5 Reasons to Visit Frankenmuth This Summer

If you’re looking for family fun with a German twist, look no further than the Christmas town of Frankenmuth. Between water parks, small-town strolls and the world’s largest Christmas store, there’s so much to do in Michigan’s Little Bavaria.

Read more on five reasons to visit Frankenmuth this summer, courtesy of the Frankenmuth Convention and Visitors Bureau.

1. Outdoor adventure awaits you!

Frankenmuth has long been known for chicken and Christmas, and while we still have those things (see numbers 3 and 4), there’s also many opportunities for outdoor adventure, you just have to know where to find it. Zip line through the trees at Frankenmuth Adventure Park on a zip line & ropes course and then hit the water. Frankenmuth Outfitters offers kayak and paddleboard rentals right out of Heritage Park. Paddle along the scenic Cass River and take in the sights. If riding sounds more appealing, try the Bavarian Belle Riverboat cruise, a 150 passenger traditional paddlewheel style boat, or for a more intimate setting, sip wine and taste handmade chocolates on the Frankenmuth FunShips.

The Frankenmuth Adventure Park offers many fun and active challenges

Photo Courtesy of the Frankenmuth Convention and Visitors Bureau

2.Unique & Local Shopping

Summer is the perfect time to shop in Frankenmuth. Revel in the charming setting of the River Place Shops, with over 40 unique boutique style shops, located in the heart of downtown. Take in the Bavarian architecture, enjoy a wine tasting or sample homemade mouth-watering fudge. Be sure to wander up and down Main Street to take in the beautiful flowers spilling over from every hanging plant and garden while stopping in at the one of a kind stores.

3. Christmas in July… And All Year Round

Arguably one of the most popular U.S. holidays, skipping a trip to Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, the world’s largest Christmas store, would be unheard of. Definitely plan on spending a couple hours there, and as founder Wally Bronner would say, “It’s free to enter, it may not be free to leave.”

Bronner's is a Christmas paradise all year-long

Photo Courtesy of Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland

4. Family Style Chicken Dinners

There is no way a top five list would be complete without including the world famous, all-you-can-eat chicken dinners from Bavarian Inn and Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth. There is a reason why hundreds of thousands of people visit there each year.

World-famous chicken dinners can be found at Frankenmuth's Bavarian Inn

Photo Courtesy of Dianna Stampfler, Promote Michigan

5. #SeeFrankenmuth Photo Contest

We love seeing how our visitors discover Frankenmuth through photography. Now through July 31st, hashtag your Frankenmuth photos with #SeeFrankenmuth for a chance to win $100 in Frankenmuth Money or the Grand Prize of a two-night stay at the hotel of your choice* and $200 in Frankenmuth Money. There’s no better time to take a vacation to Frankenmuth. Click here for full contest details.

Now that you’re ready to visit Frankenmuth, be sure to visit Frankenmuth.org and try out the handy trip planner. It allows you to easily plan your trip and share your itinerary with the lucky friends and family you choose to bring.

Don't miss the chance to enter the #SeeFrankenmuth Photo Contest

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @trever_west

We cant wait to see you this summer in Michigan’s Little Bavaria!

What do you love most about Frankenmuth? Share with us by commenting below!

6 Unique Places to Stay in Michigan on Your Next Trip

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Expedia.com shared some of the best hotels all across the Great Lake State.

A variety of eclectic cities with vivid scenery, cultural attractions, and scrumptious cuisine are sewn into the state of Michigan. We can’t get enough of the Wolverine State, from the islands in the north to the coastal spots overlooking Lake Michigan, so at Expedia.com we compiled some of our favorite hotels across the state. Whether you start in the south and work your way north, or dedicate a separate vacation for each of these cities, Michigan’s fantastic fudge and bubbling brewery scene are sure to impress.

Photo Courtesy of Expedia

Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island
If you’ve heard of Mackinac Island, then you’re probably familiar with some of the best fudge on the planet. Venture to this northern island resort, and eat your weight in sugary goodness on the world’s longest front porch, located at Grand Hotel.

The historical 1886 hotel stands pretty like a dollhouse with Americana charm; all it’s missing is a white picket fence. Dive into a five-course meal at the Main Dining Room that overlooks the Straits of Mackinac and splash around in the Esther Williams swimming pool, named after the actress that starred in “This Time for Keeps,” which was filmed at the hotel property.

Photo Courtesy of Traverse City Toursim

Great Wolf Lodge, Traverse City
As one of Michigan’s largest destinations, Traverse City is overflowing with things to do. In the warm months, get some rays and stake a claim at Clinch Park Beach or set sail along West Grand Traverse Bay. But if snowflakes are falling, the ski slopes at Crystal Mountain are only 30 miles southwest of the city.

Regardless of the temperatures outside, it’s always summertime at the Great Wolf Lodge, which features a 38 thousand square foot indoor water park. With water slides, wave pools, and a four-story tree house water fort, this lodge is perfect for the young and young at heart. The family-friendly hotel also provides spacious suites and on-site eateries.

Photo Courtesy of Expedia

The Inn at Harbor Shores, St. Joseph
Who needs France when you’ve got the “Riviera of the Midwest?” Hugging Lake Michigan, St. Joseph is a waterfront town sprinkled with sand dunes along the coast and orchards and vineyards in the countryside.

Once you’ve spent the day shopping at the boutiques and canoeing on the lake, retreat to The Inn at Harbor Shores in time for complimentary happy hour. Showing off views of St. Joseph River and Lake Michigan, the hotel includes an indoor and outdoor pool, spa, and even an art gallery. During your stay, create some friendly competition on the sand volleyball court—loser buys the first round at Plank’s Dockside Bar!

Photo Courtesy of Expedia

The H Hotel, Midland
It may not be unchartered territory, but the “City of Modern Explorers” is definitely worth a visit. Home to the immaculate Dow Gardens and Michigan’s oldest brewery, Midland belongs on your travel itinerary. Find some peace and quiet in one of the city’s 72 parks or get tickets to the symphony orchestra at Midland Center for the Arts.

When it’s time to relax, The H Hotel offers a tranquil retreat. Take a dip in the indoor whirlpool and swimming pool, or tempt your taste buds at the hotel’s high-end restaurant, The Table. The inviting accommodation also features a business center, fitness room, and shuttle service.

Photo Courtesy of Expedia

Amway Grand Plaza, Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids had us at “beer.” Local breweries like Founders Brewing Co. and Brewery Vivant entice our hoppy side, but it’s the up-and-coming foodie scene that makes linger in this town.

Loosen your belt buckle after hitting local favorites, such as Grove and Cult Pizza, and then sleep off that food coma at the Amway Grand Plaza. Ready for round two? The hotel has five eateries, including the elegant Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and the Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck. You’ll have access to The Spa and Salon, Lumber Baron Bar, and the Garden Court Lounge, too.

Photo Courtesy of Expedia

The Inn on Ferry Street, Detroit
If its automobile history is the only thing that comes to mind when you think of Detroit, then it’s time to broaden your horizons. Weave through the stalls at the Eastern Market, sipping and sampling the local eats. Artwork and fresh flowers brighten the rows, while local musicians color the air with sound.

After scooping up some fresh produce and slipping into the local bars that surround the market, put your feet up at The Inn on Ferry Street. The property is unique in that it spans four Victorian mansions and two carriage houses. Discover the charm and history at this accommodation, which serves as a bed-and-breakfast, hotel hybrid. Wake to up to complimentary breakfast and hop in the free shuttle that services anywhere within 5 miles.

North, south, east, west, and everything in between, Michigan just might surprise you. Set your sights on this state and spend your next vacation exploring it from the bottom of the mitten to the very tip of the UP.

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As a staff writer for Expedia, Chloe Mulliner is dedicated to providing top travel tips for your jaunts around the world. She believes there are adventures to be had on every inch of the globe from surf spots on the Peruvian coast to the charming villages of the English countryside. Chloe specializes in showcasing all the must-see attractions on your travel wish list. She lives by the belief that every adventure is a story worth sharing.

Plan the Perfect Pure Michigan Snow Day with these Deals

Last week, we hosted a Twitter chat with our fans, and many partners, to discuss the perfect Pure Michigan Snow Day. You all gave us amazing ideas for staycations, winter sports to try, and where to go for our next vacation! In addition to this, we received an abundance of  information on fantastic deals happening around Pure Michigan. Read below to find out where to get money-saving deals for your travel this winter!

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Boyne Mountain, Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @emkotwick

Boyne Highlands/Boyne Mountain

Boyne Highlands is one of Michigan’s premiere all-season resorts with a variety of activities ranging from zip line adventures to golf ranges. During the winter, though, one of the most popular activities is skiing and they have great deals for everyone. From first-timers to seasoned veterans, you can find great deals at Boyne Highlands.

Boyne Mountain is another premiere resort that offers 60 downhill trails, 12 lifts, and ski-in/ski-out accommodations. They also have Zipline Adventures, snowshoeing and so much more! It is a great place to learn how to ski for your Pure Michigan Snow Day!

If you love skiing and will be going regularly this winter, you can buy a frequent skier/rider card for the season to save money on every purchase. Accepted at both Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain, the card has no blackout dates and there are even a couple of weeks where you can ski/ride free. Check out the savings here.

In addition to that deal, check out all the deals and packages each resort has going on right now. You can get a $20 gift card if you stay midweek and enjoy shorter lines! Seniors can also ski free midweek. For Boyne Highlands, if you are looking for a fun vacation President’s Day weekend, look no further than the ski and stay package! If you have young children age 8 or under and stay with Boyne Highlands, they can ski and stay for free!

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Photo Courtesy of Facebook fan Scott Maginnis

Holland

Holland, known for its Dutch history, is a fantastic place to visit on your Pure Michigan Snow Day! There are several fun activities such as concerts, theatrical performances and visiting the boutiques and galleries.

There are several discounts and promotions on lodging and travel to Holland. You can save 20% with Amtrak on the Pere Marquette, making it even easier and cheaper to take a trip. Many packages are available at Country Inn & Suites or CityFlats Hotel, including a Romance or Hanky Panky (ha!) package perfect for Valentine’s Day or even celebrating an anniversary!  Be sure to check out the other lodging options that will help you have the perfect trip.

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Photo Courtesy of Shanty Creek

Shanty Creek

Shanty Creek is a four-season resort featuring 72 holes of championship golf on four different courses, 53 ski runs on two mountains, and 30 km of cross-country skiing. There is a ton of lodging choices that fit everyone’s budget. With Valentine’s Day coming up, they also have special romance ski packages!

Shanty Creek also has a bunch of great deals this season. For example, to support “Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month”, children ages 8 and under will receive a complimentary season pass after taking a lesson from their Ski School.  If you’re in college, Shanty Creek provides a discounted College Student Season pass as well as College Week Specials!

Be sure to speak to a Shanty Creek reservation specialist while booking your trip, so they can work with you to try and save even more money!

Ski Free with Shell Gas

Last, but not least, one of the best deals this season comes from something you probably already do: buying gas! If you buy 10 gallons of fuel from a participating Shell gas station, you will have the opportunity to purchase one full price adult lift ticket and receive one free. Be sure to check out the website and find a participating Shell station. There is an extensive list of Michigan locations as well as over 20 ski resort participants including Crystal Mountain, Mt. Zion, Treetops Resort and many more!

For more great deals and packages, check out the packages and deals page on Michigan.org 

Do you know of any other money-saving deals helpful planning for a Pure Michigan Snow Day? Comment and let us know!