Can You Match the Capital City to the Correct US State?


By: Allison Lips

6 Min Quiz

Image: Janet Kopper/Moment/Getty Images

About This Quiz

We learn the states and their capitals in school. However, over time they fade, and we're left with distant memories. Most of us can only name the capitals of the most famous states, the capital of our home state, and maybe a few surrounding states. How many times have you thought Portland was the capital of Oregon? It's not!

It's time to brush up on your state capitals. Not every state's largest city is its capital. Many states do not even have their most populous city or the most well-known city as the state capital. Otherwise, New York City would be the capital of New York and Los Angeles would be the capital of California.

While the capital city may not seem like the most interesting city in a state, each one has its own unique character. Even the smallest capital in the union, Montpelier, has a thriving downtown and holds historical tours to educate visitors about the city's historical importance.

After this quiz, you may have a few ideas for a huge cross-country road trip, but first, you must take the quiz. Will you be able to get 100 percent of these capitals correct or will you make your social studies teach want to cry? Test yourself to prove you still have it!

What state is Trenton the capital of?

George Washington was heading to Trenton when he crossed the Delaware River. Some historical landmarks still standing are The Trent House, the Battle Monument and the Old Barracks Museum.


In what state would you find Springfield?

Springfield was originally named after Vice President John C. Calhoun. In 1832, the name was changed to Springfield because of nearby Spring Creek.


Where would you be if you vacationed in Honolulu?

Before Hawaii's current State Capitol was built, Iolani Palace was the state's legislative seat. The building was completed in 1882 and now serves as a museum.


What state calls Augusta its capital?

Maine's state capital was originally named Harrington. In 1797, the city was renamed Augusta. The name comes from Pamela Augusta, who was Revolutionary War General Henry Dearborn's daughter.


In which state would you find Carson City?

Carson City was named after Kit Carson. Carson was a frontiersman and trapper, and contributed to the United States' westward expansion.


Which state is Columbus the capital of?

Columbus, Ohio is named after Christopher Columbus. During the American Civil War, Camp Chase held Confederate prisoners of war. It was the largest such facility in the North.


The United States Naval Academy in Annapolis is in which state?

Annapolis was originally called Providence. When the Puritans came over, they renamed the capital to honor Princess Anne, who would become a queen of England.


Which state's legislature meets in Austin?

Austin bills itself as the "Live music capital of the world." The city has more than 250 places to see live music of all styles.


Which state founded by William Penn has a capital named Harrisburg?

Harrisburg is the location where John Harris received a license to trade with the Susquehannock in 1705. At the time, it was known as Harris' Ferry.


Which cheese producing state has Madison as a capital city?

Madison is the second largest city in Wisconsin. It is also the 81st largest city in the United States.


What state would you be in if you visited Montpelier?

Montpelier is the smallest state capital in the United States. The city is home to less than 8,000 people.


Salt Lake City shares its name with the largest lake in which state?

In 1847, Mormons arrived in Salt Lake Valley. Before that time, the Ute Indians called the valley and nearby mountain rage home. The Ute Indians called the area "low place in high mountains."


Which state is home to oranges and Tallahassee?

The first North American Christmas celebration took place in Tallahassee when it was still called Anhaica. Anhaica was also the base for the Apalachee tribe.


Which small state has a capital named Providence?

Rhode Island was the first state to declare independence from England. The state's militia sank an English ship called The Gaspee.


Despite having a capital named Salem, witch hunts did not take place here. Can you name the state?

Salem's population is more than 160,000 people. The city is approximately 47 miles away from Portland, the state's largest city.


Which hilly state calls Charleston the capital?

Charleston did not become the permanent capital of West Virginia until 1885. The state capital was originally in Wheeling, moved to Charleston, moved back to Wheeling, and finally settled in Charleston.


Which state calls the country music capital of Nashville its own?

Nashville is nicknamed Music City for a reason. Not only is it home to the Grand Ole Opry, but it is also home to Ryman Auditorium. The Grand Ole Opry radio program still airs live every week on WSM.


Which western state, often confused with the U.S. capital, calls Olympia its own?

Before settlers arrived, the peninsula now called Olympia was known as "Cheetwoot." It was also home to the Coastal Salish, who used it as a shellfish gathering site.


Which Midwestern state calls Pierre its capital?

Pierre is in the geographic center of South Dakota. It is located on the eastern bank of the Missouri River. The city was originally home to the Arikara and Sioux.


Boston is this New England state's capital and most populous city.

Boston is home to Fenway Park, which is known for housing the Boston Red Sox and for its distinctive green left field wall. The wall is nicknamed the Green Monster, which the formerly tin wall earned after a green paint job in 1947.


Frankfort is the capital of which southern state?

In 1792, Frankfort was chosen as Kentucky's capital city. At that time, Isaac Shelby was chosen as the first governor of the 15th state.


Santa Fe is the capital of which Mexico-bordering states?

With a population of 70,000, Santa Fe is New Mexico's fourth largest city. The city's name is Spanish for Holy Faith.


Which mitten-shaped state calls Lansing its capital?

In 1847, the Michigan capital was relocated from Detroit to Lansing because it was a more centralized location. The city is named after New Yorker John Lansing, who was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention.


Between this state's mountains and beach you will find Raleigh; which state are we talking about?

In the 1580s, Sir Walter Raleigh attempted to establish the first English colony in North America. Over 200 years later, North Carolina's capital would be named after him.


Which state is known for ranches and its capital of Helena?

Adventure seekers will find many things to do in Helena. Not only is the city between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, but it also has hiking and fly-fishing.


In which state would you find Mardi Gras and Baton Rouge?

Pierre Le Moyne D'Iberville was among the French explorers to discover the area now called Baton Rouge. He called the area Red Stick, which is a name that may have come from large reddened poles the local Native American tribe erected.


If you want to visit the Show Me State, you may visit Jefferson City in which state?

Jefferson City was always intended to be Missouri's capital. However, the city was designated as the capital before any government buildings had been built. Until those buildings were constructed, St. Charles acted as a temporary capital.


Which state has no borders with another U.S. state and calls its capital Juneau?

Located on Gastineau Channel, Juneau is 3,255 square miles. The city holds the distinction of being the largest capital city by land area.


Which southern state has Jackson as its capital?

Jackson, Mississippi was originally called LeFleur's Bluff. The name comes from Louis LeFleur, who was a Canadian trader. In 1821, the city's name was changed to Jackson in honor of then Major General Andrew Jackson. Jackson would go on to become the seventh U.S. President.


Which state nicknamed the Granite State is home to Concord?

In 1808, Concord was designated the capital of New Hampshire. Before the Privy Council in England decided that the city was located within the Province of New Hampshire, Concord was incorporated in Massachusetts as Rumford.


Where would you be if you were in Boise?

Boise, Idaho is nicknamed the City of Trees. The name comes from the numerous trees that have been planted around the Boise River.


Sacramento is located in which large state?

Sacramento is located on the former location of Sutter's Fort. John Sutter erected his fort in 1841. Visitors to Sacramento should note that the fort's present-day borders are J Street, 26th Street, L Street and 28th Street.


Which small state has Dover as a capital?

Dover, Delaware is named after the English city of the same name. In 1717, the city was planned around a county courthouse and jail that had been previously built.


Lincoln is the capital of which Cornhusker state?

Early inhabitants of the Lincoln area were the Oto and Pawnee tribes. In 1850, settlers would arrive hoping to mine the nearby salt flats. Salt mining was found to be unfeasible, and the salt basin is now underwater.


Denver is the capital city of which state that recently legalized marijuana?

While mountains surround Denver, the actual city is not in them. There are 32 mountains that are over 13,000 feet, but the city itself is just a mile high.


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