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!

3 Ways to Get Your Feet Wet along Michigan’s Sunrise Coast

Michigan’s Sunrise Coast stretches from Au Gres to Rogers City along the blue waters of Lake Huron.  This picturesque Northeast coast of Michigan has pristine beaches, spectacular views and endless outdoor activities.With more than 20 miles of sandy beaches, the Au Sable River and 35 thousand acres of unique trails, the Oscoda area is a great destination for your summer vacation bucket list.

Here are three ways to get your feet wet and enjoy the sun, sand and fresh air in Oscoda.

Oscoda is a paradise destination on the coast of Lake Huron

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Bailey

1. Explore Oscoda’s Water Trails 

Take in the beautiful scenery and catch a glimpse of wildlife in their native habitat during a canoeing or kayaking trip along the mighty Au Sable River.  The Au Sable is one of North America’s best canoeing rivers and runs through Northern Lower Michigan.

Whether you’re looking for a two-hour trip or a weeklong adventure, it’s an adventure you won’t want to miss.

 2. Go Fish 

If you’re looking for a trophy size fish, Oscoda is the right place for you.  The area is known for walleye fishing, but the Au Sable River and other inner lakes and streams attract trout, salmon and perch.

Once you decide where you want to fish, ,make sure you stop by the local bait shops and spend some time talking with the locals to determine what lures are hot and what is being caught.

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3. Life’s a Beach

The pristine beaches along Lake Huron, the Au Sable River, Cedar Lake and Van Etten Lake offer something for everyone.

Want a quiet afternoon taking in the sights and sounds of nature? Take in a sunrise at Huron Sunrise Park, along the Lake Huron’s shoreline. Stay for a picnic, wildlife observation, swimming or fishing.

Kids and kids-at-heart can spend a day at Oscoda Beach Park swimming, skateboarding, playing on the playground and more. While you’re there, be sure to check out the 33rd Annual Art on the Beach where there will be more than 150 artisans display and sell their handmade arts, crafts and hobbies.

Don't miss the 33rd Annual Art on the Beach

Art on the Beach is the can’t-miss event of the summer in Oscoda

If you want to take your boat out for a day on the lake, take off from Van Etten Beach Park. This park is a fresh water lake that has all the recreation activities for swimming, boating, water skiing, wave running and of course, fishing.

After all that exploring, you’ll want a place to rest your head.  Oscoda has everything from cottages, Bed and Breakfast resorts and hotels – many of them with views along Lake Huron.

From relaxing on the beach to fishing for walleyes in the lakes and rivers, Oscoda offers endless outdoor recreation activities. It’s perfect for your next family vacation!

What are you looking forward to doing in Oscoda this summer?

Here’s What It Takes to Make Mackinac Island Fudge

Happy National Fudge Day! In honor of celebrating a true Pure Michigan delicacy, we reached out to our friends on Mackinac Island to share some insight on the island’s famous fudge and a few fun facts to go along with it. Read more to see how much you know about Mackinac’s historic fudge-making process and three interesting facts below.

What is the most popular thing to do for free on Mackinac Island?  The answer: Sample free fudge! That question is one of the most frequently asked at the island’s downtown information booth. Another is, who makes the best Mackinac Island fudge? Two questions with the same answer: Taste test for yourself.

JoAnn's fudge with walnuts

JoAnns Fudge is one of many shops to explore on Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island is America’s Fudge Capital and our fudge stores take the moniker very seriously. It’s a proud badge of honor to carry and they give back by offering samples to anyone who asks. On Mackinac Island, fudge plays a major tourism role along with our Fort Mackinac, Grand Hotel and 600-working horses on this island without cars.

Who knew making fudge could be so entertaining?

Our visitors are in for a “sweet treat” when they get off one of our ferry boats and roam downtown where 14-fudge shops are collectively making over 10-thousand pounds of fudge per day during the peak travel season. In addition to sampling the taste, they also get to watch the process of making fudge from boiling the ingredients to pouring the hot liquid concoction onto marble tables where expert fudge makers fold and mold it into iconic half pound slices.

Mackinac Island's fudge-making process takes time for perfection

Photo Courtesy of the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau

One of the best surprises visitors get here is the smell of fudge emanating from every fudge store as its being made. Stores have a ventilation systems emptying into the streets to share the aroma from their boiling vats with temperatures reaching in the 240-degree area. You’ve concluded by now fudge is big business. As many as 10-tons of sugar is imported to the island weekly to match the 10-tons of butter annually!

Today, 80-percent of that sugar comes from the sugar beet fields of Michigan. Back in the late 19th Century the sweetness for fudge making came from local Native American tribes harvesting maple sugar according to Phil Porter’s book, Fudge Mackinac’s Sweet Souvenir.

Toppings are added near the end stages of fudge-making

Photo Courtesy of the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau

The popularity of Mackinac Island Fudge is at an all-time high. Purchasing fudge over the internet keeps Mackinac Island fudge consumption going year round. It is especially popular during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. So as you read this, chances are someone is being entertained by watching the fudge making process on Mackinac Island! It looks delicious, smells terrific, tastes incredible and is almost as entertaining to watch as it is to eat. Did you know these fun fudge-facts below?

  1. Did you know during World War I, millions of individually wrapped one-ounce portions of chocolate were delivered to our soldiers in Europe?
  2. Did you know during World War II the rationing of sugar adversely effected the quantity of Mackinac Island Fudge being made to satisfy demand?
  3. Did you know President Gerald R. Ford visited Mackinac Island in 1975 and stopped at May’s Fudge on the corner of Astor and Main where it sits today? He sampled then purchased a fresh off the slab slice of vanilla pecan.     

What is your favorite flavor of Mackinac Island fudge? Share with us by commenting below!