I was provided a complimentary stay at the Bavarian Inn Lodge and a meal at the Bavarian Inn Restaraunt though the USFamilyGuide to share my experience. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.
The Bavarian-themed downtown of Frankenmuth, Michigan may be enough of a draw to lure tourists to this midwest town but what do you do once you arrive? We’ve got the answers on where to stay, what to eat and what to do for a couples getaway to Frankenmuth. But if you’re not traveling with your significant other, don’t worry, our tips apply to any visit.
Why visit Frankenmuth?
How can you pass through this Bavarian-themed town and not want to visit? The architecture alone transports you into a fairytale setting. This idyllic town features much to do from shopping to wine tasting to dining at iconic restaurants known across America, my question may be why not visit Frankenmuth?
Read——-> Must Visit Frankenmuth Icons
Where to Eat in Frankenmuth
The Bavarian Inn is one of the largest independently owned restaurants in the United States selling nearly 900,000 meals in 2017 alone. Are you impressed by that number? I am. Open since 1888, nearly 20 million visitors have enjoyed an all-you-can-eat family-style dinner at the restaurant in its 130-year history. That’s a lot of chicken folks. And while chicken on the bone isn’t my favorite thing to eat, I will say that the charming 90,000 square foot restaurant is something to see- and experience.
The waiters and waitresses are dressed in traditional German costumes and serve up a selection of American comfort foods and German entrees. My husband and I opted for the best of both worlds with the Ultimate Family Style Bavarian Dinner which sells for $28.99 a person (add $2 for all white meat chicken- which we did).
This huge meal is served with five types of meat: Frankenmuth Chicken, Kasseler Rippchen (smoked pork loin), Sauerbraten (marinated roast beef), Bratwurst (smoked sausage) and Schnitzel (breaded loin of pork). It is served with sauerkraut and potato cheese puffs plus a slew of sides that are served in courses. First up are the bread- Stollen (fruit & nut bread) and backofenbrot (house-made white bread) both made fresh in their bakery. Next up is the noodle soup followed by salads- coleslaw, pasta salad, cranberry relish and a Michigan seasonal salad. The next course includes baked dressing, vegetables, creamy mashed potatoes and gravy and buttered noodles and on the chance that you have some room left in your belly, the meal is topped off with house-made ice cream.
Now, as if that wasn’t enough food to eat, remember that you get unlimited portions, after all, this is all-you-can-eat. Except for one more piece of chicken, another piece of bratwurst and more mashed potatoes, my husband and I had our fill with the initial serving. We didn’t even have room for dessert even though I remembered how tasty the orange vanilla ice cream was on my first visit. Dining at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant is certainly an experience that everyone should have at least once in their lifetime.
Other places to eat in Frankenmuth include:
Tiffany’s Food & Spirits
Address: 656 S Main St, Frankenmuth, MI 48734
Phone Number: 989-652-6881
Hours: Open 7 Days, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (bar closes at midnight)
Tiffany’s Food & Spirits features an eclectic décor with stained glass lighting indoors and a lovely outdoor seating area outside for those who prefer to people watch. Housed in a 1904 era hotel, Tiffany’s specializes in “PastaPitza”, hand-tossed pizza topped with Fettuccine Alfredo, Lobster Pasta, Lasagna and other pasta favorites. They even offer gluten-free options. I tried the Chicken Portabella Marsala on my last visit which was yummy but this time around my husband and I opted for a Sicilian style pizza.
The Frankenmuth Brewery
Address: 425 S Main St, Frankenmuth, MI 48734
Phone Number: 989-262-8300
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday & Saturday 11 a.m.- 11 p.m.
Located in the original 150-year old building where it started, the Frankenmuth Brewery serves up traditional German and quality American craft beer. The brewery is one of the oldest breweries in the country and Michigan’s Original Craft Brewery. After nibbling on tasty appetizers, sliders, burgers, or an artisanal pizza, tour the brewery to learn about the ghost that is rumored to haunt the cellars.
Prost Wine Bar & Charcuterie
Address: 576 1/2, S Main St, Frankenmuth, MI 48734
Phone Number: 989-262-8690
Hours: Monday 12-9 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday & Saturday 12 p.m. to 12 a.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
If you’re looking for the ideal place to sip a cocktail or glass of wine, look no further than the beautifully decorated wine bar located along Main Street. With both indoor and outdoor dining Prost Wine Bar & Charcuterie features a rustic-chic interior and warm vibe, great for couples or to experience with a group of friends.
Where to Shop in Frankenmuth
After dining at the Bavarian Inn, walk off some of your food by shopping in the Castle Shops beneath the restaurant. You’ll find souvenir options, housewares, chocolates and a candy store.
Nearby, the RiverPlace Shops offer a broader selection with Tervis Tumblers, Yankee Candles, N’orlins Beignets & Coffee serving up heart-shaped beignets and Café au lait (be still my heart), a bookstore, beef jerky, a store with all Irish-inspired items and more. Certainly, a fun way to spend a couple hours for those that enjoy shopping.
You’ll find more shops and boutiques lining the streets of Frankenmuth. Don’t miss a visit to the newly re-opened Cheese Haus which just moved into a new, much larger space.
Other popular places to shop include Bronner’s which is the world’s largest Christmas store. You can read about my experience in this fun store here ——> Celebrate Christmas Every Day of the Year in Frankenmuth while you’re at Bronner’s don’t miss visiting the Silent Night Memorial Chapel which is located at the edge of the parking lot.
Insider Tip: If you’re staying at the Bavarian Inn, make sure to sign up for their coupons prior to your arrival to save on everything from chocolates to gifts for your pets at the Castle Shops and River Place Shops.
Activities in Frankenmuth
Watch the Glockenspiel
This event is popular so arrive early to stake out a seat with an unobstructed view. The Glockenspiel Tower is located at the Bavarian Inn. Imported from Germany, this 35-bell carillon features four-and-a-half-foot tall wood retell the legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin at noon, 3, 6 and 9 p.m. Stick around after the English version to hear and see the German rendition.
Tour the St. Lorenz Church
Address: 1030 W. Tuscola St. Frankenmuth, MI 48734
The beautiful stained- glass windows in the St. Lorenz Church are a must for anyone interested in the history of Frankenmuth. Not only do the windows tell the story of the arrival of settlers to the area, they also tell the story of the Lutheran Church.
If time allows, spend a few moments observing the old gravestones across the street.
Insider Tip: A self-guided brochure is available upon entering the church.
Ride down the Cass River on the Bavarian Belle Riverboat
Guests onboard the Bavarian Belle Riverboat will learn about the waterway and history of Frankenmuth on a relaxing boat ride down the Cass River.
Insider Tip: If you plan to take photos, make sure you line up early, so you can snag a seat along the railing for the best views on the boat.
Take a Wine & Chocolate Tasting Tour
Address: 445 S Main St, Frankenmuth, MI 48734
Phone Number: 989-652-3400
Hours: Sunday-Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Frankenmuth FunShips offer an entertaining and informative cruise down the Cass River on a 12-passenger electric boat. Perhaps my favorite tour is the Wine & Chocolate Tasting Cruise which pairs Michigan Wines with handmade chocolates.
Enjoy a Horse Drawn Carriage Ride through Frankenmuth
The romantic in me wanted desperately to take a ride in one of the horse-drawn carriages that can be found in downtown Frankenmuth and by the pavilion on the other side of the covered bridge near the Bavarian Inn Lodge. 15-minute and hour-long tours are available.
Don’t miss —-> How to Plan a Weekend Getaway to Frankenmuth
Wine Tasting at St. Julian’s Winery
If you’d rather experience a traditional wine tasting experience, head to St. Julian’s Winery- the oldest, largest and most awarded winery in the whole state of Michigan!
Go on a Gnome Hunt
Created with young children in mind, it appears the Frankenmuth Gnome Hunt is popular with all visitors who are young at heart. Pop into the Frankenmuth Visitor Center (635 S. and pick up a list of the shops and attractions around town where an official gnome can be spotted and start looking. Once you located ten or more, return your scavenger hunt sheet to receive a token as a souvenir of your visit to this Bavarian-inspired town.
Insider Tip: You’ll spot your first gnome as you exit the visitor center to the parking lot behind the building.
Learn about the History of Frankenmuth
Address: 613 S. Main St. Frankenmuth, MI 48734
Phone Number: 989-652-9701
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday & Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 12 to 6 p.m.
The Frankenmuth Historical Museum, housed in a former hotel that was built in 1905, shares the story of Frankenmuth through interactive exhibits and displays.
Where to Stay in Frankenmuth
The Bavarian Inn Lodge
Address:1 Covered Bridge Ln, Frankenmuth, MI 48734
Phone Number: 989-652-7200
You’ll find several hotels suitable for your Frankenmuth getaway, but for our occasion, we stayed at the Bavarian Inn Lodge. The charming property with the Bavarian façade features four indoor pools and three waterslides, a huge game room or Family Fun Center as it’s called (that’s not just for the kids), indoor mini golf, restaurants and lounges on-site PLUS, an adult only pool and hot tub.
My husband was intrigued as we drove across the wooden covered bridge and pulled up in front of the hotel. Our room was in the Courtyard which is conveniently in the same area as the adults only pool and hot tub. Inconvenient enough, I forgot our bathing suits at home. Bummer, right?
We could have easily bought some at the hotel but honestly, we were only in town for one night and filled our time exploring downtown Frankenmuth, challenging each other to a pinball tournament in the Family Fun Center- what can I say? We’re kids at heart- and smooching in the photo booth. Did we really miss swimming? Probably not but it’s great to have it as an option.
The interior of the hotel features traditional décor that is fitting for the Bavarian property. Our room was located on the third floor towards the front of the hotel with two large windows that met in the corner of our room allowing gorgeous views of the Cass River and the covered bridge. I couldn’t help but think we should have planned and packed goodies for a romantic picnic at sunset.
Our cozy room was number 336 and called the Krueger Room. On the wall inside our room featured frames with the history of the Krueger family and their connection to Frankenmuth which is a wonderful touch. You can read more about the Guest Room Family Histories here.
Downtown Frankenmuth is located directly across the covered bridge so once you arrive, you can park your car and walk to all the downtown restaurants and attractions so slip on a pair of comfy shoes and hit the sidewalks. If you prefer not to walk, a shuttle is available to take you downtown and the horse and carriage is often waiting a short walk from the hotel near the covered bridge. If you’re able, walking is the best way to experience Frankenmuth. You’ll find beautiful flowers, fountains, murals and of course the fun architecture.
You can visit Frankenmuth with your family and have an amazing time. You can also visit Frankenmuth for a romantic couple escape and have an amazing time. Have you visited this German town in Michigan yet? What are you waiting for?
© 2018, Tonya Prater. All rights reserved.