57% of Americans did not know that the Grand Canyon is in Arizona.

Americans’ Knowledge of Famous U.S. Sites Is Not So Hot

Americans love traveling across their country on fun family vacations—but they don’t seem to be picking up much knowledge along the way. Intrepid Travel, a California company that arranges trips throughout the world for small groups, administered a multi-question quiz about U.S. landmarks to about 2,000 Americans. The results suggest that there is a lot of room for Americans to expand their knowledge about popular vacation destinations.

Following are some of the quiz results reported by Intrepid:

• 45% of quiz takers admitted they have little or no knowledge of U.S. landmarks.
• 57% did not know that the Grand Canyon is in Arizona.
• 60% did not know that the Hoover Dam is on the border between Nevada and Arizona.
• 69% did not know that Yellowstone National Park covers parts of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.
• 32% did not know that the famous, former prison of Alcatraz is in San Francisco. 13% thought it is in New York.
• 17% thought the Space Needle is in Cape Canaveral, Florida—rather than its correct location of Seattle.
• 39% did not recognize a photo of Grand Central Terminal in New York City.
• 31% did not recognize a photo of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.

In contrast to these quiz items that many Americans had trouble with, large majorities of quiz takers had a good grasp of a few other items:

• 92% correctly identified a photo of the Grand Canyon.
• 97% knew that the White House is in Washington, D.C.
• 97% knew that Times Square is in New York City.
• 94% knew that the Empire State Building is in New York City.

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According to Leigh Barnes, Intrepid’s vice president for North American trips, the travel company hoped the survey results would inspire Americans to visit more famous sites—and to learn more about those sites. “Exploration and discovery fuel curiosity and make us smarter, more aware,” Barnes said. “America has so many treasures and unique sites to explore, hopefully people [will] get out there and see all this country and the world have to offer.”

Thirty-seven percent of the Americans taking the Intrepid quiz said they had visited one to three U.S. landmarks, and 23% said they had visited four to six landmarks. Fifteen percent of the quiz takers said they had not visited any U.S. landmark.