3. The Indianapolis 500
Indianapolis Motor Speedway -- Indianapolis, IN
Why it’s awesome: Part of the unofficial Triple Crown of Motorsports, the Indy 500's considered one of the three most prestigious racing events in the world. The race is called “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” and attendance regularly hits 300,000. Yes, 300,000 revved-up race fans. It's insane.
Ease of scoring tickets: With 300,000 tickets available, you shouldn't have any problems.
Position yourself: While Indy's one of the few speedways where you can sit inside the track, the higher the seats (in the double-letter rows), the better the views. Longtime fans recommend the front straight for pre/ post-race activities, and either E-Stand (1st turn) or NW Vista (4th turn) for first-timers.
Must-try signature food/ drink: Plan on eating a fair share of dogs, burgers, BBQ, and sausage -- locals in Indy know how to work the grill. That said, keep your eyes peeled for both giant grilled BBQ turkey legs, and Indiana's official sammie -- a breaded/ fried pork tenderloin on a bun w/ onion, pickle, and mustard.
Must-hit spot before/ after: The Slippery Noodle Inn is Indiana's oldest bar and one of the best blues joints in the country. If your ears aren’t still ringing from the race, they should be soon, with two bands playing all night.