully dormant volcanic structure, in the background.
Second photo:
The vast Honolulu skyline.

Where is this ornate building?

texas state capitol austin texas

Hint: A robust live-music scene and a widespread embrace of counterculture define this Texas town.

Austin, Texas

austin texas skyline

First photo: The Texas State Capitol in Austin.
Second photo:
The Austin skyline, as seen from across Lady Bird Lake.

Where is this cluster of skyscrapers?

Beautiful warm sunset skyline of Detroit, USA from Windsor Ontario, Canada.

Hint: This view is from Canada.

Detroit, Michigan

an aerial shot of downtown detroit

First photo: What Detroit's skyline looks like from Windsor, Canada.
Second photo: 
An aerial view of downtown Detroit.

Where is this bustling street?

Beautiful warm sunset skyline of Detroit, USA from Windsor Ontario, Canada.

Hint: You can drink in public here, so long as it's from a plastic cup.

New Orleans, Louisiana

bourbon street in the french quarter in new orleans

First photo: Bourbon Street in New Orleans' French Quarter.
Second photo: 
The other end of Bourbon Street.

While you're at it, don't miss the 25 Real Life Places in America That Many Believe Are Cursed.

Where is this urban sprawl?

phoenix arizona

Hint: Year after year, this is one of the three hottest cities in the country.

Phoenix, Arizona

encanto park lagoon in phoenix arizona at night

First photo: The Phoenix skyline.
Second photo: 
Encanto Park Lagoon at night.

Where is this majestic temple?

Mormons Temple in Salt Lake City, UT on a sunny day

Hint: Here, you'll find the headquarters of the Mormon Church.

Salt Lake City, Utah

salt lake city

First photo: The Salt Lake Temple, which was constructed in the 19th century.
Second photo:
Salt Lake City against the Wasatch Mountains, as seen from the outskirts of town.

Where is this… Wait! That's not the White House!

Capital Building in Richmond Virginia

Hint: Patrick Henry gave his "Give me liberty—or give me death!" speech here.

Richmond, Virginia

richmond virginia at night

First photo: The Virginia State Capitol in Richmond.
Second photo:
From across the James River, the Richmond skyline.

Where is this towering arch?

St. Louis, happiest cities, drunkest cities, fittest cities, best singles scenes, best job opportunities, sleepless cities, best sports fans

Hint: At 630 feet, the above structure is the tallest manmade monument in the Western Hemisphere—and the tallest arch in the world.

St. Louis, Missouri

the gateawy arch in st louis missouri at sunset

First photo: Gateway Arch.
Second photo:
Gateway Arch, as seen from Eads Bridge.

Where are these inter-building walkways?

A High Angle Medium Shot on Downtown Minneapolis Skyscrapers and Skyway Walkways over Long Exposure Traffic during a Winter Night

Hint: Nearly 10 miles of skyways connect buildings over an 80-block section of this city's downtown area. (Locals must really hate the cold.)

Minneapolis, Minnesota

minneapolis american cities photograph quiz

First photo: The Minneapolis Skyway System.
Second photo:
 Spoonbridge and Cherry, a marquee statue at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

Where is this historic waterfront?

River Street in Savannah, Georgia

Hint: This city, founded in 1733, is known as "America's First Planned City," thanks to its grid-like organization.

Savannah, Georgia

savannah american cities photograph quiz

First photo: A view of River Street in downtown Savannah.
Second photo: 
Spanish Moss lines the path to the Forsyth Park fountain in Savannah.

Where is this eerie dam?

Lake Overholser Dam in Oklahoma City. It was built in 1918 to impound water from the North Canadian river. Long exposure.

Hint: This Great Plains city has one of the largest livestock markets in the world.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

oklahoma city american cities photograph quiz

First photo: The Lake Overholser Dam in Oklahoma City.
Second photo: 
The Oklahoma City skyline.

Where is this intricate building?

MILWAUKEE, WI - FEBRUARY 12 2016: Milwaukee Art Museum and Downtown Skyline

Hint: This city was the birthplace of Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

milwaukee american cities photograph quiz

First photo: The Milwaukee Art Museum, which features a whopping 25,000 pieces of art.
Second photo: 
From Lake Michigan, a view of the Milwaukee skyline.

Where was this moonlit photo taken?

state capitol in des moines iowa

Hint: When a politician gets an eye for higher office, this Midwestern town is the first stop on the tour.

Des Moines, Iowa

des moines american cities photograph quiz

First photo: The Iowa State Capitol.
Second photo: 
The Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge.

Where is this main drag?

Skyline of downtown Columbia, South Carolina on Main Street.

Hint: Fort Jackson, the largest facility for U.S. Army Basic Training, is located here.

Columbia, South Carolina

columbia american cities photograph quiz

First photo: A view of Main Street in downtown Columbia.
Second photo: 
The South Carolina State House.

Where is this sprawling skyline?

Tulsa, Oklahoma, at twilight

Hint: This South Central city used to be called the "Oil Capital of the World."

Tulsa, Oklahoma

tulsa american cities photograph quiz

First photo: A view of the skyline in Tulsa at twilight.
Second photo: 
The Tulsa skyline behind the Arkansas River.

Where is this statue?

Raleigh NC Capitol statue of George Washington

Hint: This North Carolina city, plus two others, make up an area called the Research Triangle.

Raleigh, North Carolina

raleigh american cities photograph quiz

First photo: A statue of George Washington outside the North Carolina State Capitol.
Second photo: 
A view of the downtown Raleigh skyline.

Where is this water feature?

Goodale Park, located in the Victorian Village area of Columbus, Ohio, covers 32 acres and is the oldest park in the city.

Hint: This capital city is named after Christopher Columbus.

Columbus, Ohio

columbus american cities photograph quiz

First photo: A fountain in Goodale Park.
Second photo: 
The Columbus skyline behind the Scioto River.

Where is this knock-off Eiffel Tower?

las vegas at night

Hint: This city's name translates to "the meadows" in Spanish.

Las Vegas, Nevada

the welcome to las vegas sign

First photo: An aerial shot of the instantly recognizable Las Vegas Strip
Second photo:
 The unmissable "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign

And for more fascination from this constantly surprising country, check out these 30 American Cities You Had No Idea Were Amazing Getaways.

To discover more amazing secrets about living your best life, click here to follow us on Instagram!

Filed Under
Best Life
Live smarter, look better,​ and live your life to the absolute fullest.
Get Our Newsletter Every Day!
Enter your email address to get the best tips and advice.
close modal
close modal