Frankenmuth brings a taste of Bavarian-style hospitality, cuisine, and fun activities to the heart of Michigan.
Take in the sights from the Bavarian Belle Riverboat, shop at the "World’s Largest Christmas Store", visit Michigan's Military & Space Heroes Museum, and explore many other unique attractions on your weekend trip. Here are the best things to do in Frankenmuth, Michigan.
1. Bavarian Belle Riverboat
© Bavarian Belle Riverboat
The Bavarian Belle Riverboat is an authentic, family-operated riverboat that offers tours of the Frankenmuth area on the beautiful Cass River. Docked at the waterfall in the River Place Shopping Village, the fully restored 150-passenger vessel features an open-air canopied upper deck and a fully enclosed lower salon with modern restrooms, as well as a snack bar that serves soft drinks during the cruise.
Guests can enjoy a one-hour historical tour of the Frankenmuth area narrated by local experts.
The Bavarian Belle Riverboat also hosts special events and can be booked for private occasions such as birthday parties and weddings. Bavarian Belle Riverboat is one of the best things to do in Frankenmuth, Michigan.
2. Bronner's Christmas Wonderland
© Bronner's Christmas Wonderland
Known as the “World’s Largest Christmas Store,” Bronner's Christmas Wonderland is a year-round retail store that sells a vast array of Christmas-related items, ornaments, decorations, and collectibles. Founded by Wally Bronner in 1945, the store is designed in the form of an alpine chalet, spans 7.35 acres, and is situated in the midst of 27 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds.
Bronner's Christmas Wonderland is one of the top Frankenmuth attractions.
Three 17-foot tall outdoor Santa Clauses and a 15-foot snowman stand sentry at the entrance to the building while Bronner's half-mile long Christmas Lane is illuminated with more than 100,000 lights in the evenings. The store’s interiors are packed with more than 50,000 gifts, tags and trims, over 600,000 glass ornaments, and more than 86,000 light sets, all of which are seen by over two million people annually.
Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, 25 Christmas Ln, Frankenmuth, Michigan 48734, 989-652-9931
3. Michigan's Military & Space Heroes Museum
© Michigan's Military & Space Heroes Museum
Michigan’s Military & Space Heroes Museum is dedicated to showcasing and highlighting the wartime experiences of men and women from the state of Michigan and educating the public about their patriotic service.
The only museum of its kind in America, the Military & Space Heroes Museum features galleries with over 700 exhibits and 140 displays, including the Michigan Governor Gallery, the World War One/Polar Bear Gallery, Michigan's Space Pioneers/Astronaut Gallery, the War on Terror Gallery, and the Congressional Medal of Honor Gallery, which houses the largest collection of Medals of Honor in the United States. The museum also houses original examples of the uniforms and items used by Michigan veterans from America’s seven foreign wars and space program.
Michigan's Military & Space Heroes Museum, 1250 Weiss St., Frankenmuth, MI 48734, 989-652-8005
4. Castle Shops at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant
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Castle Shops at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant feature an array of unique items in a charming fairytale setting.
Winding cobblestone streets lead shoppers to unique specialty stores such as the Doll & Toy Shop, a wonderland of toys and dolls for children of all ages; the Royal Gift Shop, which features over 5,000 treasures and collectibles, including steins, nutcrackers, and German clothing; and the Candy Corner & Chocolate Shop – a haven of chocolates, fudge and apples. Take a break from shopping and relax over a coffee and piece of chocolate cake at the Castle Shop Bakery.
Castle Shops at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant, 713 S. Main Street, Frankenmuth, MI 48734, 989-652-9941
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5. St. Julian Winery
© St. Julian Winery
Founded as The Italian Wine Company in 1921 by Mariano Meconi, St. Julian Winery came into being when Meconi countered rising antifascist sentiment during World War II by changing the name to St. Julian Winery, and in turn, paying homage to the patron saint of his native village Faleria, Italy. St. Julian produces award-winning wines, among them a Sholom Kosher Wine and the highly acclaimed Solera Cream Sherry, as well as over 15 Braganini Reserve wines created using a variety of winemaking styles.
The main winery in Paw Paw offers free tours for visitors, seven days a week, year-round, as well as tastings for a small fee. For the tastings, visitors can try samples from over 40 vintages, including the renowned Braganini Reserve wines, vodkas, and brandies. Enhanced tastings and tours are also available, and they offer guests an extended tour featuring an in-depth education on the wine making process and a choice of a cheese or chocolate pairing option.
St. Julian Winery, 127 S Main St, Frankenmuth, MI 48734
6. Frankenmuth River Place Shops
© Frankenmuth River Place Shops
Designed to recreate an authentic German/Bavarian Village, Frankenmuth River Place Shops is a unique collection of specialty shops, attractions, and fun activities for the whole family. Nestled on the banks of the Cass River in downtown Frankenmuth, the shopping village features beautiful Bavarian architecture, meandering streams and tinkling waterfalls, and an array of restaurants, cafés, and specialty stores selling everything from women’s fashion and leather apparel to toys, accessories, and deli-style food.
Frankenmuth River Place Shops hosts a variety of free, family-friendly events throughout the year, including Dog Bowl, Balloons Over Bavarian Inn and the Cass River Colonial Encampment, an excellent historical reenactment of various Revolutionary encampments.
Frankenmuth River Place Shops, 925 S. Main Street, Frankenmuth, MI 48734, 800-600-0105
7. Frankenmuth Historical Museum
© Frankenmuth Historical Museum
Frankenmuth Historical Museum is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the history and heritage of Frankenmuth. The museum features seven galleries housing an array of hands-on exhibits, displays, audio and video presentations, and various artifacts that tell the story of Frankenmuth’s community, starting with its founding as a Lutheran missionary colony in 1845.
Visitors can explore the museum on self-guided tours or docent-led guided tours where local historians will interpret and discuss the history of this Bavarian-influenced village.
Frankenmuth Historical Museum, 613 S. Main St. Frankenmuth, MI 48734, 989-652-9701
8. Grandpa Tiny's Farm
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Established in memory of Grandpa Tiny, Grandpa Tiny's Farm is a historic working farm where visitors of all ages can enjoy interactive, hands-on farm activities and experiences on a guided tour. The tour features a visit to the Petting Farm where children can hold and play with chicks and baby bunnies and watch and play with lambs and baby goats (kids), as well as other farm animals.
A narrated wagon ride is part of the package tour, and the wagon travels around the farm, passing the beautiful turn-of-the-century farmhouse complete with an outdoor Backofen, crosses the Dead Creek by way of the historic Black Bridge, and visits the beautiful old one-room schoolhouse. The tour also highlights the importance of the agricultural history of the area, presenting weekly demonstrations of draft horses plowing, planting, and harvesting, as well as other weather-permitting outdoor events.
Grandpa Tiny's Farm, 7775 Weiss Street, Frankenmuth, MI 48734, April – October: 989-652-5437 / November - March: 989-871-2937
9. St. Lorenz Lutheran Church
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Founded in 1845 by the original German settlers of Frankenmuth, the St. Lorenz Lutheran Church was named after three Lutheran churches by the same name in three German cities. Named for St. Laurentius, a Christian who was killed for his faith in the third century A.D., the St. Lorenz Lutheran Church is home to a congregation of nearly 5,000 today.
The St. Lorenz Church has a Christian School in which over 500 children are enrolled, providing Christian education from preschool through junior high.
St. Lorenz Lutheran Church, 140 Churchgrove Road, Frankenmuth, MI 48734, 989-652-6141
10. Frankenmuth Aerial Park
© Frankenmuth Aerial Park
A thrilling adventure awaits at Frankenmuth Aerial Park. Visitors of all ages are invited for an unforgettable experience as they explore treetops on a series of zip lines and suspended ropes courses. The park offers a variety of trails and obstacles, from swinging bridges to cargo nets and tightropes, with multiple levels of difficulty catering to both beginners and season adventures.
Participants will challenge their agility, balance, and courage as they climb, swing, and fly through the wooded park. Whether you’re looking for an exciting day out with family and friends or simply seeking to challenge your own limits, Frankenmuth Aerial Park is a great stop to conquer your fears and create lasting memories.
Frankenmuth Aerial Park, 1375 Weiss Street, Frankenmuth, Michigan 48734, Phone: 989-284-0201
11. The Fortress Golf Course
© The Fortress Golf Course
The Fortress Golf Course is an 18-hole, par 72 championship golf course that echoes the traditional Scottish origins of the game. Designed in 1992 by golf architect Dick Nugent, the course spans 6,813 yards and features 75 bunkers surrounded by bent-grass tees, pristine fairways, and rolling and sectioned greens.
Individual putting greens and chipping greens with bunkers are available for players to warm up on while the target-oriented driving range offers long-range swing practice. The golf course’s modern clubhouse offers an array of facilities and amenities, including changing rooms and restrooms, and a restaurant and bar, and a variety of special events, tournaments, clinics, and junior programs are scheduled throughout the season.
The Fortress Golf Course, 950 Flint St, Frankenmuth, MI 48734, 989-652-0460
12. Heritage Park
Well-known amongst locals, Heritage Park is arguably Frankenmuth’s most popular park. The large park features a variety of recreational and communal facilities, from three diamond fields for baseball and softball to four picnic pavilions equipped with lights, charcoal grills, and tables for up to 130 people.
Other recreational facilities include playgrounds, basketball and sand volleyball courts, and a handicap-accessible canoe launch. At the center of the park is the Harvey E. Kern Community Pavilion, which hosts a number of festivals and events throughout the year. For those looking for respite from the daily hustle and bustle, enjoy a near-mile-long riverwalk pathway offering fresh air and beautiful scenery to calm the mind.
Heritage Park, 601 Weiss Street, Frankenmuth, Michigan 48734, Phone: 989-652-3440
13. Ultimate Mirror Maze
Enjoy one of the most unique and mind-bending family attractions Frankenmuth has to offer at Ultimate Mirror Maze. Visitors of all ages are sure to have a thrilling experience as they step into a world of infinite reflections, surprising turns, and dead ends while navigating the labyrinth of mirrors.
It’s a great activity for families, friends, or even solo visitors looking for a new adventure. Test your perception and navigation skills, and experience a sense of accomplishment as you conquer this tricky maze. Ultimate Mirror Maze is made up of thousands of mirrors, offering other attractions beyond its main maze. The “Funny Mirrors” is a hilarious installation, allowing visitors to appear in all kinds of shapes from tall or short to thin or wide.
Ultimate Mirror Maze, 925 S Main Street, Frankenmuth, Michigan 48734, Phone: 989-652-3711
14. Zak & Mac's Chocolate Haus
© Zak & Mac's Chocolate Haus
Taste some of Michigan’s best fudge at Zak & Mac’s Chocolate Haus. A chocolate lover’s haven, this confectionary shop features an impressive assortment of handmade chocolates and candies sure to satisfy every sweet tooth.
Find classics like chocolate fudge, caramel turtles, and almond toffee to unique creations like White Chocolate Pistachio Polkas and Dark Chocolate Energy Bites. Whether you’re looking to treat yourself or find a gift for someone special, this sweet shop is a must while you’re in town. And if you find yourself overwhelmed with the endless selection, Zak & Mac’s friendly and knowledgeable staff are always ready to help you find your perfect choice.
Zak & Mac's Chocolate Haus, 925 S Main Street A1, Frankenmuth, Michigan 48734, Phone: 989-652-4925
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15. Great Lakes Escape Game
Find thrilling and immersive entertainment at Great Lakes Escape Game. Offering a variety of themed escape rooms, participants will challenge themselves to solve puzzles, decipher clues, and work as a team to escape before their time runs out. The carefully crafted rooms feature impressive set designs and fascinating stories that are sure to captivate visitors as they’re transported into a world of mystery and excitement.
Previous rooms have featured fun stories like escaping from a pirate ship, solving a mystery in a 20’s speakeasy, and accomplishing a museum heist. Whether you’re looking for some quality time with family, a memorable first date, or a fun team-building activity with colleagues, Great Lakes Escape Game is a great spot for all kinds of visitors.
Great Lakes Escape Game, 566 S Main Street, Frankenmuth, Michigan 48734, Phone: 989-502-1566
16. Frankenmuth Clock & German Gift Co.
© Frankenmuth Clock & German Gift Co.
Reflecting the town’s rich Bavarian heritage, Frankenmuth Clock & German Gift Co offers a variety of authentic, handcrafted German products including hundreds of traditional and contemporary clocks. Their collection includes novelty cuckoo clocks, elegant wall clocks, and even intricate miniature clocks—all showcasing the amazing skill and precision of German clockmakers.
Beyond the clocks, visitors will also find other German products like music boxes, ornaments, and souvenirs. Whether you’re looking for a statement timepiece, a special gift, or simply a unique cultural experience, Frankenmuth Clock & German Gift Co offers a charming journey into the world of German craftsmanship and culture.
Frankenmuth Clock & German Gift Co., 966 S Main Street, Frankenmuth, Michigan 48734, Phone: 989-652-2933
17. Tiffany's Food & Spirits
© Tiffany's Food & Spirits
A long-beloved restaurant, Tiffany’s Food & Spirits has been serving up delicious meals for locals and visitors since its opening in 1988. Their menu features dozens of lunch and dinner options from burgers to fresh pastas and Sicilian pizzas. However, Tiffany’s is most popular for being home to the original pasta pizza.
A delicious creation that keeps customers coming back for more, the Pasta Pitza consists of a traditional-style pizza topped with any of the restaurant’s signature pasta dishes. Beyond the food, Tiffany’s cozy and inviting atmosphere, together with its friendly and attentive staff, make every visit all the more enjoyable.
Tiffany's Food & Spirits, 656 S Main Street, Frankenmuth, Michigan 48734, Phone: 989-652-6881
18. Frankenmuth Brewery
© Frankenmuth Brewery
Known as Michigan’s original craft brewery, Frankenmuth Brewery is the state’s oldest microbrewery dating all the way back to 1862. The historic brewery has become an iconic destination amongst beer enthusiasts, thanks to its rich brewing tradition and award-winning handcrafted beers.
Carefully created with quality ingredients and timeless techniques, each beer delivers a rich taste to satisfy every palate. Their taproom features at least 15 beers on tap all year round, from their core brews to seasonal and experimental beers, while the restaurant offers classics like chicken wings and burgers to pair perfectly with your choice of beer.
Frankenmuth Brewery, 425 S Main Street, Frankenmuth, Michigan 48734, Phone: 989-262-8300
19. Zehnder’s Restaurant
© Zehnder’s Restaurant
Known as “America’s Largest Family Restaurant”, Zehnder’s has been welcoming thousands of guests every year to its beautiful 1,500-seater Heritage Room. The iconic restaurant first opened its doors in 1856 and has since continued to serve its traditional family-style chicken dinners. The popular dinner set features heaping platters of crisp fried chicken and delicious sides like creamy mashed potatoes, egg noodles, and seasonal vegetables.
Their menu also features additional dishes like breaded jumbo shrimp, Bavarian sausages, and schnitzel. However, a visit to Zehnder’s isn’t just about indulging in delicious food, but also about family and tradition. So, stop by with the whole family to share a hearty meal while enjoying meaningful conversation and creating memories.
Zehnder’s Restaurant, 730 S Main Street, Frankenmuth, Michigan 48734, Phone: 844-207-7309
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