21 Best Things to Do in Frankfort, MI

Frankfort, MI

Welcome to the tranquil town of Frankfort, Michigan.

Situated along the shimmering edges of Lake Michigan, this delightful community presents a harmonious fusion of natural splendor and quaint charm.

Visitors, whether short-term or long-term, are captivated by the enchanting allure that this place holds.

Frankfort is abundant with all the elements needed for a memorable journey: breathtaking landscapes, a dynamic culture, and welcoming locals.

Embark on an exploration of its scenic streets and discover some of the top activities in Frankfort, Michigan.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following individuals for their invaluable contributions to this article: Thomas Hill, Michael Murphy, Kellie York, Miguel Cox, Robert Hill, Frank Purcell and Helen Kirby.

Discover Everyday Magic at Point Betsie Lighthouse

Beauty of Point Betsie Lighthouse
John McCormick / Shutterstock.com

Enjoy barefoot walks along the pristine, sandy beaches, the rhythmic sound of the lapping waves, and the rich heritage of a 19th-century lighthouse that's been my silent companion since childhood.

Welcome to the daily marvels of living near Point Betsie Lighthouse.

Located on the picturesque shores of Lake Michigan, the lighthouse has always been my refuge, a place to breathe and unwind.

Every visit feels like the first, with the historic beacon as a beautiful backdrop for the ever-changing lake view.

My regular strolls here are often transformed into impromptu photography sessions, with the lighthouse's timeless charm and the stunning summer sunsets painting a breathtaking canvas.

Moreover, the beach is a delightful playground for rockhounding enthusiasts.

On a lucky day, you might encounter an unexpected treasure, as the lake's bounty of rocks is beyond generous.

Trust me, you'll need a pail and a pair of water shoes to join the fun.

The lighthouse isn’t just a visual treat but a treasure trove of local history.

Beauty of Point Betsie Lighthouse
John McCormick / Shutterstock.com

Open seasonally, Point Betsie offers guided tours that take you through the restored lighthouse and its quaint museum.

Even if you don't venture inside, the charming visitor center and the relaxing outdoor seating invite you to soak in the exquisite scenery and tranquility.

Are you planning a day out?

Arrive early to grab a parking spot along the road.

And don’t forget to bring some picnic essentials.

With plenty of picnic tables, Adirondack chairs dotting the area, and a small grill at your disposal, a leisurely alfresco meal with a sublime view is guaranteed.

From morning walks to sunset marveling, from beachcombing to barbequing, living near Point Betsie Lighthouse is like being on a perpetual vacation.

And what's not to love about that?

Beauty of Point Betsie Lighthouse
Danita Delimont / Shutterstock.com

One of the delightful aspects of living in Frankfort is that I am always a few minutes away from a world of creativity and inspiration.

One of my favorite spots in town is the Focus Gallery, a real gem that has become a haven for art lovers like me.

The gallery is a warm, inviting space filled with incredible artwork.

Each visit to the gallery is a unique experience, as these guys never fail to amaze me with their stunning artistry.

The bright and cheerful ambiance of the gallery is a breath of fresh air, a perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of Frankfort's busy sidewalks.

I must say, the Focus Gallery has ignited in me a newfound appreciation for photography art.

I saved for a whole year and finally purchased a few beautiful pieces, which now adorn my bedroom and living room walls.

Each visit, I leave with more than just art; I take back memories, experiences, and the desire to return for more.

Owning artwork from the Focus Gallery is like owning a piece of Frankfort, a tangible representation of this town's beauty and creativity.

I can't wait to acquire more pieces in the future and continue to support our local artists.

Enjoy the Day at Frankfort Public Beach and Playground

I am irresistibly drawn to the Frankfort Public Beach and Playground every sunny day.

It's an oasis of pure serenity nestled at the end of Main Street.

The water is so clear, you could see your reflection in it.

It's almost like staring into a mirror, but you see the fish swimming around instead of your face.

My favorite pastime is watching those little creatures from the pier.

And, of course, there's the playground.

It's not just for kids; it's a place for everyone.

The beach park is a hub of fun activities.

I remember one windy day when I was treated to a feat of windsail surfing right there.

It was a sight, but I advise caution when walking the piers on such days.

The waves can get a bit wild.

Now, if you're planning a visit, here's a tip.

The parking situation near the beach can be tight, so you may need to park on the street.

Also, you might want to prepare for limited restroom facilities.

Nothing beats the experience.

Frankfort Public Beach and Playground is a gem that brings together the best of nature and community spirit.

Spend Sundays at The Garden Theater

One sunny afternoon, I found myself wandering the heart of downtown Frankfort and stumbling upon the Garden Theater.

This architectural beauty, built initially in 1923, recently underwent a magnificent renovation in 2021.

I decided to treat myself to a movie that Sunday, not expecting to be part of a crowd of around 70 folks sharing a similar idea.

The concessions stand offered a delectable selection, making deciding between popcorn and candy challenging—or both.

Meanwhile, the seats were the epitome of comfort, their plush cushions cradling you as you delve into the cinematic world.

The sound system was terrific, with every dialogue and soundtrack resonating with crystal clear quality.

What struck me most was the affordability, even for a newly released movie.

It was a pleasant surprise that made my experience even more enjoyable.

So, if you ever find yourself in downtown Frankfort, do not miss the opportunity to indulge in an afternoon or evening at The Garden Theater.

I promise you, it's an experience you won't forget.

Make an Escape at Green Point Dunes

You don't have to travel far to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Just a few steps into Green Point Dunes Nature Preserve's wilderness, you're suddenly enveloped in nature's embrace.

Once, when I visited, I discovered I had the whole place to myself, a rare luxury that added to the overall charm of the day.

The water was crystal clear and warm, the perfect setting for a tranquil day spent in nature's lap.

Though moderately challenging, the journey through the wooded dunes brings adventure with elevation changes, roots, and occasional wild inhabitants.

I'd strongly recommend proper footwear, as the terrain can be unpredictable - I saw one visitor in flip-flops and couldn't help but worry about her choice.

The view is something to behold.

It makes you stop and take it all in.

Overlooking the vast expanse of the beach, it's hard not to feel a sense of peace and tranquility.

The beach is beautiful, scattered with numerous rocks perfect for rockhounding.

Green Point Dunes is not your typical sandy dune area.

It feels more like a forest that ends with a beach, an interesting twist that I find quite charming.

Although the hike isn't very long, it has quickly become one of my favorite trails in Michigan.

So, If you're looking for a peaceful retreat, Green Point Dunes Nature Preserve is worth a visit.

Tee Off at Crystal Downs Country Club

View of Crystal Downs Country Club
Matthewwlloyd, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Let me tell you about the hidden gem in our town, the Crystal Downs Country Club.

I may have walked those greens more times than I can count, but each visit still feels like a fresh experience.

Likewise, I remember the excitement of my first visit, and I'm pleased to say that excitement never really left me.

The view from the 9th tee box is simply unmatched, overlooking the vast blue canvas of Lake Michigan and the forested hills.

It's like a beautiful painting.

The layout is ingenious, with each hole offering a unique blend of fun and challenge.

You might initially find it a bit less polished, but that’s the charm of it.

The course doesn't have some mega resorts' overly manicured look.

Instead, it has a rustic, natural charm that lets you connect with the game and the outdoors.

The clubhouse and gift shop could use a little sprucing up, but the real star of the club is, without a doubt, the course.

At Crystal Downs, it's about the experience, the passion for golf, and the camaraderie you share with fellow players.

It's not just another golf course. It's our golf course. And we wouldn't have it any other way.

Cast Lines at Betsie River

Whenever I need to unwind and breathe in the refreshing scent of nature, I head down to my favorite fishing spot, Betsie River.

It's a place where camaraderie among anglers thrives, a congregation of my mates from church, my brother, and myself.

The water's rich bounty offers a thrilling chase, and it's not uncommon to see salmon making their magnificent leaps up the falls.

A sight that's always a treat for the eyes!

Sure, the smell of decaying fish may strike you off-putting at first, but soon enough, you'll become part of the river's exhausting yet rewarding cycle of life and death. It's a raw, authentic connection with nature that's hard to find elsewhere.

The Betsie River also offers exhilarating challenges for adventurous souls.

I remember my first time kayaking down its course during the salmon run.

The river's bends and obstacles tested my skills and stamina, promising an experience that was anything but boring.

Feeling the rush as I maneuvered through its curves is an adventure I'll always hold dear.

Spend the Day at Crystal Gardens

One weekend, I explored a hidden gem in my city - Crystal Gardens.

I'd heard about it but never truly experienced it.

Boy, was it a delightful day!

The first thing that hit me was the mesmerizing antique store filled with trinkets and treasures.

Venturing further, I found myself in a butterfly garden that was a symphony of color and motion, an enchanting sight to behold.

There were more than just butterflies to meet the eye.

A bunny hopped freely, a tadpole tank sat nearby, and a chicken strutted confidently amongst the visitors.

The highlight of my visit was the water garden, with a charming koi pond.

Seeing the colorful fish swimming gracefully was soothing to the soul.

The next stop was the rock shop.

It's hard to describe the awe and fascination one feels when surrounded by beautifully shaped rocks and minerals.

The nursery holds rows of plants and flowers, perfect for sprucing up my home.

Remember to pack a lunch or snack, and bring along water.

I found myself spending far more time at Crystal Gardens than anticipated.

The idyllic setting had picnic tables scattered around, inviting you to sit, relax, and soak in the beauty.

While they don't sell refreshments, a conveniently located bathroom is in the back.

Amongst the many things Crystal Gardens has, there's a thrift store with a well-curated collection of antiques.

\And for the menfolk, a super cool "man cave" in the basement quickly became one of my favorite spots.

All in all, it was an unforgettable day.

If you're looking for a place to unwind and experience a mix of nature, shopping, and exploration, visit Crystal Gardens.

You never know what you'll discover.

Take an Artistic Journey through Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts

One of the most enriching elements of living in this town is the opportunity to immerse myself in the cultural upwelling that the Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts offers.

Housed in a beautifully converted Coast Guard building, the modern art center infuses new life into our community.

The center certainly has a way of drawing you in with the fascinating artwork it houses.

Each visit is an exciting expedition, exploring the best the art world has to offer without leaving a gaping hole in your wallet.

Every piece of art feels like a conversation beckoning you to join in, each artist a new friend waiting to be made.

Spending time here, you feel a connection, not just to the art but also to the talented artists who breathe life into it.

The center's architecture is another aspect that enhances its charm.

Its well-lit spaces and intriguing design elements make each visit as much about appreciating the building as the art it houses.

The Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts remains a beacon of creative expression, an integral part of our community, and a place I am proud to call a part of my town.

Spend an Afternoon at Stormcloud Brewing Company

Stormcloud Brewing Company is my go-to place to unwind after a long day.

Their Belgian-style craft beer is always a hit among my circle of friends.

I am a big fan of their Whiled Away IPA, which has a unique taste I have not found anywhere else.

My partner, on the other hand, prefers the Bird Walker Blonde.

As a meat lover, the BBQ Smoked Brisket Sandwich is my favorite.

If you are in the mood for chicken, you can't go wrong with their Fowl Weather Sandwich.

We often order their Storm Beans, deep-fried green beans served with a sweet hot dipping sauce as an appetizer.

The balance of flavors in this sauce is just right - not too hot or sweet.

Moreover, the place usually has a crowd, especially during late afternoons, which adds to the lively atmosphere.

Still, the food is worth the wait.

Also, it's a casual spot where you can bring your dog.

They have a lovely patio where you can sit, relax, and enjoy your meal.

Remember to grab your water from the station, as they have a self-service policy.

It's a great spot to sample some fantastic craft beers and delicious food.

Check out their flatbread pizza as well. It's highly recommended!

Feel the Charm of Frankfort Mineral Springs

Frozen waterfall at Frankfort Mineral Springs
swws16 / Shutterstock.com

Every time I visit the Frankfort Mineral Springs, I can't help but feel a sense of peace and tranquility wash over me.

This park, nestled in the heart of our town, is where families gather, children play, and memories are made.

The pavilion is always impeccably maintained, with clean picnic tables making it an ideal outdoor lunch spot.

You can hear the giggles of children playing at the nearby playground, their laughter echoing through the park as they engage in their childhood adventures.

A wander through the park leads you to a winding walking trail, perfect for a stroll or an invigorating run.

Every step on this trail immerses you in the park's stunning natural beauty.

The scattered bench swings allow you to pause, enjoy the scenery, and even catch your breath.

But the true gem of this park is the mineral spring.

I’ve been drinking this naturally effervescent water for years.

It’s a ritual that connects me to the place and the community - filling jugs of this precious water and taking it home to enjoy.

The park's location is another highlight, being within walking distance from downtown and a short drive from Lake Michigan's public beach.

The waterside walkway offers a close-up view of grand yachts and sailing vessels, a sight that never fails to awe visitors.

Right next door to the park is the city library, and not far off are the fishing boat launch ramps and acres of parking.

This combination of natural beauty, community amenities, and convenience makes Frankfort Mineral Springs such a cherished spot in our town.

So, there's something for everyone at Frankfort Mineral Springs, whether it's a sunny picnic, a day of play, a quiet read on the grass, or a sip from the mineral spring.

It's a place that has grown better with time, holds memories of my childhood, and continues to create new memories every time I visit.

Chase the Waves at Elberta's Waterfront Park

Elberta's Waterfront Park is a spectacle!

I've been trotting down its narrow paths and indulging in its serene beauty for years.

It's my escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, offering a peaceful walk along the beach that stretches for miles.

Nothing beats those delightful evening strolls, relishing the breathtaking sunsets that paint the sky with a vibrant fusion of colors.

And when the wind picks up, it's a sight to behold!

The waves crashing over the pier put on a thrilling show.

It's a fantastic spectacle that always leaves me in awe.

The park isn't just about scenic walks and adventurous drives, though.

Sometimes, it’s the perfect platform to witness the majestic storms rolling in from the horizon.

There's a certain thrill to observing their advance, especially from the safety of the park.

And for those who still have a childlike curiosity, the park houses a little something for you, too.

Near the old factory in the park, you can find an assortment of Frankfurt Green stones scattered all around, waiting to be discovered.

It makes you feel like a treasure hunter.

There's so much to love about Elberta's Waterfront Park.

It’s an experience, a memory, a moment that brings joy just thinking about it.

Visit Crystal Lake Alpaca Farm and Boutique

You wouldn't believe the charm that lies just down the road for me at Crystal Lake Alpaca Farm and Boutique.

It's a hidden gem in northern Michigan that always brightens my day.

Imagine stepping out of your car, and the first thing that hits you is the gentle hum of alpacas, the softness of their fur as you feed them, and their adorable, irresistible expressions.

My favorite is a friendly alpaca named Daisy, who always makes my day with her playful antics.

The farm is a wholesome family experience.

Its tranquil setting is perfect for a leisurely picnic. I usually pack a lunch, grab a blanket, and make a full day of it.

My kids love the outdoor games that the farm provides.

Connect Four and Checkers are their favorites, and we have spent countless afternoons challenging each other over these games.

Crystal Lake Alpaca Farm also hosts events.

I remember one time they brought two of their cutest alpacas to a wedding in town as a surprise for the guests.

The pictures were adorable, and they were the talk of the town for weeks.

However, the experience wouldn't be complete without a visit to their boutique.

They have everything from alpaca-themed souvenirs to cute stickers and postcards, perfect for sending a little piece of our town to loved ones who live afar.

Its reasonable prices mean I always get something for myself and the kids.

Crystal Lake Alpaca Farm and Boutique is more than just a farm.

It's where fun, nature, and family create beautiful memories.

And to think, all this charm is just a stone's throw away from my home.

Visit Your Home Away from Home at Hotel Frankfort

Since moving to Frankfort, Hotel Frankfort & Restaurant has been my go-to spot whenever I have an itch for delectable cuisine or an escape for a night or two.

Each time I step into this property, I am reminded how much I love my city and its treasures.

Their suites are each uniquely decorated, giving them a distinct charm.

One time, I stayed in the log cabin room.

Its cozy, rustic ambiance made it feel like a mini-vacation in the middle of town.

The room even had a sauna, which was a delightful surprise.

Its location is another big plus. It's right across from the beautiful shoreline.

And if you feel like exploring, all the local shops and restaurants are just a stroll away.

But what stands out the most about Hotel Frankfort is its gourmet restaurant.

The food there is sublime.

Their portions are generous, satisfying even the heartiest appetites, and the flavors are exquisite.

They offer a variety of dishes, each prepared with a unique touch that makes it stand out.

Hotel Frankfort & Restaurant has become a cherished part of my local life.

I hope that should you decide to visit, it will become a precious part of yours as well.

Explore the Betsie Dunes Nature Preserve

I've been blessed to have the Betsie Dunes Nature Preserve in my backyard practically.

The serenity that this place offers is something that words might fall short of.

Every visit to the dunes is a new adventure for me.

The beautiful vistas from the Old Baldy hike are breathtaking, especially the panoramic view overlooking Lake Michigan.

It's a sight that never gets old.

There are days when the hike up to the peak is my morning ritual.

With a cup of coffee, the trek uphill is filled with anticipation.

When you reach the top, the world seems to stand still.

The tranquil waters of the lake below, their vast expanse merging with the sky at a distant horizon, the gentle rustling of the trees - nothing short of a spectacle.

However, the preserve is not just about the hike and the views.

Its diverse ecosystem makes it a hidden treasure for nature lovers like me.

It's a delight to observe the various species of birds and plants that call this place home.

I find myself returning to Betsie Dunes Nature Preserve more often than not.

It's become a sort of retreat for me. I can't recommend it enough to visitors and friends.

If you haven't been here yet, you're missing out.

Whether a sunny afternoon or a quiet evening, the preserve is a sanctuary that offers solace and peace like no other.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Enjoy Relaxed Camping at Interlochen State Park

Old-Growth Forests at Interlochen State Park
Elizabeth Skene, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There's no place I'd rather be than nestled among the oak trees at Interlochen State Park.

It's a place where the pressures of daily life seem to float away like leaves on the water.

With two beautiful fishing lakes framing the park, it's the perfect spot for unwinding.

The campground itself is well-maintained and spacious.

Each site has a picnic table, a fire pit, and an electrical pole for plugging in those essentials.

Thanks to the towering oak trees, the campsites are generous in size and provide excellent shade.

One thing that always stands out is the level of cleanliness in the park, particularly the bathrooms.

While the park is peacefully serene, it never gets too dull.

The boat launch area provides an opportunity to take a kayak out on the water, or if you prefer, you can sit by the fire and soak in the tranquil surroundings.

There's also a playground for the little ones, although it's pretty basic.

One thing to note is that the park doesn't sell firewood, so you'll need to bring your own.

As for the town of Interlochen, it's a charming complement to the state park.

It's a small, friendly place where you quickly feel at home.

So, whether you're planning to stay for a few nights or looking for a place to pitch your tent, Interlochen State Park offers a relaxed camping experience.

Enjoy a Tranquil Escapade to Arcadia Dunes

View of Arcadia Dunes: The C.S. Mott Nature Preserve
papadakp, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Ever since I moved to this charming little town, the Arcadia Dunes: The C.S. Mott Nature Preserve has been my sanctuary of serenity.

The first time I set foot on its trails and walked through the dunes, I was left in awe of the natural beauty surrounding me.

Much of the path meanders through a dense forest offering a comforting shade - a luxury not many dune trails can boast of.

The landscape is sectioned so thoughtfully that one could tailor their hike to any distance, short or long.

My favorite part, though? That has to be the vantage points at the very top of the dune.

Two spots offer breathtaking views of the lake, which are truly spectacular and worth every step of the climb.

It's not just me; everyone I've met there also seems to cherish these spots.

Not to forget, Arcadia Dunes is a more peaceful alternative to the often-crowded Sleeping Bear Dunes.

This is where I usually escape whenever I need quiet moments with nature.

Just a piece of advice - on a hot day, try to visit early or late in the afternoon to relish the view without breaking a sweat.

Visit Betsie River Campsite

Every time I need a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of daily life, I turn to the serenity of Betsie River Campsite.

It's my little piece of heaven right in the area. It's safe to say that I've stayed in every one of their cute, comfy, spotless cabins.

I'll never forget how spotless everything is, from the cabins to the bathhouse.

And speaking of the bathhouse, it offers the hottest showers even after multiple people have used it before me.

It's like my spa in the wilderness.

The campsite also offers a delightful home-cooked meal in their café.

Moreover, the food reminds me of my grandmother's simple, hearty, and delicious cooking.

And then there's the camp store - always stocked with merch and a few camping essentials, just in case you forgot to pack something.

The Betsie River Campsite also has a strategic location on a paved bike trail.

It's perfect for a quick ride to enjoy the picturesque landscape surrounding the campsite.

But the real beauty lies within the camp itself.

The well-maintained and beautifully kept grounds make every visit a luxury retreat.

And if you're lucky, you might even make some new friends since the campsite tends to get social, especially in the off-season.

The campsite can turn into a bit of a party scene, with some folks getting rowdy in the early hours.

But that's never ruined my experience.

After all, it's not the park's fault if some people can't respect the natural beauty around them.

The Betsie River Campsite is my sanctuary, my escape, and my favorite local spot.

Visit Elberta Beach

Daytime view of Elberta Beach
Ryan Kulawiak / Shutterstock.com

There's nothing like ending a long day by retreating to my slice of paradise, Elberta Beach.

Nestled quietly away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this beach is my go-to place to unwind and rejuvenate.

Whether watching the sun's last golden rays dip beneath the azure waves or the sheer tranquility of the absence of boisterous crowds, Ebeach never fails to enchant me with its serene charm.

One of the things I love most about Elberta Beach is the space it offers.

The stretch of sandy coastline seems almost endless, allowing me to claim a corner for myself and remain at a comfortable distance from fellow beachgoers.

I often indulge in long strolls along the water's edge, losing track of time as I revel in the beauty of my surroundings.

The path to the beach, constructed of wooden planks, offers rustic charm to the entire experience.

It's a delight to watch my dog's tail wag in excitement as we go down this path, his anticipation palpable.

Yes, Elberta Beach is dog-friendly, and I consider this a tremendous perk.

Explore Lower Herring Lake

Aerial view of Lower Herring Lake
ShaneTurner95 / Shutterstock.com

Growing up right here on the shores of Lower Herring Lake, my entire childhood was a water-filled adventure.

The lake offered a treasure trove of activities, with fishing and swimming being the absolute favorites.

My summer vacations were always about the thrill of casting the line, hoping for a big catch, and the joy of splashing in the cool water under the warm sun.

The lake isn't just about fishing and swimming.

I have spent countless hours kayaking across the lake to the inlet that leads to Lake Michigan.

It's an extraordinary journey, though a bit taxing if it's a windy day.

But the view and the sense of accomplishment you get when you reach the inlet makes every bit of it worth it.

Another fun place around the lake is a sizable dune on one side.

It ends directly in the water, making it a perfect spot for kids to roll into the water.

As a child, my friends and I had countless fun-filled days rolling down that dune and splashing into the water.

On the lake's South shore is the charming Watervale Inn, which has been a part of my life since I can remember.

This place has added a lot of cherished memories to my life. If you're visiting, I can't recommend this place enough.

Living by Lower Herring Lake, there's always something to do, and the best part is the tranquility.

It's a no-wake lake, so there's no noise pollution from boats and jet skis.

The serenity and peace of this place are something you can't find in the city, and I wouldn't trade it for anything else.

Final Thoughts

Life here in Frankfort, Michigan, has a charm that's hard to resist.

Trust me, the memories you make here will be etched in your heart forever.

The beauty in every season, the small-town charm, and the warm-hearted community make Frankfort a place like no other.

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