visitors to the united states are often surprised to learn the great distance from the east coast to the west coast. the continental united states stretches 4,500 kilometers from the atlantic ocean on the east to the pacific ocean on the west. it borders canada on the north,and reaches south to mexico and the gulf of mexico. a fast train,travelling 96 kilometers an hour, takes more than 48 hours to cross the country. a jet plane crosses the continental united states from east to west in about five hours.
including the states of alaska and hawaii,which are not seen in this map of the continental united states, the country covers an area of 9,363,123 square kilometers. of the fifty states of the country alaska is the largest in area,and hawaii is the newest. the former borders on northwestern canada: the latter lies in the pacific.< >