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Spotlight: Frankenmuth

Raise your beer stein to a town that keeps the Bavarian spirit alive

Michigan’s Little Bavaria, Frankenmuth sits about 15 miles southeast of Saginaw and its culture is a lively blend of Old World German and modern America. Frankenmuth is a family-friendly destination with activities for visitors of all ages. During the summer, visitors can  catch a summer concert on Sundays in Memorial Park or watch the sunset from Frankenmuth Holz Brucke, a historic covered bridge that spans the Cass River.

Give young ones a thrill at the Adventure Park, where they can traverse trails that are strung up between the treetops. Enjoy a taste of Frankenmuth’s German heritage at Bavarian Inn and browse unique souvenirs at the shops on the inn’s second floor. Just look for the building’s castle-like architectural profile.

Beat the heat at Zehnder’s Splash Village, a unique indoor water park that’s 50,000 square feet and features a family raft ride, zero-entry pool and tube slides.

When the air turns chilly, the Frankenmuth Corn Maze is a lively way to spend an afternoon. Wind your way through five acres of corn stalks and hop on a hayride on Saturday afternoons. Life-size board games played outside on the lawn bring out the kid in everyone.

If you’re traveling during the summer, make room on your schedule for the Bavarian Festival, which features a parade with colorful floats along with a host of celebrations. Watch the maypole dance, drink a tall brew or simply marvel at the wide variety of traditional Bavarian attire.



Celebrate Bavaria

Of course, no Bavarian town would be complete without an Oktoberfest celebration. Frankenmuth doesn’t disappoint—the star of autumn celebrates German culture, food and music, and authentic Hofbrauhaus beer that’s shipped directly from the famous Munich brewer. Weiner dog races add a touch of whimsy to the festivities.

Winter means Christmas in Frankenmuth, and the town hosts Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, the world’s largest Christmas store. When the season is at its peak, Frankenmuth lights up with twinkling bulbs and streamers. But the holiday is celebrated year-round here, particularly at Silent Night Memorial Chapel and Christmas Town USA.

When spring arrives, the town pulls out brightly colored Easter displays and hosts a Bavarian Easter celebration that includes egg hunts, brunches and a visit from the Easter bunny.

Celebrate the simple, hardworking life of farmers at Grandpa Tiny’s Farm. This historic farm and petting zoo offers guided tours and wagon rides.

The town’s brewing heritage is the star of Lager Mill, a historic structure housing a museum and craft beer store featuring more than 400 varieties. More European flavors are ripe for the taking at Zehnder’s Marketplace, home to  European delicacies and a bakery that churns out breads, pastries and cookies.

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