This Michigan bucket list is brought to you by Frankenmuth Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Known as Michigan’s Little Bavaria, Frankenmuth is a top travel destination that proudly displays its German heritage every day of the year. You can see it in the city’s architecture, iconic activities, restaurants, and hospitality. Frankenmuth FunShips is part of the experience, offering wonderful tastings and Cass River boat tours.
About Frankenmuth FunShips Tastings & Tours
Located in midtown between Frankenmuth Brewery and the Marv Herzog Hotel, Frankenmuth FunShips has been offering homemade chocolate and wine tastings since 2009. You can enjoy the experience in the tasting room or on unique electric-powered boats that tour the Cass River. During the tastings and boat tours, you learn about the samples and points of interest in a luxurious, relaxing setting.
- Chocolate Tasting — Get five sample-sized chocolates. Frankenmuth FunShips makes fresh truffles, cremes, caramels, and more in its store.
- Wine Tasting & Souvenir Glass — Choose six wines from a variety of local winemakers, from peach and honey to private reserve. The staff can help you choose based on your preferences, and you get a souvenir glass to take home.
- Wine & Chocolate Tasting — The staff pair four wines with four chocolates for an optimal experience. Then, you get to choose one more chocolate and two more wines to sample.
- 30-Minute or 1-Hour River Tour — Get a guided tour of the Cass River on an electric boat. There’s water, lemonade, pop, beer, and wine onboard to accommodate all ages.
- Wine & Chocolate River Tour — Tour the river while enjoying five sample pairings of handmade chocolates and wines, and choose two additional wine tastings. You get a full glass of your favorite and a stemless souvenir wineglass too. Anyone under 21 can have sparkling grape juice.
You don’t need a reservation for any of the Frankenmuth FunShips tastings and boat tours. However, we recommend that you make a reservation to secure a time that’s convenient for you. Fortunately, the Cass River electric boat tours aren’t usually canceled for rain; only for potentially dangerous storms. It’s advised that you check the weather ahead of your tour to avoid any surprises and to dress accordingly.
In addition to guided tastings and boat tours, Frankenmuth FunShips offers boat rentals. You can rent a kayak by the hour or longer for an adventure. Pedal-powered aqua cycles are also available and can be rented alone or for groups of up to four people.
Other Frankenmuth Attractions
After your tasting or boat tour with Frankenmuth FunShips, you can visit numerous other attractions and create unforgettable moments. Along the lines of tours, you can hop into a horse-drawn carriage with Fantasy Carriage Company, which takes you back in time with historical sites throughout Frankenmuth. The tour passes attractions on Main Street as well.
Offering a fun way to explore the German city, PedAle Trolley is a relatively new attraction that allows you to pedal a trolley with up to 15 other people. The trolley stops at specialty shops, restaurants, bars and pubs, and other attractions along its route.
If you love Christmas, then you have to go to Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland. This amazing shop is the size of 1.5 football fields, and it’s completely filled with Christmas cheer — more than 50,000 gifts and trims. The Silent Night Memorial Chapel is located on the 27-acre property and replicates the original Austrian chapel where “Silent Night” was sung on Christmas Eve for the first time in 1818.
For a bit of outdoor fun, visit Alpine Mountain Golf. It has two 18-hole, mini-golf courses, Go-Karts, bumper boats, and bank shot basketball. There’s even a picnic area. If you want more of an adventure, though, Frankenmuth Aerial Park offers a combination of zip line and rope courses. There are six courses that range in difficulty to accommodate all skill levels.
Must-See Frankenmuth Summer Festivals
In Frankenmuth, there’s no specific festival season. Instead, the city holds festivals all year long. Here are five summer festivals in Frankenmuth that you should check out:
- Frankenmuth Bavarian Festival — Dance and sing to Bavarian music played by costumed entertainers and polka bands at Zehnder Park in mid-June. There are two parades and a cornhole tournament during the event.
- Zehnder’s Ragtime Festival — At Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth, enjoy renowned ragtime musicians from across the U.S. and Canada.
- Concerts in the Park — From late June to mid-August, enjoy great music at Palmer Schau Platz in Memorial Park.
- Cass River Colonial Encampment — Witness a historical reenactment of several eras of American history. It’s held at Frankenmuth River Place Shops in mid-July.
- Summer Music Fest — Listen to a wide variety of musical performances for five days in mid-August.
Where to Eat in Frankenmuth
You don’t have to worry about going hungry when you visit Frankenmuth. Michigan’s Little Bavaria is teeming with restaurants and sweets shops that dish up big flavors.
At La Crepe du Jour, you get a taste of Paris with more than 25 varieties of savory and sweet crepes. The restaurant serves coffee, espresso drinks, and freshly made soups, too.
Offering good food in a warm atmosphere, Prost Wine Bar & Charcuterie has a full bar with great wine, cocktails, and craft beers. Similarly, Frankenmuth Brewery serves award-winning ales, beers, and lagers, which you can enjoy with a bite next to the Cass River.
Known for its traditional dishes, Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth has been serving world-famous chicken, bread, and pastries for more than 160 years. Other Zehnder’s eateries worth visiting — Elf Hollow Cafe and Mushroom Grille in Splash Village and The Fortress Clubhouse & Pavilion.
Nothing says home-cooked, family-style dinner like the Bavarian Inn, where you can enjoy delicious family meals, just like the ones they’ve been serving for more than 100 years. Tried and true, and absolutely delicious, you’ll love the Bavarian Inn.
If you want pizza, go to Tiffany’s Food & Spirits, which also serves fresh pasta and charbroiled specialties. For Chinese and Japanese cuisine, visit Wang’s Bistro, where the skilled cooks only use fresh ingredients.
To satisfy your sweet tooth, stop at Jaami’s Ice Cream and Treats. It has 32 flavors of hand-dipped ice cream, and you can create your own combination. Or, go to Frankenmuth Fudge Kitchen for original fudge made in several flavors with the finest ingredients.
Places to Stay in Frankenmuth
Since there’s so much to see and do in Frankenmuth, you have to stay for a few days to get the full experience. That’s not a problem because there are several top-notch hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts within the city. Consider these lodging options for your stay:
Alongside traditional lodging, Frankenmuth Jellystone Park Camp-Resort offers more rustic accommodations. The campground has an assortment of campsite types, an outdoor pool, playground, basketball and volleyball courts, and a recreation center.