Frankenmuth, a Bavarian themed town, is unlike any other city in Michigan. It feels like you have stepped back in time to when things were simpler, perhaps a little more peaceful. It’s a place where families can enjoy quality time together while forgetting the outside world. I enjoy visiting Frankenmuth throughout the year, not just in the summer.
Within about one square mile, this quaint town offers visitors a taste of Bavaria as they wander in and out of shops, enjoying chocolates, tasting wines, sampling cheeses and of course, dining on delicious famous chicken.
Speaking of chicken, it is impossible to talk about Frankenmuth without mentioning its world-famous chicken! Zehnder’s and the Bavarian Inn are owned by brothers, Mr. William Zehnder and Mr. Edwin Zehnder. The restaurants are located across the street from each other with both offering all-you-can-eat chicken dinners with all the trimmings in a beautiful Bavarian themed atmosphere. Consistent with the theme, cheerful servers dressed in Bavarian style uniforms deliver your hearty meals.
The Bavarian Belle Riverboat is another Frankenmuth favorite. For just a few dollars (cash only), you can sit back and relax as the river boat captain guides the beautiful covered boat down the Cass River. As a bonus, the Bavarian Belle is a family owned and operated business. As such, the father and sons operation strives to offer you the best possible experience with every trip down the river. Oh, and they pop delicious popcorn for each trip down the river!
As you take in the sights, the river boat captain will point out wildlife along the shore, sneak in witty jokes and share informative history about the area. There is never a dull moment as he points out homes of prominent Frankenmuth residents and discusses the Star of the West Milling Company as you catch sight of their operation near the river.
Wandering along Main Street is a feast for the eyes and stomach. Frankenmuth Cheese Haus attracts visitors young and old for a photo opportunity standing next to a huge wedge of bright yellow cheese with a mouse popping its head out at the top. Handmade candy, sausage and chocolate shops with large open windows draws in curious visitors. Don’t miss the hidden Castle Shops located on the lower level of the Bavarian Inn Restaurant.
South of the Bavarian Inn Restaurant toward the east is the nostalgic Covered Bridge. Vehicles and pedestrians alike can cross this bridge with safe walled pedestrian walkways on either side of the bridge. Be sure to walk on both sides of the bridge to enjoy the scenic view of Heritage Park and the beautiful downtown area. It’s especially exiting to cross the bridge as the Bavarian Belle glides below.
Lastly, the River Place Shops located at the south end of Main Street offers culinary delights such as SugarHigh Bakery that won Cup Cake Wars in Season 7, The Popcorn Wagon for 40 flavors of yummy popcorn and La Crepe du Jour for sweet and savory handmade crepes. River Place Shops contain oodles of family owned businesses catering to our taste buds, beloved pets and children. Clothing stores, wineries, a distillery and leather goods are sure to delight shoppers of all ages. Not to mention a small river meanders through the shopping area.
In closing, Frankenmuth contains more than meets the eye. Take the day or the weekend to explore this city rich with history and charm. Frequent festivals and events will bring you to Frankenmuth time and time again. You’ll be amazed with the hidden gems you discover during each visit!