Little Bavaria, Big Experience: Willkommen to Frankenmth

With authentic German experiences at every turn, world-famous chicken dinners served family-style (by damsels in dirndls and lads in lederhosen, no less), and a 50-foot Glockenspiel Tower offering sounds and showings daily, folks travel from across the globe and just up the road to experience all that is the #gogreatlakesbay neighborhood of Main Street Frankenmuth.

Only about three square miles, yet home to the World's Largest Christmas Store that is Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, Frankenmuth is more than a destination-it's an all-out experience. Willkommen!

Authentic Tastes and Unforgettable Plates

Bavarian Inn Restaurant - Food 

At a time when life moves lightning-fast, you'll experience a welcomed change of pace inside Bavarian Inn Restaurant and Zehnder's of Frankenmuth. Located across the street from one another, both are rich in heritage and hospitality, and both are renowned for their exquisite, all-you-can-eat chicken dinners. Served family-style, the experience includes mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, Hot German Buttered Noodles or Schnitzel, and Sauerbraten (sauerkraut), too, along with many other offerings.

How to choose between the two restaurants? The only advice is this: you simply must experience both! (Short on time? Both restaurants offer take-out meals, online ordering options, and Z Chef's Café, the centerpiece of Zehnder's Marketplace located in the lower level, serves Old World tastes in a no-fuss manner, perfect for lunch.)

Sample this Spirited Neighborhood

Prost! Table 

Depending on when you visit, the outdoor patio of Tiffany's Food & Spirits is as inviting as the stained-glass, downhome décor inside. Serving up serious burgers and sandwiches, locals might recommend ordering a Sicilian pizza like the "Chicken Marsala PastaPitza". Tiffany's drinks specials and tap selections are as plentiful as the good times you'll have inside, enjoy!

Or gather in award-winning Prost! Wine Bar & Charcuterie, and possibly order wine served on tap (yes, you read that right-you'll see)! Prost is the German word for "cheers", and everything about the wine selections, tapas, and "Build Your Own Board" options will have you singing praises for Prost! Of course, the infamous Solera Cream Sherry can only be found at St. Julian Winery, and a guided tasting includes six wine samples and a souvenir glass. Plan to sip and savor at both of these spirited locations!

However, your time spent in Frankenmuth wouldn't be complete without bellying up at America's oldest microbrewery, the historical Frankenmuth Brewery Inc. who serves up more than 150 years of brewing tradition (and unforgettable food), or without making your way into the Lager Mill Beer Store & Brewing Museum to discover more than 450 craft beers from around the world.  

A word to the wise: no worries about driving, okay? Horse-drawn carriage rides are available year-round in Frankenmuth (and they're fantastic, too, if you've only drank lemonade and the kiddos are in tow).

Shop Like No Other

Frankenmuth River Place Shops Entrance 

Stroll down Main Street, and take in an eclectic array of specialty shops and unique finds. Sampling from Frankenmuth Cheese Haus (try chocolate cheese, if you dare), Frankenmuth Fudge Kitchen or even Kern's Sausages will produce tasty memories, and stepping into Rapunzel's Unique Gifts and Yarns or Preferred Pandora The Little White House Boutique for a Vera Bradley purse, piece of jewelry or new clothing selection will produce vacation-worthy souvenirs.

Just down the road, the Frankenmuth River Place Shops is worthy of a day-trip (or two) in itself. The German-themed, outdoor shopping mall is home to more than 40 shops with unique goods ranging from gourmet cupcakes at SugarHigh Bakery to artisan beads at Bead Haven (which is home to a Modern Craft - A different kind of wine ® tasting room inside) and everything imaginable in between.

Must-Do in This Neighborhood

Frankenmuth Fun Ships 

Must-dos in Frankenmuth? Honestly, everything above! But, also, consider boarding the Bavarian Bell Riverboat or Frankenmuth FunShips for river tours and tastings, and make reservations for a Daily Pretzel Rolling at Bavarian Inn Restaurant. For just $5.49/person, the experience will wow kids and kids-at-heart alike, and you'll hold in-hand a warm (and tasty) reminder of your time spent in the Little Bavaria neighborhood of Frankenmuth.