MICHIGAN – LOWER PENINSULA

by | Jul 11, 2024 | Uncategorized

Our RV trip planner is headed towards the Midwest and the beautiful, exciting state of Michigan. Not everyone has been to Michigan. Michigan is usually referred to as UP (Upper Peninsula) and
the Lower Peninsula (not generally referred to as “LP”). The UP is located north of St. Ignace
along Lake Superior. The Lower Peninsula has Lake Michigan on the west side and Lake Huron
and Lake Erie on the east side.

We recently explored Michigan specifically looking for the best RV adventures in the Lower
Peninsula. Most people think of Detroit, Holland, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore,
Traverse City, Petoskey, Alpena and St. Ignace when contemplating the Lower Peninsula BUT
there are a couple of small little towns that we felt offered so much. Just off I-75, you will find
Frankenmuth and Flint – these are definitely worth a stop on your RV adventure.

FRANKENMUTH – Little Bavaria. No RV trip planner would be complete without a stop at Frankenmuth!

This is a FUN TOWN just asking for you to stop and explore. They thrive on hospitality and you feel it with every store or restaurant you drop in. Frankenmuth has one-of-a-kind shopping, a Bavarian Village, world-famous chicken dinner restaurants, and Bonner’s Christmas Wonderland.


Frankenmuth is a great stop on your RV trip planner journey whether you stop for an hour or two or camp
nearby and truly explore this great little town.

This sign greets visitors with 8-foot-tall red letters as they pass under a new archway entering Frankenmuth from the south (Hwy 83 northbound). Just a short drive south of Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland and Grampa Tiny’s Farm.

Did you know?  Frankenmuth is only two-square-miles in size, and it is jam packed with fun things to do.  In 2019 the Hallmark Channel filmed “A Christmas Movie Christmas” in Frankenmuth, Michigan.  So while you may not know much about this town, there are lots of people who do…so maybe it’s time for you to get that RV on its way to Michigan!!

One big concern of all RVers is where do you park that RV.  There is a large parking lot behind Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth and will accommodate any size RV, towing or not. In our humble opinion, this is the central part of Frankenmuth with most of everything you will want to see within walking distance.

 BAVARIAN VILLAGE 

Michigan’s little Bavaria, where you will find all the things that make this town so special. It’s a place of horse-drawn carriages and covered bridges. Of riverboat cruises and world famous chicken dinners and small-town strolls. Instead of just hearing about the Bavarian Village, stop by and feel the warm welcome of Frankenmuth, where you are sure to find the simple joys of life.

WORLD FAMOUS CHICKEN DINNERS – “Frankenmuth” is practically synonymous with “chicken dinners”. So, how did one little town get so well-known for its chicken dinners? You could read about it here, or taste for yourself at the two popular spots that serve it — Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth and Bavarian Inn Restaurant!

These 2 restaurants are independently owned and together they serve more than two million chicken dinners a year — each offering their own takes on the classic, craveable German dishes that first put Frankenmuth on the map.

 GRAMPA TINY’S FARM

1/4 mile south of Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland

This is the oldest farm in Little Bavaria.  Most public areas of the farm are accessible with strollers and wheelchairs, with the surfaces consisting of gravel, cement, dirt, and grass.  You can expect your trip around the farm to last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. 

Every year from November 18-December 17, if you are here in Frankenmuth, you need to visit Santa’s Reindeer Farm.  Are reindeer real? Yes! And you will get to see some here at the farm during Santa’s Reindeer Farm. The Reindeer Trainer can answer your questions and give you some fun facts all about this (Michigan) exotic breed of animal.  Definitely a kid friendly activity.

GOLDEN TICKET TROLLEY TOUR 

The admission for this Frankenmuth experience includes the Frankenmuth Historical Museum and a 45-minute Trolley Tour! Join the tour guide aboard “Lucy,” their nostalgic trolley. Learn about various places to see and things to do on your narrated roundtrip tour. You will see where it all started and learn about their oldest building from 1880. Hear about their 911 memorial and drive by what they refer to as the year-round gingerbread house!  We love trolley tours as you can gather so much information as you drive around and pick out spots to explore that you might have missed.

SWEET SHOPS

Fudge kitchens, taffy kitchens, bakeries, ice cream parlors — and don’t even get us started on all those free smells!

There’s nothing quite like watching what you’re about to eat being made. Whether that’s seeing the fudge being hand dropped onto cool marble slabs or freshwater taffy stretched and pulled until its sticky-sweet perfection — shopping for sweets in Frankenmuth comes with a whole lot of eye candy, too!

  • There’s an old-timey store, Rau’s Country Store, with all the nostalgic stuff — wax bottle candies, hard candy drops, and flavored licorice.  
  • A cute-as-a-button Zak & Mac’s Chocolate Haus whipping up small-batch confections from truffles to toffee. 
  • Frankenmuth Cheese Hauswith Chocolate Cheese. Strange? Maybe a little. But surprisingly delicious, too. 

Be sure to sample as much as you can, then load up on favorites as you head out of town.

 BRONNER’S CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND  World’s Large Christmas Store!! 

Open all but 4 days a year and you can definitely park your RV here as well.

This is our favorite destination in Michigan.  Bronner’s opened in 1945 and is an amazing store that is the size of 1-1/2 football fields. It’s a shopper’s dream with over 50,000 trims and gifts. The sights, sounds and spirit of Christmas completely surround you. 

Want to enjoy Christmas cheer throughout the year – then be sure to visit Bronner’s. 

Inside the store, visit Season’s Eatings snack area that offers refreshments. Also know that Christmas Lane is illuminated nightly. 

Bronner’s will personalize ornaments in section 8 at no charge. Penned personalization is available in-store in section 8 while you wait

On the same grounds you will find Bronner’s Silent Night Chapel, which is open year round..  

 FLINT, MICHIGAN

Another great RV trip planner destination!!

This town is located along the Flint River and is just an hour drive north of Detroit and a short 30 mile drive south of Frankenmuth.  

CROSSROADS VILLAGE AND HUCKLEBERRY RAILROAD 

Parking: plenty of parking for any size RV towing or not towing. 

Need a break from the rush of daily life? Go back to a time when things were a whole lot simpler. Welcome to Crossroads Village. It’s an authentic Great Lakes town from the turn of the last century, with more than 34 historic structures and a thriving community to welcome you. Ride the Huckleberry Railroad or learn a trade from one of their craftspeople. It’s a place out of history where you can make a little history of your own. 

 Huckelberry Railroad

Enjoy a 40-minute train ride behind an authentic Baldwin steam locomotive as it takes you along the shores of Mott Lake, down a stretch of the historic Pere Marquette roadbed, and back into the heart of Crossroads Village. 

 We were told that tickets go fast so it is best to purchase in advance.  

Village Buildings & Trades  

Interpretive craftsmen, thoroughly grounded in the ways of a century ago, give life to the Village.  Interpretive craftsmen also play a major role in utilizing and safeguarding valuable, and possibly irreplaceable, artifacts from donors who believe in the purposes of the Village and who want unborn generations to be able to see and enjoy these artifacts. 

Through interpretive methods, such as role playing, craftsmen project to visitors an understanding of the people who lived here, their origins, education, skills, values, religious and social customs, and the many tasks and problems that comprised daily living.

Village Amusement Rides (https://geneseecountyparks.org/village-amusement-rides/

We didn’t check this area out but I bet the kids will want to!

INTERESTED IN A TRIP TO MICHIGAN?  Contact RV Adventure-USA to help you with your RV trip. We are RV trip planner experts!!!

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