15 Photos to Inspire Your Next Trip to Frankenmuth

Frankenmuth is a true gem nestled in the heart of Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay region. From the quaint, German small-town feel to the abundance of things to see and do at the River Place shops, a trip to Michigan’s Little Bavaria never disappoints.

Read more on a few things to do in Frankenmuth this fall that makes for a perfect visit, courtesy of the Frankenmuth Convention and Visitors Bureau.

We just wrapped up our #SeeFrankenmuth summer photo contest and from the looks of things, we had plenty of visitors that could testify to the fact that 1-800-FUN-TOWN isn’t just our phone number. Take a look at some of our fan-submitted photos and start planning your next trip to Michigan’s Little Bavaria.

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

Nothing but blue skies over Zehnder’s Restaurant, one of Frankenmuth’s culinary gems since 1856. Want to try the World’s Famous Chicken Dinners for yourself? Taste the crispy goodness on your next trip!

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

An evening view like this can only come from the Bavarian Inn Lodge in Frankenmuth: featuring 4 indoor pools, 2 indoor water slides, 3 whirlpools, 360 unique guest rooms located on the Cass River, like this one.

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

The gorgeous River Place Shops in Frankenmuth are all-aglow at night. With over 40 specialty shops, boutiques and attractions, it is easy to shop well into the evening.

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

Cozy up under the striped parasols and fire lamps at Prost! Wine Bar and Charcuterie.  Offering a full bar, craft beer and cocktails and six wines on tap centrally located in the heart of downtown.

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

An incredible firework display celebrating Independence Day in Michigan’s Little Bavaria.

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

Two little visitors overlooking the Covered Bridge and gorgeous Cass River. Did you know that this is Michigan’s largest wooden covered bridge?

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

Water like glass. The Cass River is great for kayaking and paddle boarding. For rentals, visit the Frankenmuth Outfitters.

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

A whimsical moment captured from Frankenmuth’s Balloons Over Bavarian Inn Festival.

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

A picturesque moment of Frankenmuth’s Covered Bridge overlooking the Cass River at sunset. The perfect place to cast a fishing pole, enjoy a picnic or simply rest and experience the natural beauty that can only be found here.

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

A gorgeous sunrise illuminates the farm fields. When settlers came to the city in 1845, Frankenmuth was founded on flour, saw and woolen mills. They also produced beer, cheese and sausage. Agricultural and self-sustaining businesses were the norm. Check out the history here.

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

The Bavarian Inn Castle Shops are a world of enchantment! Located in the lower level of Bavarian Inn Restaurant, you’ll find seven unique shops that have something for everyone.

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

A nighttime view from inside Frankenmuth’s Covered Bridge, or as we say in German, the Holz Brucke.

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

An iconic landmark of Frankenmuth will always create a fun photo shoot.

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

Frankenmuth’s  Cass River reflecting the beautiful Bavarian Inn Lodge. This shot was taken from Frankenmuth’s River Walk: a charming willow-lined path that is a great biking and walking trail.

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

Photo Courtesy of Frankenmuth CVB

When Frankenmuth celebrates the Balloons Over Bavarian Inn Festival, you don’t have to be on Main Street to enjoy the show.

 What do you love to do in the area? Share in the comments!

Check out Frankenmuth’s website, Facebook and Twitter for more!

A Visitor’s Guide to Exploring Frankenmuth – Michigan’s Little Bavaria

To celebrate the kick off of Zehnder’s Snowfest in Frankenmuth next week, guest blogger Craig Sterken takes us on a tour of some charming attractions in Michigan’s Little Bavaria.

If you’ve ever dreamed of spending a winter’s day in a charming alpine village, but don’t have the funds to fly to the Bavarian Alps, a weekend visit to Frankenmuth, Michigan might be the thing for you. Nicknamed “Little Bavaria”, this small city in the heart of mid-Michigan will have you believing you’ve been transported to your dream village within minutes.

Photo by Craig Sterken Photography

Teeming with charm, Main Street offers shops, boutiques, restaurants, a brewery, and a step back in time with horse and carriage rides.  A carriage ride will take you through a picturesque neighborhood and through the downtown area. Afterwards, you have your choice of two well known restaurants. On opposite sides of the street you’ll find Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth, famously known for their chicken dinners and the Bavarian Inn, widely known for its home-cooked German fare. Both establishments also host gift shops and fine wines.

The Cass River wends its way through town and is flanked on one side of the river by the Bavarian Inn and the Bavarian Inn Lodge. An appealing covered bridge, known as “The Zehnder’s Holz Brucke” spans the river connecting the two properties. Available to both cars and foot traffic it adds to the delightful scenic views of Frankenmuth.

Photo by Craig Sterken Photography

For shoppers who want more than the boutiques in town offer, there is River Place. Over 40 shops offer goods for the discriminate shopper. River Place has pleasant walkways, benches, and paths to stroll, linger, and enjoy, even in winter. For entertainment beyond shopping you can also visit Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel and Indoor Waterpark. Providing wet and wild family fun and relaxation it can be a wonderful respite from the winter weather. They even provide complementary shuttle service to Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth restaurant.

Photo by Craig Sterken Photography

Though Frankenmuth is widely known for their many festivals throughout the year winter brings Zehnder’s Snowfest. One of the most well known snow-sculpting competitions in North America, it is also host to the National Collegiate Ice Carving Championship and the High School Snow Sculpting Competition. You’ll be able to watch the snow sculptors at work and ice carvers employing their skills with chainsaws, picks, and even handmade tools created for the job. This year will be the 23rd annual completion and will be held January 22-27.

Photo by Craig Sterken Photography

Don’t forget to visit the southern outskirts of town and visit Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland. Bronner’s is the World’s Largest Christmas Store. Founded in 1945 by Wally Bronner, it is open year round and bustles with activity as shoppers, tour busses, and cars come and go. Over 100,000 lights are lit throughout the season and it provides the perfect atmosphere for getting yourself in the Christmas mood. It’s easy to spend an entire afternoon shopping for ornaments, artificial trees, Santa suits, or for resting your heels in their cafeteria.

Frankenmuth just has so much to offer. On a recent visit my wife and I stopped for wine tasting at St. Julian Winery, shopped for a comforter at Frankenmuth Woolen Mills, ate lunch at Tiffany’s, and bought freshly roasted chestnuts from a vendor on Main Street.  So, if you’re looking for a weekend full of family fun, a good meal, or a romantic getaway with that alpine village feel, Frankenmuth delivers. Visit one of the bustling shops or just quietly sit on a bench sipping hot chocolate and watch the fun unfold around you.

Craig Sterken is a freelance photographer and lifelong resident of Michigan. His photos have been published in travel publications, magazines, brochures, and websites throughout the state.  His prints adorn the walls of homes, offices, hospitals, and businesses and can be purchased online or in various galleries and shops in Michigan. Visit his website CraigSterken.com or on Facebook  for more information.