USA, satellite image. North is at top. The USA consists of the lower 48 states (shown). The Pacific islands of Hawaii and Alaska, which is separated from the lower 48 states by Canada, make up the other two states (not shown). The USA borders Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. The Gulf of Mexico forms the southeast coast of the USA. The Pacific west coast of the USA is dominated by the Rocky Mountains. The Great Lakes in the northwest are the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth. The USA's Capital city, Washington and largest city, New York are located on the Atlantic coast.