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Pure Michigan 400: Race, stay and explore

Posted: 2:20 PM, Aug 25, 2016
Updated: 2016-08-26 07:12:12-04

Get ready, the Pure Michigan 400 is coming, and with it are not only races and entertainment, but a lot of travelers

The race brings NASCAR fans from all over the state, and according to Travel Michigan, roughly 60-percent will be from outside of the state, with 28-percent being from Canada.

“It’s always an exciting time, and it is a great partnership,” said Michelle Grinnell, Public Relations Manager for Travel Michigan. “We like to say that (MIS) is the state’s largest visitor center two weekends out of the year. So many people come to the state.”

While many are coming to enjoy the race, there are some other great events at MIS, as well as destinations for NASCAR fans to explore.

Grinnell said the great thing about NASCAR fans are they are loyal, but their interests can also be found throughout Michigan.

“Michigan has great products for them,” Grinnell said. “Hunting, fishing, camping, the automotive heritage. All of those things are offered in Michigan.”

To help fans get the full taste of Michigan, Travel Michigan gives some suggestions on where to go if they want to stay an extra day, or several. So far, the races at MIS has brought nearly $414 million to the economy.

Some of the excursions include the US 12 Heritage Trail, which travels from Detroit to New Buffalo. Racers can also visit vineyards on the Southeast Michigan Pionieer Wine Trail or visit some of the beach towns.

As Grinnell says, “In Michigan, you are never more than 85 miles away from a Great Lake.”

For the foodies, there is the Southeastern Michigan Flavors of Pure Michigan Tour. Travel around Michigan to get flavors from the Detroit Eastern Market to Zingerman’s Roadhouse.

For racers that don’t want to travel too far from the track, some ideas offered by Travel Michigan are visiting the Irish Hills, or some of the attractions in and near Jackson like Ella Sharp Museum, the Michigan Theatre and the Grand River Marketplace.

The races also offer a lot for race fans, including music events, vendors, free parking and the largest campground in Michigan.

"It's a great event all-around and if you are not a NASCAR fan it is still a great event to check out," said Grinnell. "There are festivals going on all day, every day (during the event) and it is very family friendly. MIS has done a great job."

Here is the day schedule for the events:

  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Qualifying - August 26, 2016
  • Careers for Veterans 200 - August 27, 2016
  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 - August 28, 2016

To learn more destinations and tips for race weekend, click here.

Tickets are still available, and can be purchased here.