More Than a "Day at the Races"

Flickr photo credit - MOOSE The Pure Michigan 400 is this Sunday, and for NASCAR fans that plan on attending, it will be more than “a day at the races.” In fact, many of them will come into town early, and plan to stay a couple of days after the race, making it a true Pure Michigan vacation.

A visit to Michigan International Speedway can be more than just a vacation for the hard core NASCAR fan, it is also a great opportunity for the whole family to get away and see what the surrounding area has to offer, but before you go, get your Pure Michigan 400 gear to wear at the race!

View Things to do While Visiting the Pure Michigan 400 in a larger map

Cascades Falls

The Cascades Falls are made up of 16 beautiful man-made waterfalls and 6 fountains that are illuminated by colored lights that “dance” to music. They are open 7 days a week, Memorial Day through Labor Day. In addition to the Falls, the surrounding park includes an ice cream shop, playgrounds, paddleboats, golf, and more.

Michigan Whitetail Hall of Fame

More than 50 Boone and Crockett world record buck racks are on display at the museum, along with Michigan's record holder. Visitors can see and feed the live deer seven days week, year-round.

Flickr photo credit - Count Otto van FinkelbergMcCourtie Park

This 42 acre historic estate contains 17 beautiful cement bridges, called El Trabejo Rustico, Spanish for "rustic work," that were created by Mexican artisans Dionicio Rodriquez and Ralph Corona of Texas. Also known by the French term, faux bois, or fake wood, it's a complex process of shaping, molding, staining and adding texture to the concrete so it looks real. In addition to the bridges, a pond, and a winding stream throughout, you will find 3 tennis courts, a fenced ball diamond, and a picnic area.

Hidden Lake Gardens

Features of this 755-acre bontanical garden include a greenhouse complex, lake, picnic area, a 6-mile paved scenic drive, and more than 5 miles of marked hiking trails. Thousands of labeled trees, shrubs and flowers, appealing to a great variety of interests, are on display in indoor and outdoor collections.

Flickr photo credit - Jenna JamiesonMeckley’s Flavor Fruit Farm

The farm has a wonderful apple orchard/cider mill that has been in the Meckley family for over 50 years. Stop in the bakery for homemade donuts and pies, or visit the Farm House Café. While at the orchard enjoy vibrant gardens, unique vintage home goods, and a delectable collection of gourmet food.

The Buffalo Ranch

Step back in time to the Old West while still in Michigan! Horseback ride on over 230 acres of land, take a wagon ride to the back acres and feed the buffalo. The Childs Place Store sells buffalo meat and other goodies.

Ella Sharp Park

Ella Sharp Park is located on 562 acres along the banks of the Grand River. The various topographies of the Park range from relatively flat, to heavily rolling and hilly. This geology provides a great location for a park full of fun and activities for everyone. The park's borders hold a challenging golf course, beautiful flower gardens, miles of hiking trails, an Olympic-size swimming pool, and many other facilities for playing sports and enjoyment of the outdoors.

Cambridge Junction Historic State Park/Walker Tavern

The Junction allows you to step back in time to Michigan’s frontier settlement and stagecoach eras during the first half of the nineteenth century through exhibits, audio visuals and walking tours of the grounds. A reconstructed barn houses a blacksmith shop and frontier map display. The Walker Tavern contains exhibits reflecting an 1840's stage stop.

Flickr photo credit - Lisa CanadaThe area around MIS also offers several opportunities to sample wine from the local vineyards -

After spending the day touring the region, you’ll be happy to find many lakes with public beaches for a nice cool dip.

Now that we've shown you some of the great places to visit in the MIS area, take a look at what NASCAR driver Ryan Newman likes about Pure Michigan!

If you’ve visited Michigan International Speedway in the past, have you ventured out into the area? Is there a place nearby that you would recommend to others?

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