Are you ready to visit the best Christmas town in the USA?! Visiting Frankenmuth in December is even more magical than any other time of year!
Frankenmuth, Michigan, is one of the most famous Christmas destinations in the United States and for very good reasons! You can get Christmas vibes year round when you visit this adorable “Bavarian town”.
When you arrive, you will think you have been transported from the U.S. to Bavaria Germany. From the buildings, to the restaurants, and even the Frankenmuth hotels, you will be immersed in this fairytale town.
When you visit Frankenmuth, you’ll want to plan out these three things: 1. Where to stay in Frankenmuth. 2. What to do in Frankenmuth. 3. Where to eat in Frankenmuth.
Lucky for you, we have your Christmas getaway planned right below. All you’ll need to do is show up.
There are a few choices when looking for hotels in Frankenmuth, however, if you want the true Bavarian experience, then we highly suggest you stay at the Bavarian Inn Lodge!
Here’s the thing. There are newer hotels to choose from. Hotels that are more updated and modern. However, the Bavarian Inn Lodge literally makes you feel like you’re staying in a little European town.
Although the rooms might be outdated, the hotel is very clean. I don’t mind staying in aged properties as long as they’re clean.
As far as the room goes, the beds were comfortable, the elevators were reliable, and it met our needs just fine.
We had a room that had a view of the the river and town from our balcony. If you plan on spending some time in the room, I suggest you upgrade to the balcony room, as it offers a peaceful view.
The lobby is so cute and loaded with charm! They offer a gift shop, restaurants, a kids games area, and indoor pools with massive waterpark type slides. (This is one reason to visit Frankenmuth in the winter!)
Oh!! When we stayed here, the gift shop served free coffee for guests in the morning! Grab a cup before hitting the town.
Overall, we really enjoyed our stay in Frankenmuth and we recommend you add a stay at the Bavarian Inn Lodge during your trip to Frankenmuth.
What to do in Frankenmuth – SHOP!
Is there a better way to spend your time in a Christmas town than to shop?
Whether you’re going to Frankenmuth in July (or any other month of the year), planning a weekend in Frankenmuth, or even a day trip to Frankenmuth, plan on shopping! Like, a lot.
We have listed the top three places to shop in Frankenmuth:
Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland
You may have heard about Bronner’s, but let me fill you in real quick. Bronner’s is the largest Christmas store in the world. That’s right. The largest in the world!
The store itself, not just the property, is over seven acres large! They even hand out maps of the store! Make sure you’re wearing your comfy shoes, because you have a lot of room to cover when exploring Bronner’s.
Bronner’s also has a ton of Christmas lights down their “Christmas Lane”, so make sure you come back at night to see the light display.
Something you might not know about about Bronner’s is that they have a chapel on property that is a replica of the chapel in Austria where Silent Night was first sung in 1818. You can visit the chapel and listen to Silent Night.
Bottom line, if you’re like us and love all things Christmas, then you HAVE to visit Bronner’s in Frankenmuth.
River Place Shops
What’s great about River Place Shops in Frankenmuth is that it’s mostly made up of mom and pop shops. I’m all about supporting small and local businesses.
Plus, they offer a variety of items that you can’t find in a lot of places.
This shopping center was created to mimic the Bavarian towns of Germany. The architectural designs, colors of the shops, and cobble stone “streets” make you feel like you’re wandering in a quaint European city.
There are plenty of places to sit and rest your feet, restaurants scattered about, and at night around the holidays…covered in Christmas lights!
Main Street Shops
The Main Street Frankenmuth is another shopping haven. Again, lined with local mom and pop shops, you can’t miss popping in and out of the shops that line Main St.
Our personal favorites were the Cheese Haus and Got Kilt. Do yourself a favor and buy a jar (or dozen) of the maple bacon onion marmalade in the Cheese Haus! You’ll thank me later!
Got Kilt is filled with real Scottish tartan kilts, scarves, and other gifts. Even if you’re not Scottish, it’s a pretty cool store to walk around.
Where to Eat in Frankenmuth
Here’s an interesting fact: Frankenmuth is known, even world famous for it’s fried chicken. That’s right…fried chicken. Y’all. I’m from the South, so I like to think I know fried chicken. I share my opinion on the chicken further down.
One thing I want to share is that when we visited, there were coronavirus restrictions in Frankenmuth. All dine-in options were suspended. Therefore, we had to order EVERYTHING to-go…including fried chicken.
Sharing restaurant recommendations is my favorite things to do in blogging. To me, it’s very difficult to truly experience the food without eating it fresh. (We had to grab our food and take it back to the hotel room.)
I’m going to share the Frankenmuth restaurants we tried, but remember, if I happen to knock on a review, I blame COVID.
Overall, we found plenty of good food to eat.
I’m starting out with Zehnder’s Bakery, because we enjoyed this place so much that we visited three times! True story.
The bakery is downstairs of Zehnder’s restaurant in their marketplace area. They actually have TWO bakeries. One has more cookies, pastries, etc., and the other has the pretty cakes and fruit tarts.
The reason we returned three times was for one pastry: the pie-cookie, the pookie. Y’all the raspberry cream filled pookie was incredible.
We got one the first night and loved it so much went back the second night to get more to bring home. Unfortunately, they were out of the raspberry cream, so returned again the following morning.
In the end, we tried a total of seven flavors of the pookies and we all agreed, the raspberry cream was winner.
You’re in little Bavaria in the U.S., so you have to have sausage! I was looking forward to a good sausage and Oma’s did not disappoint!
Oma’s served their sausage with a multi-grain mustard, sauerkraut, and a side. Honestly, these veggies were just as good as the sausage.
Oma’s is located inside the Bavarian Inn Lodge, so we were able to order over the phone and walk down to grab our food. By the time we got it to the room, it was still hot and fresh.
Swipe over and take a look at the 12 inch pretzel they serve. Again, Frankenmuth is the Little Bavaria of the United States, so you have to have a sausage AND a pretzel!
The pretzel was soft, warm, and pretty much near perfect! We didn’t care for the cheddar ale sauce, and that says a lot, because I can drink cheddar ale, but we used the mustard and it was the perfect dipping sauce.
Here’s the thing…do I really need to say much more than beignet? Yep, there are legit beignets in Frankenmuth!
They’re made fresh right there in front of you, and they’re massive! I was a little salty when my husband only ordered six for the three of us…until I saw them. Ha!
You can purchase dipping sauces. We tried the chocolate and raspberry and the raspberry was by far the best. My husband is a chocolate lover and he still picked the raspberry.
N’Orlins Cafe is located in the River Place Shops, so make sure you squeeze in a stop here!
Alright, here’s where I might be a little tough on critiquing a restaurant. Zehnder’s has amazing reviews online and they’re one of the largest restaurants in America.
They have ten dining rooms with the ability to seat 1500 guests! Yep, you read that right. This world famous Frankenmuth restaurant can sit 1500 folks!
Unfortunately, Frankenmuth’s COVID restrictions forced us to order fried chicken to-go. We ordered it, and showed up early so our food wasn’t waiting on us.
When we got to the room, the outside of the chicken was already slightly soggy and the inside was rather dry. To be honest, the only reason I’d order it again is to compare it to getting it fresh. To have a fair judge.
I didn’t like the the dressing one bit. I pride myself on being real and frank, and the dressing just lost me. On Thanksgiving, we double the dressing recipe, because it’s my favorite side. This southern girl just couldn’t get into them.
So, our next trip to Frankenmuth, I will try Zehnder’s again. Not the dressing though.
In case you can’t tell, we like our sweets. Like, a lot. We’re always on the hunt for desserts when visiting any new place.
SugarHigh Bakery in Frankenmuth did NOT disappoint! They are Food Network Cupcake Wars winners and first runner up on Cake Wars.
I especially love trying restaurants that have been on TV, because I wonder if they really live up to the hype. This place did.
It was so difficult to choose, but we finally went with the chocolate covered strawberry cupcake. I love strawberry and my husband loves chocolate, so it was the best of both worlds.
I was worried that the chocolate was going to be too overpowering, but nope. They freaking nailed the balance of flavors. The strawberry buttercream was incredibly light and smooth.
SugarHigh Bakery can be found in the River Place Shops.
Oh, please have one for me! My mouth is watering just thinking about this Frankenmuth cupcake!
La Crepe Du Jour
Last, but not least, La Crepe Du Jour. Who doesn’t like a good crepe? Frankenmuth feels like a little European town, so crepes make sense here.
We tried two sweet and two savory. You’re not going to believe this, but we actually enjoyed the savory more than the sweet.
We HIGHLY recommend the Monte Cristo! It was amazing! We also recommend the walking omelet. Both of these would make a great breakfast in Frankenmuth!
Later in the day, you can come back for the sweet crepes. We tried the strawberry cheesecake and the bananas foster…both are great!
La Crepe Du Jour is located in the River Place Shops. Not sure if you can tell, but there are plenty of food options when shopping here.
Visiting Frankenmuth in December
Yes, Frankenmuth in December is magical. It’s pretty much Christmas year round here. However, there’s something special about visiting in December.
Maybe it’s all the Christmas lights and decorations. Around town, they have numerous elaborate Christmas displays that are made just for photo opportunities.
If you fly into Detroit, Frankenmuth is a quick and easy one and a half hour drive! If you don’t have a lot of time to spare, you can easily make a memorable day trip from Detroit to Frankenmuth.
Now that you know where to stay, where to shop, and where to eat, it’s now time to book your Frankenmuth vacation!
Here are a few more United States destinations if you’re interested:
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