From Alabama to Wyoming, Can You Name Every Capital?

22 PLAYS

By: Teresa McGlothlin

7 Min Quiz

Image: Andrea_Hill / DigitalVision Vectors / Getty Images

About This Quiz

"My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of" ... so many state capitals that you have to study for days to remember them all! During this quiz, you'll get the chance to put your U.S. capital knowledge on display. Will you be able to remember all 50, or will you have to ask the nearest elementary school student for help? 

State capitals come in all sizes, and they're not always the most populated or well-known cities in their states. In fact, some of them, like Sante Fe and Albany, were founded because they were smaller and easier to defend than their larger city counterparts. Each capital has its own history, and it will take a little thinking to answer all 50 questions correctly. Even if you get a few wrong, you might learn a thing or two along the way. But you won't do that, will you? 

We're not going to play any crazy guessing games that make you figure out the state, too. To give you an edge, we've offered up the state within the question. Take your time and think your choices through; then, answer with the city you think is right. Will you be right 100% of the time, or will you need to grab a map and reacquaint yourself again? Let's see how you do! 



Alabama's capital is home to the Civil Rights Memorial, but which city is it?

Birmingham is Alabama's largest city, but Montgomery has been the capital since 1846. In 1952, Rosa Parks took her iconic stand on one of the city's buses and sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott that helped to fire up the Civil Rights Movements.

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What Alaska city has been the capital since 1906? You can't get there by car!

If you're looking for the perfect getaway, Juneau might be for you! With a population of slightly over 32,000, its remote location is only accessible by air or by ferry. You can pay to have your car shipped, but it's easy to get around on foot.

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Arizona's capital is the sixth-largest capital in the country. What is it?

Tucson and Prescott were once considered for the title of the capital city, but Phoenix won the prize in 1912. A dam on the Salt River allows the city to have more lush, green spaces than most other places in Arizona. With over 200 golf courses, it's a favorite of golfers everywhere.

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If you were visiting the Clinton Library in the Arkansas capital, what city would you be in?

Little Rock was a city with a mayor before Arkansas became a state! Little Rock was upgraded to city status in 1835, but Arkansas statehood didn't happen until 1836. Little Rock is currently the most populated city in the state.

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San Jose was once California's capital, but what city is it now?

Vallejo, Benicia, Monterey and San Jose all spent time as California's capital. Eventually, in 1854, Sacramento was chosen because it doesn't sit near the ocean, which makes it less vulnerable to attack.

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Colorado's capital is sometimes called the Queen City; what's its real name?

Also called the Mile High City, Denver became Colorado's capital in 1881. Visitors to the capital complex marvel at the building's gold-tipped dome. The 24-karat gold leafing is said to be valued at over $116,000!

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Can you figure out which Connecticut city is the capital and the former home to Mark Twain?

Hartford is not the state's most populated city, but it does have a lot of history. Both Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe once called the city home. Nicknamed the "Insurance Capital of the World," Hartford has the highest number of insurance professionals anywhere in the country.

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Do you know which of Delaware's cities has been the capital since 1777?

In 1787, Dover, Delaware's The Golden Fleece Tavern unknowingly became a very important site in U.S. history. When the U.S. Constitution was ratified there, it made Connecticut the first state to do so.

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Florida's capital has a name that means "old town." Which city's name is right?

Sitting at 200 feet above sea level, Tallahassee is both Florida's capital and the city with the highest elevation in the state. With both Florida State University and Florida A&M University located there, it welcomes over 50,000 students every year.

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Which Georgia city is home to the world's busiest airport and the capital?

Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport measures bigger than 3,500 football fields. Every day, over 2,500 domestic and international flights depart from the capital city's airport gates.

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What's the official name of Hawaii's "sheltered harbor"?

Before being called Honolulu, Hawaii's capital city was named Kulolia. When Hawaii statehood was received in 1959, the name was changed and it was officially designated as the capital. Although the name translates to "sheltered harbor," locals simply refer to the city as "town."

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Idaho's capital was once a hot spot on the Oregon Trail; what's it called now?

First discovered by French-Canadian trappers, Boise was once nothing more than a thick forest surrounded by the Boise River. Now a technological hub, the city is home to over 225,000 residents.

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Abraham Lincoln once called the Illinois capital his home. Where did he live?

Abraham Lincoln wasn't born in Springfield, but he moved there in 1837. Every year, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum welcomes over 300,000 visitors. For a city of just over 116,000 residents, that's a lot of visitors!

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Which city is Indiana's capital? It's sometimes shortened to only four letters.

Indianapolis is well known for its huge auto race, the Indy 500. However, its business hub is just as much of a big deal. Home to many Fortune 500 companies, Indianapolis is the 27th-largest economic hub in the country.

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What Iowa city used to be one word longer before it was voted the state's capital?

When Des Moines was first incorporated in 1851, it was officially called Fort Des Moines. Only six years later, council members voted to remove the Fort part of the name. Iowa's capital city is home to one of the world's largest farmer's markets. Every weekend, over 20,000 people come to shop there.

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It took 37 years to finish the capital building in which Kansas city?

When construction began on the capitol building in Topeka, engineers missed their mark. Instead of using limestone, they opted for softer brownstone materials. The following year, part of it collapsed and builders were forced to re-examine their choices.

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What Kentucky town gets the distinction of being the capital?

With a population of just over 25,000 people, Frankfort, Kentucky is the nation's smallest capital city. Stretching under 15 square miles, the city was named after pioneer Stephen Frank. The site where he perished was called Frank's Fort. Over time, it morphed into the name we know now.

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You'll find the nation's tallest capitol building in which Louisiana city?

Built in 1932, Baton Rouge's capital building stands 450-feet tall and boasts 34 floors. Unlike some capital buildings, Baton Rouge's pride and joy didn't take years to build. From start to finish, it was completed in under 15 months.

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If you wanted to take a road trip to Maine's capital, where would you point your car?

Maine's capital of Augusta rests about 35 miles from the Atlantic Ocean along the Kennebec River, and it's home to the country's oldest wooden fort that dates back to 1754. Named Fort Western, it was once home to a British military outpost.

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You'll find the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland's capital, but what name would you look up on a map?

Named after Princess Anne, Annapolis received a blessing from the queen herself in 1708. Previously named Providence and home of the meeting place of the Continental Congress, the city served as the country's capital from 1783 to 1784.

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A tea party once took place in the capital of Massachusetts; what's the name of it?

Home to almost five million people and known as "the birthplace of the American Revolution," Boston, Massachusetts has hosted a lot of firsts! From the first public park to the first chocolate factory and the invention of Dunkin Donuts, the city's history is endless.

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Michigan's capitol building has 19 chandeliers. Where would you go to see them?

Detroit was once Michigan's capital city, but things changed in 1847. With a need to build a western defense against British troops across the Canadian border, Lansing was chosen. Although small and undeveloped back then, it's now grown to almost 117,000.

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Which part of Minnesota's "twin cities" serves as the state's capital?

The Minneapolis portion of the "twin cities" might be more populated of the two halves, but Saint Paul gets to be the capital. Once home to Amelia Earhart, F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Dillinger, the city has more than a few tales to tell.

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Mississippi's capital is named after a former U.S. president; can you guess its name?

Jackson, Mississippi is often called the Crossroads of the South. The largest city in the entire state, Jackson is home to a historic blues district and the hospital that performed the world's first lung transplant in 1963.

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Can you correctly choose Missouri's capital? It has a connection to Daniel Boone.

Before being designated and built specifically to be the capital, Jefferson City was home to the "Boone Lick Trail" salt business. Owned by Daniel Boone's son, the salt empire grew into a town. It was his son who created the layout of the city.

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Montana's capital has a little over 30,000 citizens, but what's it called?

After being discovered by four gold miners, Helena, Montana was almost given some interesting names. Some of the monikers kicked around were Crabtown, Pumpkinville and Squashville. Thankfully, one of them decided to name it after his home in Minnesota.

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What's the real name of the Nebraska capital that's informally called the Star City?

Named after Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska is rated one of the best cities for personal well-being. Home to the University of Nebraska, Fortune 500 companies and the capitol's Sunken Gardens, it has something for everyone. In fact, the city's website invites you to move there!

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What Nevada city has served as capital since the state entered the union?

If you're looking to learn more about the American Wild West, Carson City is the place to go. Home to the Nevada State Museum and the Nevada State Railroading Museum, visitors are only one stop away from learning about the area's gold prospecting heritage.

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The 14th president grew up in New Hampshire's capital city that goes by which name?

Famous for its marble and its horse carriages, Concord, New Hampshire has been the capital since 1808. Contrary to popular belief, it did not get its name from a type of grape. It was named to reflect the new concord, or peace agreement, between two neighboring towns.

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New Jersey's capital once served as the nation's capital too. Do you know it?

For a brief period in 1784, Trenton, New Jersey, served as the capital of the United States. Steeped in history, it's also the site where George Washington had his first win against the British. It was also the host of the first reading of the Declaration of Independence.

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Which of these New Mexico cities was founded in 1610 and became the capital in 1912?

Santa Fe's proximity to Mexico has given in a long-time advantage for being a market and trade hub. Located about 7,000 feet up in the Rocky Mountains, it was chosen to be the capital because of its easily defensible location.

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New York's capital is the 11th biggest city in the state. Which of these cities are we talking about?

Albany might not be New York's biggest city, but it has more charm than most capitals. Throughout its history, it's been home to some interesting characters including Herman Melville, Jimmy Fallon and Theodore Roosevelt. It was also home to a stop on the underground railroad.

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The North Carolina capital was named after a famous explorer; which city's name is right?

Sir Walter Raleigh, the British explorer who tried to colonize the new world in the 1500s, is North Carolina's namesake. When the metropolitan areas surrounding Raleigh are included in its population, there are over 1.2 million people there.

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Which North Dakota city is the capital and the seventh fastest-growing city in the U.S.?

Before being named Bismarck, North Dakota's capital city was named Edwinton. When the Northern Pacific Railway came to town in 1873, they changed the name to honor the German statesman. They believed it would help attract more immigrants to the area.

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If you wanted to see the world's largest gavel in Ohio's capital, which city would you visit?

You might not think of fashion when you think of Columbus, Ohio, but a lot of people do! Because companies like Victoria's Secret and DSW are headquartered there, it's considered the country's third-leading fashion city, behind New York and Los Angeles.

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Can you figure out Oklahoma's capital without thinking too hard?

When the Land Run of 1889 was opened, Oklahoma City got 10,000 new citizens every day! Now a metropolis of 1.3 million, the capital city is the third-largest in the state. A visit to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum can help explain how it got there.

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Oregon's capital has the same name as a spooky town in Massachusetts. What is it?

Salem, Oregon started life as a Methodist mission but has grown into a city of around 150,000 people. Sitting about an hour from Portland, Salem's pristine mountain valley water makes it an ideal place for wineries.

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What Pennsylvania capital city was incorporated in 1791?

In 2010, Forbes Magazine named Harrisburg the second-best place to settle down. Once a thriving hub for the railroad industry, the town has seen its fair share of financial troubles. After filing bankruptcy in 2009, it seems to have rebounded with style.

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Do you remember the name Rhode Island's capital city from high school geography class?

One of the oldest cities in the U.S., Providence is the largest city in Rhode Island. After first being settled in 1636, it's been known for its silver making skills since the days of the Revolutionary War. It's often voted as one of the best places to live in New England.

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South Carolina's capital is known as "Soda City" and which official name?

There's no soda being manufactured in Columbia, South Carolina — the city gets its nickname by shortening Columbia to the word "cola." Although two-thirds of the city was burned down during the Civil War, it's still overflowing with historical buildings.

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What's the name of the South Dakota capital that sits on the Missouri River?

Only 13,700 or so people call the city of Pierre, South Dakota their home. It's one of only four U.S. capitals that doesn't sit along an interstate. To reach the nearest highway, you would have to drive 35 minutes from Pierre's center.

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Tennessee's capital is home to the Grand Ole Opry. Can you name it?

Music City, USA is only one of Nashville's nicknames. Founded on December 24, 1779, and named after a Revolutionary War general, it quickly grew into a metropolis when it became a railroading hub. Now it's known for its rich country music history, and millions visit every year.

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When the capital of Texas isn't being called "Live Music Capital of the World," what is it being called?

Whether you want to see the biggest bat colony in North America or take in SXSW, Austin, Texas, is the place for you! The capital city is smaller than a lot of other Texas giants, but it has a feel all its own. Home to the University of Texas and lots of green space, it's become a technological hub.

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Which Utah city is both the state capital and Jell-o's biggest friend?

We could go on and on about Salt Lake City's Mormon-based history, but we think it's much more important to mention the city's love for Jell-o. Per capita, residents of Salt Lake City eat more of the flavored gelatin, the official state snack, than anywhere else in the state.

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Can you think back to elementary school and remember Vermont's capital?

Montpelier, Vermont, has the smallest population of all the capitals in the United State. It's also one of the cleanest! Over 2,300 of its 7,500 citizens work for the local government and keep things running smoothly.

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"Give me liberty or give me death" was spoken in Virginia's capital. What's the name of it?

When Patrick Henry delivered his famous speech in a Richmond church in 1775 before the American Revolution, he had no idea about history that would later be made in the city. During the Civil War, it served at the capital of the Confederacy.

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Which name is the right name for the Washington capital that sits on Puget Sound?

Olympia, Washington rests approximately an hour from Seattle, and it's much smaller. As the 11th most populated city in the state, it's home to fewer than 50,000 residents. Nonetheless, it serves as an artsy hub and a gateway to the Pacific Ocean. It gets plenty of visitors!

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You can see West Virginia's gold-domed capitol building in which city?

Although Wheeling was once the capital of West Virginia, Charleston has held the position since 1877. The capitol building located there is carved from Indiana limestone. Dedicated in 1932, it's one of the few state capitol buildings to feature a gold-tipped dome.

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Do you think you can correctly choose the name of Wisconsin's capital?

Madison, Wisconsin's location is one of the most unique locations of any capital. Once nothing more than swampland, it sits on an isthmus between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona. The spot was chosen and developed to serve as the capital for the Wisconsin Territory in 1836.

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Where would you have to go to say that you've been to Wyoming's capital?

If rodeos are your thing, book yourself a trip to Cheyenne, Wyoming. Every year during the Cheyenne's Frontier Days celebration, a rodeo called the "Daddy of "em All" is held there. It's the largest in the world!

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