Big Fall Fun in Little Bavaria


Drive five hours north, and it will feel like you’ve crossed the pond. Frankenmuth, Michigan, is unmistakably German with its steeply-pitched rooflines, half-timbering, and soaring turrets. Take in the fall foliage at Heritage Park, then cross the Holz Brucke (a 230-ton all-wood covered bridge) to River Place Shops, host of the city’s annual Scarecrow Festival (Oct 18 & 19, 25 & 26, Two words: pumpkin catapult. Then fast forward to the Yuletide at Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland (, a 45-acre complex with a two-acre shop decked in more than 50,000 trimmings including ornaments, nativities, and lights. Drink in one last bit of quaintness at the 152-year-old Frankenmuth Brewery (, which pours both beer and nonalcoholic, small-batch root beer sweetened with Michigan beet sugar. Prost!

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