Day Trip: Frankenmuth, Michigan

The Worlds Best Chicken Dinner, 82.5 miles north of Royal Oak.

The World's Best Chicken Dinner, 82.5 miles north of Royal Oak.

Frankenmuth, Michigan is the next destination in our Day Trip series in which we “feature culturally interesting jaunts within an hour or two of Royal Oak which may be interesting to our readers.  It’s also our hope to help our readers save their cash by giving them ideas for trips near home while promoting travel in our region.”  (See previous posts on Toledo, Ohio and Flint, Michigan).

If you want to have fun in Frankenmuth, one of Michigan’s most visited tourist destinations, you’ve got to embrace it as a kitchy, campy, shrine to Bavaria.  There will be lots of families and seniors, but there is a lot to enjoy about this sentimental little town including homemade chicken dinners, well-crafted Germanicly-inspired beers, hilly parks, a well-manicured 18 hole golf course.  For a list of the 9 things you’ve gotta do/eat/see in Frankenmuth, read the rest of the post after the jump . . .

Frankenmuth is a city of about 4,838 people in southeastern Michigan, which was originally settled in 1845 by 15 Lutheran Germans who intended to spread the Christian religion to the Native American population in the area. The town today capitalizes on this German background, billing itself as “Michigan’s Little Bavaria”, and styling its downtown after an idealized image of a 19th-century Germany village. Visitors may find it to be unbearably kitschy, but there’s a great sense of fun and an almost theme-park-like feel about the downtown area. –WikiTravel

Without further adieu, here are 9 must do/eat/see things in Frankenmuth:

1.  Eat a Chicken Dinner at Zehnder’s

Some people go to Bavarian Inn instead.  Some people don’t have good taste.

2.  Check out the Mecca of Christmas — BRONNER’S CHRISTmas WONDERLAND

3.  Take a walk over the Frankenmuth Holz Brucke (Covered Bridge)

4.  Shop!  Cheese/ Fudge/ Candy Galor!

5.  Have a picnic in Heritage Park (okay, in a couple of months . . .)

6.  Stay for a night at Splash Village

7.  Play Golf at the Fortress

8.  Take a Horse and Buggy Ride

9.  Stop by the Frankenmuth Clock Company, on the hour, to hear hundreds of ku-ku clocks!

This article brought to you by the good folks at Urbane Apartments Royal Oak Michigan, Urbane Apartments Ferndale Michigan,Urbane Apartments Birmingham Michigan, and Urbane Apartments Dearborn Michigan

  • http://www.laferle.com Cindy L

    You’ve brought back great memories of all the times I visited Frankenmuth with my folks when I was kid…. chicken dinners at Zehnder’s and Bavarian Inn; shopping at the cool general store with barrels of penny candy and trinkets. My husband and I took our son there a few times when he was younger. Haven’t been back in a while, but maybe we’ll stop on our way up north this spring.

  • Brandon

    Hi Cindy, thanks for stopping by and commenting. Frankenmuth does evoke memories of childhood — it was, and to a certain extent still is, a great little town. You might be a bit disappointed by how commercialized it has become — you won’t be disappointed, though, by dinner at Zehnder’s which is just like you remember it! Bronner’s is still quite a treat/ hoot too — depending on your perspective. (Though one of my friends was a bit overwhelmed by it all and we had to retreat!)

    Any suggestions for other Day Trips?

  • http://www.midwestguest.com Dominique

    Chicken, cheese and Christmas…those are the Frankenmuth high points for me!

    Next time, I’ll have to stop by the clock store as well. Thanks for the suggestions.

  • Brandon

    Thanks for stopping bye, Dominque. Oh that chicken… makes me kind of hungry! The clock store is a riot, especially when they’re all going off like crazy — great stop if you’ve got your kids/ kid nephew/ kid niece along for the day . . .

  • Brandon

    Oh, and don’t forget the liver spread and cheddar cheese spread at Zehnders on little pieces of toast. Not exactly high brow cuisine, but oh so tasty.

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