A couple of weekends ago, Eric and I headed off to Frankenmuth, Michigan. It is seriously in the top three of my favorite days of the entire year. We literally do the same exact thing every year, so maybe it's the routine and tradition I love? Maybe it's just how festive the town is? Maybe it's because of the delicious food and drinks we stuff ourselves with? I'm not totally sure, I just love every second of this entire day. It's always so much fun! If you've never gotten the chance to visit Frankenmuth (especially you Michiganders), you really need to plan a visit... and soon!
Our first stop as soon as we get into town is Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland, which is the world's largest Christmas store. It's like an amusement park! It's amazing. We do the same thing every year... first, we beeline for the little villages and spend a good half hour just looking at each of the little houses and figurines. My favorite is the Halloween town, of course. After we do that, we typically walk around looking at everything, and then finally we head to the ornament section. Every year, we buy an ornament of something that meant a lot to us that year. This year... for me, it was my fitness journey. So I got a little "Merry Fit-Mas" ornament with Santa getting into shape. Haha!
After Bronner's, we head just down the street to the little "downtown" area. We find a parking spot, and walk from there! We first headed up to the Holz-Brücke Wooden Bridge (German for “wooden bridge”). It's Michigan's largest wooden covered bridge! When we were snapping photos, it was super busy. We had to wait until cars stopped passing through. It's over the Cass River, which was completely covered in snow and ice. Such a pretty scene! This was our first time walking up to the bridge, so I think this might have to be our annual photo-taking spot from now on.
Next, we head over to Frankenmuth Brewery for a drink, which is Michigan's oldest brewery! This place is always packed, so we just immediately hop in the bar line, and try to stalk people for two seats at the bar. It worked this year pretty quickly! So we sat at the bar for a bit... I drink wine, Eric drinks beer. We ordered a bavarian pretzel, enjoyed that, and just sat and talked for a while. Eric fills up his fancy growler, and then we head out on our journey. Next, we hit up the Frankenmuth Cheese Haus. It's such a fun tradition... you make your way around a circle of cheese in the center of the store, sampling a little bit of everything. We walked away with our favorite ranch cheese curds, dill cheese curds, bacon cheddar and garlic cheddar spread, and as always, had to taste the chocolate cheese!
After the cheese haus, we usually meander through a few gift shops and make our way to Bavarian Inn. First stop is the underground shops... where we load up on our favorite chicken seasoning (so good), and stock up on Christmas wine and beer. Then, we hop in the sometimes 45-minutes or up to 2-hour long line for the finale of the night... the fried chicken dinner! It's seriously one of my favorite meals EVER. Once you finally get seated after waiting, you're just so excited for dinner, you can't even contain it. We always order the family-style meal which comes with all sorts of little sides. You start with bread, chicken noodle soup, pasta salad, bean salad, and relish. The main event comes... with fried chicken, mashed potatoes, squash, stuffing, buttered noodles. And you finish off with a delicious ice-cream! You pretty much have to roll us out of there, but it's so so so much fun.
After dinner, we make the two hour trek home! Eric passed out in the passenger seat (snoring and all) while I got us home! I just absolutely love this day. It's so much fun. I'm so excited to go every year, and someday bring our kids here too! If you ever get the chance (especially around Christmas), I'd totally recommend coming here. I'd honestly love to come back in spring too... with all of the blooming flowers! They have so many places to go shopping, and great places to eat. It'd be fun to create another tradition with other places too! Ah, maybe someday. Until then, it's my little Christmas paradise.