Can You Guess the American City From Its Most Famous Streets?

WORLD

By: Zoe Samuel

6 Min Quiz

Image: Joel Carillet / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

"All roads lead to Rome," said French poet Alian de Lille. Ever since those very Romans realized the power of roads, both for their practical use and as a sort of branding, roads and their names have become landmarks for specific places. In Europe, some roads are named for places that they lead to. Of course, since roads go in two directions, this says a lot about which places are more important. A road called "London Road" will, of course, lead to London, but it comes from someplace else, which is explicitly deemed less important by omission.

In America, roads often take on personalities because of their history. Oftentimes one industry dominated one part of a city, stamping its influence in the very city planning, with streets named for it. When that industry passes from the Earth, evolves or moves to another place, the streets remain, and the character of the city is forever shaped by its past components. Some of these streets bear iconic names that cities are known for, while other streets and cities are known more for recent innovations in city planning. 

Whether these boulevards go back to the nation's founding or they're brand new, can you recognize a city from its famous streets?

Mulholland Drive, Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard: what city comes to mind?

Los Angeles would be nothing without its famous roads. Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard are named for clear reasons, but Mulholland Drive is named for the engineer, William Mulholland, who built the system that sustains the city's water supply.

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Broadway, Bowery and 5th Avenue: to which city do these roads belong?

Broadway, a world-famous north-south thoroughfare in Manhattan, predates Europeans, as part of it was the Native American Wickquasgeck Trail. These days, Broadway is the epicenter of American theater.

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Magazine Street is a famous drag in which city?

New Orleans's famous Magazine Street isn't named for publishing; it draws its name from ammunition stored there in the 18th century. Now it is the heart of the city's warehouse district.

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Can't Stop Street is a famous street in which city?

The world is dotted with streets with odd names that somehow stick around. This includes San Antonio's Can't Stop Street, which has been on city maps since at least 1889. It is unclear why it has this odd name.

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McDowell Road and Camelback Road navigate a famous American metropolitan area. Can you recall which city this is?

Camelback Road, in Phoenix, Arizona, is named for Camelback Mountain, a beautiful topological feature of the city with a luxury hotel on its side. McDowell Road is named for Fort McDowell, which is named for Irvin McDowell, a Civil War general who, ironically, never set foot in the state.

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Aurora Avenue and Pike Street give one city its character. Which one is it?

Seattle's Aurora Avenue is part of State Route 99, making it one of the most heavily trafficked roads in the city. Pike Street, on the other hand, is the heart of Seattle nightlife and the namesake of the Pike Place Market.

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Only one city could possibly be home to Kahala Avenue. Can you think of which one it is?

Kahala Avenue has long been a jewel in the crown of Honolulu. Lined with expensive mansions, the avenue was recently given a boost when a major landowner there sold properties he had allowed to fall into disrepair.

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Peachtree Street is a telling name. Can you remember which city it belongs to?

Georgia has many places named for the peach, but this patch of peach passion has a lot going for it. It is the site where "Gone With the Wind" was written, and it is home to some gorgeous Atlanta architecture.

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Park Boulevard and El Cajon Boulevard serve one town. Which is it?

Park Boulevard bisects Balboa Park in San Diego and passes very close to the San Deigo Zoo. El Cajon Boulevard was once a rough part of town, but it is seeing better days.

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Essex Street and North Street share history. What city is home to that history?

Salem, Massachusetts, famous for the Salem Witch Trials, is a town with plenty of history still physically evident. Essex and North Streets meet in the area with the few remaining structures that actually date back to the trials.

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What city do Palmetto Avenue and St. Johns Avenue bring to mind?

Jacksonville, Florida, is as tied to the Antebellum South as any part of the Deep South, and Palmetto Avenue includes the address of the Kingsley Plantation, a historic site. St. Johns Avenue runs along part of the city's waterfront.

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Beale Street should conjure up one American city. Can you think of it?

Peaking in the 1920s, Beale Street is the most famous street in Memphis. Beale Street is the heart of the entertainment district in the city, with music clubs old and new. It was the cradle for jazz in the city, hosting the likes of Muddy Waters, B. B. King, and even Robert Johnson.

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Pennsylvania Avenue and K Street both cross the same berg. Can you remember which city this is?

Washington, D.C., is one of the few "planned" cities in America, though it was planned in an age of horses, not eighteen-wheel trucks. As a result, the nation's capital has an old world charm — combined with infuriating traffic.

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Rush Street, State Street and Milwaukee Avenue: which U.S. city do these streets belong to?

Chicago is a sprawling metropolis with a plethora of famous streets, many built after the Great Chicago Fire. While Milwaukee Avenue lies on the outskirts, State Street and Rush Street are in the heart of the city.

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What city does Lombard Street call to mind?

San Francisco's famous Lombard Street is known as the most crooked street in the world, but this isn't actually true. In fact, Vermont Street is more crooked — and it is in the same city.

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Euclid Avenue and Ontario Street are historic streets in what American metropolis?

Cleveland's Euclid Avenue was once home to John D. Rockefeller and a major carriage building business. Ontario Street goes back a long way and is today part of the city's AsiaTown district.

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South Franklin and Seward Street are both part of the same great American city. Rack your brain! Do you know which city they are part of?

Juneau is a major American city, but it is also part of what is still very much a frontier. In the early days, South Franklin is where the strip of bars was, catering to miners in the era when gold mining was big in the city. Seward Street is home to early 20th-century edifices that testify to the city's growth.

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Woodward Avenue and Campau Street adorn what city?

Detroit's Campau Street is named for Joseph Campau, the successful (in his own right) scion of a wealthy Detroit family and one of the city's richest citizens. Woodward Avenue is named for New York transplant Augustus Brevoort Woodward, one of the early legal scholars in the nation's history and an important judge.

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Delancey Street and Quince Street are noted for their beauty. What American city lays claim to them?

Philadelphia is rich in history, and some neighborhoods have been architecturally preserved. Delancey Street is historic and home to some of the most expensive homes in the city, some worth more than $6 million. Quince Street, also dating to the Revolution, is likely named for the quince tree. Quince was one of the most widespread agricultural products at the time, as it was the medium for fruit preserves.

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East Pratt Street and Camden Street inhabit which American city?

Few things are as "Baltimore" as the waterfront and the Orioles. Baltimore's famous waterfront includes East Pratt Street, and Camden Yards, home of the Orioles, is, fittingly, on Camden Street.

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Snake Alley sounds dangerous! Do you know which city it's in?

Burlington isn't a place you'd expect to see a snake, but Snake Alley isn't full of snakes — it is one! This winding cobblestone street was shaped to make the hill upon which it sits an easier descent, and its cobblestones were laid to give horses' hooves better purchase.

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4th Street is a common name, but only one is a center of entertainment. Which city could that refer to?

Louisville, Kentucky, has a lot to brag about, from its famous Slugger to the birthplace of Ali, but 4th Street would have to go on that list as well. This downtown drag includes historic theaters and hotels, and it is a short walk from the Ohio River.

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Collins Avenue and Calle Ocho belong to a single city. Which one is it?

Miami's bilingual heritage is on display in its street names. Collins Avenue runs the length of Miami Beach, lined with hotels new and old. While its official designation is SW 8th Street, Calle Ocho ("8th Street" in Spanish) is the main drag in the center of one of the main Cuban communities in the city.

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Massachusetts Street calls to mind a certain city, but which one?

Lawrence's Massachusetts Street sounds out of place until it's made clear that the settlers who named it came from New England. If one wants to see some real history in Lawrence, "Mass Street" is a good bet, with many listed historical buildings on it.

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Which city possesses East St. Louis Street?

East St. Louis Avenue, which turns into Park Central East and eventually West College Street, runs through downtown Springfield, Missouri. Its eastern terminus is on an industrial lot.

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39th Street and Grand Boulevard are cultural capitals in which city?

Kansas City's 39th Street is the namesake of the 39th Street District, which is the cool, "bohemian" part of town. Grand Boulevard is one of the major arteries in the city's financial district.

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Wabasha Street and Summit Avenue share a city. What is it?

Almost indistinct from Minneapolis, save for a bridge connecting the two, Saint Paul is a separate city with its own history. Wabasha Street is noted for the Minnesota Children's Museum and Fitzgerald Theater, and Summit Avenue is the longest avenue of Victorian-era homes in the U.S.

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Washington Street and School Street belong to a famous American city. Do you know what city that is?

Boston has many streets named in the time of the American Revolution. Washington Street is an obvious example of the revolutionary past, but School Street, despite having no schools on it today, was named for Boston Latin, the first public school in the nation, built in 1645.

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Gay Street is a common name in many cities, but one considers it historic. Which one?

There are many Gay Streets in America, but Knoxville's probably has the most history. It was the site of the constitutional convention that created the state of Tennessee. It was the first paved road in the city, and it is now the heart of the city's vibrant theater district.

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Nicollet Mall and Chicago Avenue have one city in common. Which is it?

"The Mini Apple" has a single most famous street, at least among people of a certain age: Nicollet Mall, where Mary Tyler Moore famously threw her hat in the air on television. Chicago Avenue, on the other hand, is famous because it leads to U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the Vikings.

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Larimer Square? Cool or square? One city will decide! Do you know which it is?

Denver's Larimer Square is a street that has seen the city through thick and thin, from the heady days of the silver rush to the depths of the Depression, to the city's current era of prosperity. Larimer Square is busy, historic and cool.

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Broad Street and High Street crisscross which city?

Broad Street bisects Columbus, Ohio, on the east-west axis, connecting eastward to Pittsburgh and westward to Indianapolis. High Street bisects the city north-south, lined with businesses.

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The Allen Parkway and Fannin Street mark out which city?

The Allen Parkway, a major artery for Houston, is named for the founders of the city, John Kirby Allen and Augustus Allen. Fannin Street, on the other hand, is named for James Walker Fannin, one of the leaders of the Texas Revolution, who was executed by Santa Anna.

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Which American city has the infamous Elm Street and the glittering Meadowood Road?

Meadowood Road, Dallas, is home to some of the most expensive real estate in the city, with properties exceeding $6 million. Elm Street has a darker history, as it is the street JFK's motorcade was driving along when he was assassinated.

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Washington Street belongs to one famous American city, but do you know which one it is?

If one wanted to see a lot of Indianapolis, Washington Street would be a great place to begin. Crossing the White River, Washington Street passes the Indianapolis Zoo and goes under the Indianapolis Artsgarden.

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