Fast Cars, Guns, and Baseball: The #America Tour
Learn about our inspiration for this trip
What is the Midwest?
It depends on who you ask, but according to the "official" definition, it's a clump of 12 states in the middle of the United States. Its places range from Chicago (the third most populous city in the U.S.) to vast acres of unincorporated lands with no people at all.
A true Midwesterner wouldn't brag, but the region is known for its strong work ethic, safe communities, good schools, and perhaps most of all, its friendly and welcoming people. This niceness was parodied in a viral video (warning: some strong language) that's a bit crude but pretty spot-on.
The Midwest includes varied geography, including wide-open plains, rolling fields of crops, massive and plentiful lakes, vibrant cities and towns, deep quarries of limestone, and a whole lot of wind turbines. Some call the region the Corn Belt or America's breadbasket - much of the area is farmed to take advantage of its rich soil and provide the country and world with a huge amount of food, including crops like corn, soybeans, wheat, and oats and livestock like cows and hogs.
A lot of people consider this place to be "flyover country" - the part of the United States that you fly over on your way to go somewhere else because there's nothing to see or do. We'd like to convince you otherwise.
Gentlemen (and ladies), start your engines
The highlight of this tour will be attending the Indianapolis 500, one of most popular sporting events in the United States that’s held each year near the end of May and draws over 300,000 spectators. The Indy 500, as many call it, features professional drivers who complete 200 laps of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2.5 mile track, all racing for their piece of the over $13 million purse. An event of many traditions, the race always starts with the signing of a song called “Back Home Again in Indiana” (an homage to the state, Indiana, that hosts the race) and ends with the winner drinking some cold milk. Despite this, the race is constantly evolving with the times, hosting its first female driver in 1977.
We’ll be watching the race from the middle of the track, known as the infield. It’s a big party and we’ll be able to bring our own booze and food to enjoy while we watch the race. Even for those not particularly interested in racing, this event is a good time; there’s even an EDM concert called the Snake Pit held in the middle of the track during the race (Axwell Λ Ingrosso, Diplo, and deadmau5 are this year's headliners). In addition, the infield usually attracts an...interesting crowd, perfect for doing some people watching and meeting fellow race fans. This is a great day to rock some Americana swag and let your freak flag fly!
Santa Claus: the man, the myth…and the town?
Every winter, many children in the United States write letters to Santa Claus to ask for their most-desired gifts. Suprisingly, the U.S. actually has a town that answers these letters: a town of 2,500 people called Santa Claus, Indiana. Each year, citizens here answer thousands of letters sent by hopeful children around the United States. The town was founded in 1854 and was originally called Santa Fe. Alas, there was already another town by that name, so the town decided that Santa Claus was a suitable substitute.
We’re not going to lie - Santa Claus is a small town without a lot going on. However, there is at least one attraction in the area that’s worth a mention: Holiday World. This awesome amusement park welcomes over a million visitors each summer. Each section of the park has a unique holiday theme: Christmas, Halloween, the 4th of July, and Thanksgiving. We'll spend a day there during the tour.
Guns, gears, and industry: the story of America
Throughout this tour, we’ll explore many of the most famous aspects of the United States: seeing gun culture up close by visiting a gun range, learning about U.S. politics by meeting people and learning about history, and of course, enjoying large portions of delicious food. However, we’ll also look as some parts of the country’s history and culture that aren’t as widely known, such as the downfall of Gary, Indiana, which was previously one of America’s leading steel production hubs. Fun fact: Gary is also the hometown of legendary performer Michael Jackson!
As on all of our tours, we’ll immerse you in authentic cultural experiences that will hopefully show you that the United States is a complex country where what is means to be American means something different to just about everybody.