Three-State Territories: States That Share a Border


The United States of America is a vast country composed of 50 states, each with its own unique history, culture, and geography. While most states are standalone entities, there are a few instances where three states come together to form a single territory. These tri-state areas often have intriguing stories and provide interesting opportunities for cross-state interactions. In this article, we will explore the various territories in the United States that consist of three states sharing a border.

The Four Corners Monument: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah

One of the most famous tri-state areas in the United States is the Four Corners Monument. Located in the southwestern part of the country, this monument marks the only point in the United States where four states converge – Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah.

The Four Corners Monument attracts thousands of visitors each year who come to stand in four states simultaneously. The monument itself consists of a granite disk embedded in the ground, with each state’s name and seal engraved on its respective side. Visitors often take pictures with their limbs extending into multiple states, creating unique photo opportunities.

Aside from being a popular tourist attraction, the Four Corners area is rich in Native American history and culture. The Navajo Nation, the largest Native American tribe in the United States, spans across parts of all four states, and visitors can explore their vibrant traditions, arts, and crafts.

Key Features of the Four Corners Monument:

  • Only point in the United States where four states meet
  • Granite disk with state names and seals
  • Rich Native American history and culture

The Delaware Valley: Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania

On the opposite side of the country lies the Delaware Valley, a tri-state region in the northeastern United States. This area encompasses parts of Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and is home to cities like Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Trenton.

The Delaware Valley is known for its bustling urban centers, historic landmarks, and picturesque landscapes. Philadelphia, the largest city in the region, played a crucial role in the American Revolution, and visitors can explore famous sites such as Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.

In addition to its historical significance, the Delaware Valley is also a hub for arts, culture, and education. The region is home to numerous museums, galleries, and universities, offering a diverse range of attractions and opportunities for residents and visitors alike.

Key Features of the Delaware Valley:

  • Urban centers such as Philadelphia and Wilmington
  • Historical landmarks related to the American Revolution
  • Abundance of museums, galleries, and universities

The Tri-State Area: Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York

One of the most densely populated tri-state areas in the United States is the region commonly referred to as the Tri-State Area. This territory encompasses parts of Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York, and includes major cities like New York City, Newark, and Stamford.

As the financial and cultural capital of the United States, the Tri-State Area is a vibrant and dynamic region. New York City, the most populous city in the country, is a melting pot of cultures and offers an array of attractions, from iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and Times Square to world-class museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Tri-State Area is also known for its economic significance, with Wall Street serving as the financial hub of the country. Additionally, the region boasts scenic landscapes, including parts of the Appalachian Mountains and the picturesque Hudson River Valley.

Key Features of the Tri-State Area:

  • New York City as the cultural and financial center
  • Iconic landmarks and world-class museums
  • Scenic landscapes

The Texarkana Metropolitan Area: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas

Located in the southern United States, the Texarkana Metropolitan Area is a unique tri-state region that spans across parts of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. The name “Texarkana” is a combination of Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana, reflecting the area’s geographical composition.

Texarkana is divided into two separate cities – Texarkana, Texas and Texarkana, Arkansas – with the state line running through the middle of the urban area. Both cities share a common history and culture, but each belongs to a different state, resulting in distinct legal jurisdictions and governance.

The Texarkana Metropolitan Area offers a blend of southern charm, natural beauty, and a rich musical heritage. Visitors can explore attractions such as the Perot Theatre, which hosts various performances, or visit the Ace of Clubs House, a unique octagonal home that is now a museum.

Key Features of the Texarkana Metropolitan Area:

  • Divided into two cities – Texarkana, Texas and Texarkana, Arkansas
  • Distinct legal jurisdictions and governance
  • Southern charm, natural beauty, and rich musical heritage

The Mississippi River Tri-State Area: Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri

Spanning across parts of Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri, the Mississippi River Tri-State Area is another example of a three-state territory in the United States. This region is uniquely shaped by the Mississippi River, which serves as a vital waterway for transportation, trade, and recreation.

The Mississippi River Tri-State Area boasts a mix of urban centers, rural landscapes, and historical sites. Cities like St. Louis, Missouri, offer iconic landmarks such as the Gateway Arch, while smaller towns along the river provide a glimpse into the region’s rich history and agricultural heritage.

Furthermore, the Mississippi River itself is a major attraction, providing opportunities for boating, fishing, and other water-related activities. Visitors can explore the riverbanks, take a scenic cruise, or even witness a riverboat race.

Key Features of the Mississippi River Tri-State Area:

  • Shaped by the Mississippi River
  • Mix of urban centers, rural landscapes, and historical sites
  • Opportunities for boating, fishing, and water-related activities

The Conclusion

Throughout the United States, there are several territories where three states come together, forming unique tri-state areas. These regions offer a blend of history, culture, natural beauty, and economic significance. From the famous Four Corners Monument in the Southwest to the bustling Tri-State Area in the Northeast, each territory has its own distinct features and attractions.

Whether you’re interested in exploring Native American history, immersing yourself in urban culture, or enjoying scenic landscapes, these tri-state territories provide a wealth of opportunities for residents and visitors alike. So, the next time you find yourself near one of these areas, don’t miss the chance to experience the fascinating blend of three states in a single destination.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I visit all four states simultaneously at the Four Corners Monument?

No, the Four Corners Monument only marks the point where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah meet. Visitors can stand in all four states at the same time by placing their limbs in different states, but the monument itself is located in one specific point.

2. Are there any specific rules or regulations in the Tri-State Area?

The Tri-State Area, encompassing Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York, does not have any specific rules or regulations solely based on the fact that it is a tri-state region. However, each state within the area has its own set of laws and regulations that apply within their respective jurisdictions.

3. Can I travel freely between the Texarkana cities in Texas and Arkansas?

Yes, you can travel freely between Texarkana, Texas, and Texarkana, Arkansas, as they are neighboring cities with a common urban area. However, it’s important to note that each city belongs to a different state, so legal jurisdictions and governance may vary.

The Mississippi River Tri-State Area offers a range of water activities, including boating, fishing, and scenic cruises. Visitors can explore the riverbanks, rent boats or kayaks, or even participate in riverboat races, depending on the specific location and available amenities.

5. Are there any other tri-state areas in the United States?

Yes, apart from the territories mentioned in this article, there are a few other tri-state areas in the United States. Some examples include the region where Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma meet, as well as the area where Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana come together.

6. Can I visit the Delaware Valley without crossing state lines?

Yes, you can explore various parts of the Delaware Valley without crossing state lines. The region encompasses cities like Philadelphia, which is primarily located in Pennsylvania, and Wilmington, which is in Delaware. However, if you wish to visit the entire Delaware Valley, you may need to cross state lines as the region extends into parts of New Jersey as well.

7. Are there any other famous tri-state areas in the world?

Yes, tri-state areas can be found in various parts of the world. One well-known example is the tri-border area in Europe, where Germany, France, and Switzerland meet near the city of Basel. These areas often have unique dynamics, as they involve different countries with distinct languages, cultures, and legal systems.


Tri-state areas in the United States provide fascinating opportunities to explore the intersections of different states, cultures, and histories. Whether it’s standing in four states simultaneously at the Four Corners Monument or immersing oneself in the vibrant urban life of the Tri-State Area, these territories offer a diverse range of experiences for travelers. From iconic landmarks to natural wonders, tri-state regions showcase the rich diversity and interconnectedness of the United States.

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