As a New Yorker, if someone showed you a picture of the Empire State Building right now, you’d know exactly what it is and where it’s located. Or, as a Californian, you’d easily be able to identify San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge without any hesitation, while South Dakotans could spot Mount Rushmore in a heartbeat. However, being able to identify famous national landmarks such as these doesn’t necessarily make you an expert of your state’s history! After all, most of these well-known monuments and places are instantly recognizable, even if they are heavily promoted by their state’s official public relations departments.

Cherry Digital, a leading performance-based public relations agency, questioned 3,081 respondents on their knowledge of not-so-well-known local landmarks in their home states. They were presented with a choice of four images: three landmarks located in their own state and one from another. They had to identify which landmark was NOT located in their home state – simple enough, right? Perhaps not… It turns out that many struggled with doing so. In fact, the worst performing state overall was Illinois, where only 7% of people correctly identified that the handsome, terracotta-tone Central Railroad Terminal is actually located in New Jersey, not the Prairie State. Others assumed that the oddly-named – and shaped – Goat Tower of Baa is based elsewhere, and not in Findlay, Illinois. 

At the opposite end of the rankings when it came to knowing (almost) everything in their state was Connecticut: nearly 80% of Nutmeggers knew that The Triforium Sculpture – a not-so-hard-to-miss, 60ft high, concrete public art sculpture made with 1,494 Venetian glass prisms, light bulbs and an internal 79-bell carillon – was to be found at the Los Angeles Mall in the Civic Center District of LA. The other 20% weren’t so hot – incorrectly identifying the Hartford-located Mark Twain House and Museum, where the author lived; and the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch, honoring the 4,000 Hartford citizens who served in the US Civil War – but they beat the rest of the states, nonetheless.

‘It’s always beneficial to add new sparks to information to your knowledge bank, especially when it comes to learning new things about your home state,’ says Connie James, PR executive at Cherry Digital. ‘America is culturally, geographically and historically diverse and of course, it’s impossible to learn everything about every single landmark in the country, but it’s worth a try. Things like online quizzes, general knowledge games and brain stimulating activities can help keep your mind sharp and retain information more effectively. Plus, general knowledge games are a great form of entertainment with friends too!’