A kick-off to the holiday season isn’t complete without a trip to Frankenmuth, MI. It is home to Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, the largest Christmas store in the world. The town itself is also home to great little gift boutique’s, renowned chicken dinners and specialty food shops.
Whether you are planning a day trip or a weekend getaway you will want to arrive early. Bronner’s is just outside of downtown so it’s a good idea to start your day there. Parking is plentiful, but it fills up fast. Arriving right when they open is your best bet to have time to browse unhurriedly. The store itself is huge, with a multitude of ornaments and decorations to see. First time visitors can easily spend a full morning shopping and still not see everything. Plan on taking a lot of pictures! Be sure to look up often as they have multiple holiday scenes displayed throughout the store well above eye level.
Once you leave Bronner’s it’s a quick 5 minute drive to downtown. The layout is pedestrian friendly so park the car and enjoy strolling through this “Little Bavaria”. There are multiple one-of-a-kind boutiques to browse. The clothing and jewelry you’ll find is both unique and available for any budget. You are sure to find some great gifts for family and friends, plus something for yourself.
Don’t miss out on the specialty food shops while you are there. The Cheese Haus is home to over 140 types of cheese, including chocolate cheese. Be brave and try it. The fudgy taste and texture is not to be missed. There are also a plethora of candy shops, with the majority offering homemade fudge. With so many to choose from you’re sure to find a new favorite flavor, or two.
Arrive early if you plan on eating at Zehnder’s for their famous chicken dinners. The line grows quickly and will be outside past the building at peak lunch and dinner times. It is a must try while you are there. The chicken is great and the inside of the restaurant is beautiful. Once you’re done with your meal head downstairs to their gift shop. They have a wide selection of food items including different jams, wines and assorted pastries.
Another great place to eat at is Oma’s Restaurant in the Bavarian Inn. This one also fills up quickly so plan on waiting if you are there during the lunch or dinner rush. They also offer chicken, but a couple of standout items on their menu are the wild mushroom strudel and the cheddar ale soup. Both are amazingly good and reasonably priced.
Another, less talked about, shopping area is the River Place Shops. They are located next to downtown and you can easily walk to them. They have many great clothing and gift shops. A fun shop to check out while you are there is The Enchanted Forest. The specialty here is fairies. It’s an interesting shop to browse in and you may be surprised at how much you’ll keep finding in this store.
Overall, you’ll find there is much to keep you occupied during your girl’s only getaway in Frankenmuth. Shopping and eating is plentiful, along with enjoying the Christmas atmosphere. Plus, if you’re inclined you can take a horse drawn carriage ride through the city. It’s a great way to start the holiday season.