Eat, Stay, Do: An Easy Frankenmuth Travel Guide

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Frankenmuth is known as Michigan’s Little Bavaria. A cultural holiday is a pleasure to celebrate in this town because of its decor and charm.

The holiday season is a jolly time to visit. Whether it’s restaurants, shopping, gaming, or a water park, there’s something for everyone here!    

In this guide you will find the best things to do in Frankenmuth.

About Frankenmuth Michigan

What is Frankenmuth Known For?

Known for its Bavarian-style architecture, Frankenmuth is a quaint city in Michigan that you should visit at least once. There is a German heritage museum that highlights the area’s history.

You’ll also find German-inspired inns, restaurants, and shops along Main St., which makes it a one-of-a-kind destination in the Midwest.

Don’t miss the famous Glockenspiel Tower where the bells ring every day and can be heard for miles from the Bavarian Inn.

How Far is Frankenmuth from Chicago?

For an authentic Midwest experience, you don’t need to travel to Germany. It takes about 5 hours to drive there from Chicago.

During the holiday season, the town is decorated with candy canes, poinsettias, mistletoe, and holly.

A day trip from Detroit takes approximately 1.5 hours and is a wonderful day trip.

Is Frankenmuth Walkable?

Absolutely! Frankenmuth is a Bavarian-themed resort town that caters to visitors from around the world, especially families.

Things to Do in Frankenmuth

Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland

Do you love Christmas? This store should not be missed! Bronners is enormous (the size of 15 football fields with over 500,000 Christmas sights and sounds).

You can easily spend two or more hours pursuing the aisles and finding something that sparks your holiday spirit. You might even find some favorites as customizable gifts, like socks and ornaments.

At Bronner’s Christmas store, you can also find decorations that match their interests or professions such as chefs, violinists, or skiers.

Frankenmuth Historical Museum

The museum is in an old schoolhouse and has artifacts that speak to the town’s history. Entry is very inexpensive and may be one of the town’s best-kept secrets. You might even find a gift amongst the European goods.

Frankenmuth River Place

There are some great boutiques on the town’s main street. We recommend you visit the Frankenmuth River Place shops. During the holidays, there is a free laser light show.

You can make purchases at the local retailers for clothing, baked, baked goods, and candies. You should visit the Hotz Brücke (Wooden Bridge) is a great place for a family photo.

covered bridge
Frankenmuth Holz Brücke Bridge

St. Julian Winery

This family-owned winery is Michigan’s oldest and most respected winery and will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2021. The variety of wines is incredible with fruity aromas such as blueberries and cherries.

Sign up for their wine club membership. You can attend a tasting at St. Julian Winery for about $10 to taste six 6 wines. And you can keep the glass as a souvenir. There is also a location in Union Pier; another great destination for a weekend getaway.

Frankenmuth Cheese Haus

This might sound so cheesy, but this cheese haus is so “grate”! It is a classic nostalgic cheese house with lots of …cheese! There is a selection of good kitchen utensils desserts cheeses and meats.

You will also find Frankenmuth a great selection of microbrews and German beers.

Winter Season

Michigan is a great destination for winter sports. Hunting and fishing are good all year round, especially in the fall and winter. Winter allows you to ski, snowmobile, ice skate, go sledding, or even swim as some of the resorts have outdoor heated pools.

For indoor activities, you can see military equipment, medals of honor, and flight gear can be found at the Michigan Heroes Museum.

Summer Season

You can swim, canoe, water ski, kayak, hike, and boat in the summer. Even better, ride the Bavarian Belle on the river, and take a tour of the town in a romantic carriage with a horse.

Stop at the Enchanted Forest where the magic of fairies comes alive. Don’t miss the miniature forest on the grounds of Riverplace.

Frankenmuth Funships offers boat tours on Michigan’s Cass River where you can enjoy an outdoor setting on an electric boat from May to October. They offer wine and chocolate tastings year-round in their tasting room.

Your family will also enjoy the Frankenmuth water park (Zehnders) and zip line.

Final Thoughts on Frankenmuth

Frankenmuth is a Bavarian-inspired town which sets it apart from any other destination in the Midwest. The Frankenmuth Inn puts you in the middle of all the activities where you have no need for a car. On the northern end of the city, you’ll find more modern, chain hotels.

Whether you’re strolling along the enchanting streets, exploring the local shops, savoring the mouthwatering cuisine, or participating in cultural festivals, the atmosphere is relaxed and unpretentious which makes this town is one of the best weekend trips from Chicago.

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  1. I have always wanted to check this place out when I lived in Chicago! Now I live in Seattle so its a bit further.. but this post has inspired me!

    1. Tanya Taylor says:

      Even from Chicago, it’s a bit of a drive. Hopefully you will have a change to visit when time allows 🙂

  2. Honey-B’s eatery sounds AMAZING. This whole trip looks gorgeous, but I’m always traveling for the food

    1. Tanya Taylor says:

      I am with you on traveling for the food. One MUST to do proper culinary research! LOL

  3. Frankenmuth is such a fun little town and even if you don’t go at Christmas time, you will still find amazing festivals throughout the year.

    1. Tanya Taylor says:

      Thanks for the tip! I wouldn’t mind going any time of the year 🙂

  4. Frankenmuth looks like it is a city straight out of Germany!

    1. Tanya Taylor says:

      Right? There are so many towns like this (maybe I should blog about it)!

  5. I can see the German influence here! Looks like a very pretty place to visit… and the food looks amazing as well! Great article 🙂

    1. Tanya Taylor says:

      Thank you so much! Writing about the food always make me hungry 🙂

  6. Jennifer Record says:

    this is SO perfect.. I am in the middle of planning a 2 week trip to Michigan and have been looking for areas to stop!! Now, I definitely will use this guide for a stop in Frankenmuth!! thank you! thank you! I would also any of your other Michigan posts

    1. Tanya Taylor says:

      You’re very welcome – happy travels!

  7. Chelsea Messina says:

    We live in Detroit, and make the trip up to Frankenmuth all year round, in fact we were just there this past weekend. Picking up cupcakes from the Sugarhigh bakery.

    1. Tanya Taylor says:

      Yummm, you are so lucky to be so near. It’s a five hour drive for us and our daughter always wants to visit Frankenmuth!