Nicknamed “Michigan’s Little Bavaria,” Frankenmuth, located an hour and a half from Detroit, looks just like an actual German town. Find German-inspired buildings and shops throughout the town, like the Frankenmuth Clock & German Gift Co. that looks as if it has been transported from Europe. Here, your group can stock up on authentic German wares, like cuckoo clocks. For more shopping, go to the Frankenmuth River Place Shops, found right on the Cass River and filled with delightful retail shops and eateries. To experience the holidays year-round, look no further than Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, the world’s largest Christmas store.


One local must-see museum is the Michigan Heroes Museum. It honors Michiganians who hold notable military and space accomplishments, with collections that feature more than 900 veterans and their achievements, from the Civil War to space missions. Among all of the museum institutions in the United States, this museum has more medals of honor than any other.


One of the very best ways to see Frankenmuth in all its glory is from the water—namely, through a tour on the Bavarian Belle Riverboat, which looks like a paddlewheel riverboat from the 1800s. Your group will board the 150-passenger boat via a handicap-accessible dock to glide along the Cass River. From early May to mid-October, set sail for a one-hour narrated tour where you can learn about the area’s history and see the sights. To take a look at one of the most notable landmarks in the region, visit the Holz Brücke Covered Bridge, which (appropriately!) is German for “wooden bridge.” The bridge was constructed in 1980, but it looks like the real deal from times gone by, stretching across the Cass River and offering ideal opportunities to snap pictures.


Visit Frankenmuth

Main Image: Bavarian Belle Riverboat; Credit: Frankenmuth Convention & Visitors Bureau