Here are the 10 things everyone should do during a visit to Frankenmuth, Michigan. Whether you are celebrating Christmas in July, being adventurous, or sipping adult beverages – you are sure to enjoy your time in Michigan’s little Bavaria.
1. Experience Bavaria
If schnitzel with noodles is one of your favorite things, you are in luck. Witness Bavarian culture 365 days a year in Frankenmuth, Michigan. German themed restaurants such as the Old Christmas Station serve up classic meals that will remind you of your German Grandmother’s cooking. For a Bavarian snack, grab a rolled pretzel at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant. Soak up Bavarian architecture at River Place Shops. And wash it all down with drinks at Frankenmuth Brewery and Prost Wine Bar & Charcuterie. Last but not least, consider planning a trip to Frankenmuth during the Frankenmuth Bavarian Festival. Learn more about Bavarian things to do here.
2. Go to Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland
‘Tis the season in Frankenmuth thanks to Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland – the largest Christmas store in the world! Since 1945, Bronner’s has attracted millions of visitors from around the world. You will see over 300 decorated trees, can purchase 250 different types of nativity sets, and see 100,000 lights along the half mile drive down Christmas Lane. Yes, everything you could possibly imagine for Christmas can be found here (including 34 types of s’mores-shaped ornaments).
3. Eat Two World Famous Chicken Dinners
No one does chicken dinners like Bavarian Inn Restaurant and Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth! These mouthwatering masterpieces are all you can eat and served family style. You and your loved ones can chow down on some chicken, mashed potatoes, homemade noodles, and appetizers such as cranberry relish, coleslaw, potato salad and more. Don’t forget about dessert!
4. Take Me to the River
It’s easy to forget there is a river in Frankenmuth with all the shopping! However, the 61.5-mile-long Cass River flows through the city and can add a hint of adventure to your visit. Rent a kayak from Frankenmuth Kayak Adventures and cast a line at the Rock River Dam. There are two types of boat tours to experience in Frankenmuth including the historic Bavarian Belle Riverboat and the 12-passenger FunShips (which happens to pair Michigan made wine and homemade chocolates on their scenic tours). Frankenmuth FunShips Tasting & Tours also offers Aqua Cycle rentals, which are basically quirky paddle boats and are so much fun!
5. Find Adventure with Waterparks and Zip Lines
Speaking of adventure, did you know the Frankenmuth Aerial Park is less than a mile away from Main Street? This zipline and climbing park is just behind Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland and features six courses ranging from beginner to expert.
Don’t forget about the waterparks! What kid (or kid at heart) doesn’t love a water slides and pools? Learn more about two waterpark adventures in Frankenmuth here.
6. Raise a Glass
For under $10, you can enjoy a wine tasting at Michigan’s oldest and largest winery – St. Julian’s. This Michigan-based company offers a vast selection of wines, ciders, and spirits. Tastings include six samples of your choice and a complimentary glass to take home. Make sure to check out Modern Craft Winery, Prost! Wine Bar & Charcuterie, and Cherry Republic for wine tastings as well!
7. Explore Museums
Learn about local history at the Frankenmuth Historical Museum. Find out about the city’s German roots and see thousands of artifacts throughout the evolution of the community. Also, be sure to visit Michigan’s Military and Space Heroes Museum – the only museum devoted to wartime men and women from Michigan. This hidden gem has the largest collection of Medals of Honor in the nation!
8. Tee Up at Fortress Golf Course
Just off Main Street, tucked away from the hustle and bustle, lies Fortress Golf Course – the beautiful course in Frankenmuth. This 18-hole course defends itself with oversized greens and challenging bunkers. If shopping for Christmas decorations is not your cup of tea, maybe you can sneak away for a game of golf!
9. Attend a German Mass
On the second Sunday of every month, St. Lorenz Lutheran Church hosts an entire service using the German language. Not to mention, the stunning architecture is something you won’t forget!
10. Check Out Other Unique Shops
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Frankenmuth is known for its serious shopping. Not only can you explore an excellent outdoor mall and the largest Christmas Store in the world – you can also go back to a time of plentiful mom and pop shops. Places like the Frankenmuth Cheese Haus (which has tons of cheese) and the Frankenmuth Clock Company (which has tons of cuckoo clocks) truly define its character. Not all stores are tongue in cheek – places like Frankenmuth Woolen Mill and Zeilinger Wool offer high quality quilt comforters and offer tours of their historic working mills.