Area Attractions

Shops

While you stroll through the port city of Frankfort, be sure to stop into Kilwin’s for some delectable chocolate delights and peek in the windows of Betsie Bay Furniture for some interior design inspiration.  For quality clothing that brings you back to your Northern Michigan vacation, check out Bay Wear for their ‘Up North’ and ‘Unsalted’ merchandise. Try Port City Smokehouse for some local fresh or smoked fish, and the best whitefish pate’ in the world.  In Beulah, just a few of our favorites are Crystal Crate & Cargo, which offers everything you could possibly want in your gourmet kitchen, Myers Granary Antique Market is a terrific stop for wine tasting and antique browsing, and of course Jackleen’s Jems for some custom-made Petoskey stone jewelry. Take a look at soaps, candles and more made from local beeswax at Beedazzled in Benzonia.

Restaurants

This area offers many options when it comes to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but while you’re in the neighborhood be sure to try each of these places at least once:

  • Beulah/Benzonia
    • The Cherry Hut – Famous for their homemade cherry pie, jams & jellies, and locally fresh and delicious lunches and dinners.
    • L’Chayim Delicatessen – Their breakfast bagels are a real weakness of ours!
    • Ursa Major Bistro – Grab a decadent cappuccino and a tasty snack at this adorable bistro.
    • The Hungry Tummy Restaurant & Corner Pub – Pizza and subs are favorites here – or just stop in for a drink!
    • My Dairy King – With over 30 hand dipped ice cream flavors and their own locomotive ride for the kids, you’ll be glad you stopped by this little shop.
    • Hilltop Soda Shoppe –This wonderful family makes wonderful ice cream! They really do make it there!
    • The Roadhouse Mexican Bar & Grill – The best Mexican food around! They make their own salsas and tortilla chips. Those margaritas really hit the spot on a hot Michigan summer day too…
  • Frankfort
    • A & W – For great American favorites such as burgers, root beer, and hot dogs, visit this branch in its fun 50’s drive-in setting.
    • Fusion – Come get a 5-star experience in this classy, waterfront restaurant. The Fusion boasts of Michigan’s largest sake list, most innovative small plates, decadent dessert bar, and coolest clientele.
    • Petals & Perks – Featuring locally roasted coffee from Higher Grounds Trading Company in Traverse City as well as a variety of unique gifts and fresh flowers from Victoria’s Floral Design and Gifts in Benzonia.
    • Crescent Bakery – They’re seriously passionate about great food made simply. You simply must try their pretzel rolls and a Panini. They have delicious treats for your canine companion too!
    • The Coho Café – Enjoy an elegant dinner with a local Michigan beer on their scenic patio overlooking the Betsie Bay.
    • Dinghy’s– Celebrate the beautiful port city of Frankfort in this nautical themed restaurant. With 20 years of service, Dinghy’s is bound to become your favorite eatery.
    • Sleeping Bear Inn – Locating in downtown Frankfort, this pub and restaurant offers an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet that’s out of this world!
  • Elberta
    • The Mayfair Tavern – Classic dinner favorites and spirits at this renovated restaurant will keep you coming back year after year.
    • The Cabbage ShedLocated in the historic “Glarum” warehouse on Betsie Bay, this restaurant has been renovated and reopened for 2016!
  • Crystal Mountain Resort/Thompsonville Area
    • The Wild Tomato – Located in the lower level of the Lodge, try a variety of favorite appetizers, entrees, and desserts or try a beer, wine or mixed drink from the bar.
    • The Thistle – Their unique menu changes from season to season – check it out on the resort website! With steaks, fish, salads and weekly features, there is something special for everyone.
    • Rosie’s Country Café – Their breakfast menu is full of country style favorites!
    • The Laughing Horse Saloon – New owners in 2015 have breathed new life into this fun .. and just off of the snowmobile trail!
    • Geno’s Sports Bar & Grill – Experience some delicious pub food from wings to pizza and potato skins to burgers. This sports bar is a fun place to relax and watch ‘The Game’.

Breweries, Wineries, Distilleries…

  • St. Ambrose Cellars – Their gorgeous taste room is nestled on Homestead Road in Thompsonville. Spend the afternoon trying new wines, meads, and more – the taps are always changing, but your favorites will keep coming back. Black Madonna (sour mead), X.R. Cyser (sweet cyser – mead/wine mix), and Secret Beach (sweet wine) are a couple personal mmmms!
  • Stormcloud Brewing Company – Frankfort’s new hot spot! With tasty treats and even tastier Belgian-inspired beer, this pub always has music or event going on.
  • Iron Fish Distillery – Opened for tastings Labor Day weekend 2016, this new addition to our local drinking holes boasts a soil-to-spirit attitude with their exceptional whiskey, rum, vodka, and gin

Arts, Crafts, and Galleries

  • Gwen Frostic Prints, LLC – Located on a gorgeous 250 acre personal wildlife sanctuary on Betsie River, this shop features works depicting nature on a variety of merchandise.
  • Michigan Legacy Art Park – Open to the public in the heart of Crystal Mountain Resort, these serene wooded trails feature over 35 works of art by Michigan artists.
  • Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts – Located in a refurbished Coast Guard Station in Frankfort, the center has multiple exhibitions throughout the year, as well as, art classes available.

Outdoor Adventures

Hiking, Biking, and Exploring

Check out the terrain at the Old Indian Trail or throughout the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.  The 22 mile long Betsie Valley Bike Trail offers fantastic bike riding, extending from Elberta to Thompsonville. SBD Tours in Empire offers guided hikes or bike tours throughout the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Crystal Lake Adventure Sports in Beulah has a large selection of bikes for rent as well.

For an ATV joy ride, call Twisted Trails Off Road Park in Copemish or Crystal Adventures in Thompsonville.

Fishing, Canoeing, and Kayaking

Be sure to book Tiny Bubbles Charters for a day of charter fishing on Lake Michigan, Crystal Lake, the Platte Lakes, the Platte River, and the Betsie River all offer excellent fishing opportunities for beginners or the avid fly-fisherman. From May’s brown trout season to September’s coho catch, Hammerhead Charters and Intimidator Sportfishing Charters can show you why Frankfort ranks as one of the top ports in Michigan for offshore fishing.

Crystal Lake Adventure Sports, with locations in Beulah and Frankfort, would be more than happy to outfit you with all the gear you need to have a fun-filled day on the water. They rent kayaks of all kinds, surfboards, canoes, stand-up paddleboards and skim boards.

For guided or scheduled river trips including tubing, check out Uncommon Adventures! Stop into Riverside Canoe Trips and spend the day canoeing or kayaking to the “Mouth of the Platte River”.

Golfing

Take a swing at one of the areas many golf courses, including Interlochen, Crystal Lake Golf Club, Pinecroft, Mistwood, Arcadia Bluffs, or Crystal Mountain Resort. You may even find a course discount coupon or two in your welcome bag!

Sunning, Swimming, and Watersports

With so many beautiful lakes, rivers, and beaches in the area, how could you go wrong?  Crystal Lake Marina or MacDonald Marine are the ones to call when you would like to rent a boat, pontoon or personal watercraft during your stay. Pontoons and water toys are available for rent from The Boat Doctors in Frankfort.

For information about swimmer’s itch in our area, please go to http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/swimmersitch/faqs.html.

Skiing and Snowmobiling

Whether you are interested in cross-country or downhill, skiing or snowboarding, Crystal Mountain has it all.  They also offer snowmobile and snowshoe rentals if you would rather traverse one of the many trails in the area. Crystal Adventures also rents snowmobiles and runs snowmobiling tours!