Want to take a spur-of-the-moment trip to Frankenmuth, Mich.? Here's what you need to know for the weekend of Dec. 18-20:
Northwest and Delta fly nonstop from BWI to Detroit, with fares starting at about $180. Frankenmuth is about 100 miles north of Detroit.
WHERE TO STAY
Bavarian Inn Lodge, 1 Covered Bridge Lane, 888-775-6343, http://www.bavarianinn.com. Rooms start at $170. Guests can enjoy five pools, the family arcade room and live evening entertainment.
Drury Inn and Suites, 260 S. Main St., 989-652-2800, http://www.druryhotels.com. Rooms in this Tudor-style hotel start at $125.
WHERE TO EAT
Zehnder's Restaurant, 730 S. Main St., 800-863-7999, http://www.zehnders.com. Lots of German comfort food, but the most popular choice is the all-you-can-eat family-style chicken dinner for $18.95. For quicker, cheaper offerings, check out the downstairs cafeteria. Reservations strongly recommended.
Bavarian Inn Restaurant, 713 S. Main St., 800-228-2742, http://www.bavarianinn.com. You get another shot at the chicken dinner here, but also lighter fare and shorter lines in the roof garten. Classic meals such as schnitzel run $20.99, sausage combinations (all the -wursts) $19.99. Reservations strongly recommended.
Frankenmuth Brewing Co., 425 S. Main St., 989-262-8300, http://www.frankenmuthbrewery.com. Tasty, inexpensive pub grub (Franken Burger $7.99), but the real attraction are microbrews such as the dark Munich Dunkel (pint $4.50, sample $1.25). Don't forget to ask the host for a free tour of the brewery operations.
WHAT TO DO
Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland, 25 Christmas Lane, 989-652-9931, http://www.bronners.com. Do your part to help this year-round Christmas mega-store reach its annual tally of 1.3 million glass ornaments, 135,000 light sets and more than 500,000 feet of garland sold.
Bavarian Inn Castle Shops, 713 S. Main St., 800-228-2742, http://www.bavarianinn.com. Stroll through a maze of knickknacks, toys, food offerings and imported Alpine fashion.
Frankenmuth Historical Museum, 613 S. Main St., 989-652-9701, http://www.frankenmuthmuseum.org. Explore the city's heritage from its earliest pioneering days through its current successes. Adults $2, students $1.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Frankenmuth Visitors Center, 800-386-8696, http://www.frankenmuth.org