Frankfort Michigan: Your MI Travel Guide to the Best Things to Do, See, Eat and Stay Along M-22 (+Frankfort Beach, Harbor Lights Resort and Crystal Gardens)

Frankfort Michigan Travel Guide | Writing and Photography by Sherry Trautman | Traveling Michigan at

Your Travel Guide to the Best things to do in Frankfort MI! Located on famous M-22, Frankfort boasts vast beaches, beautiful lighthouses, trails and more!

To me, Frankfort is like Sound of Music's song, "These are a few of my favorite things!" 

Frankfort Michigan is a Hidden Gem!

Scenic Main Street in Frankfort is home to flower lined streets, quaint shops and bobbing moored boats.  We absolutely love visiting this city as it has so much to offer.

Take some time to experience the shops and grab a bite to eat in the city of Frankfort MI.  Wander the paved walkways near the marina and relax for a moment on a bench under a shade tree while enjoying the warm breezes and stunning views. 

We just love downtown Frankfort MI, so many cute shops to explore!

Where's Frankfort Michigan?

Take a moment to zoom in and out of this map to familiarize yourself with the location!  We love that Frankfort is located on M-22, voted one of the most scenic drives in America!!

Are You Planning a Trip to Frankfort and Sleeping Bear Dunes?

Grab our Sleeping Bear Dunes Guide, the Ultimate Michigan Road Trip that includes Frankfort, Point Betsie Lighthouse, dune climbs, Sleeping Bear Dunes and lots of great stops along the way.

Perfect for solo, couple or family travel as there is something for everyone!

The guide also includes a fun interactive map so you can easily plan your trip in an organized manner.  

TIP: Even if you aren't headed to Sleeping Bear Dunes, check out the interactive map as it includes Frankfort!

Betsie Valley Trailway: Fantastic Biking, Walking and Jogging

If you enjoy walking, jogging or cycling, check out the Betsie Valley Trailway that offers awesome views of the marina and Betsie Lake. The path is paved in Frankfort so it's a great spot to just enjoy the views for an hour or so.

The Betsie Valley Trailway winds through Frankfort, Elberta, Beulah and Thompsonville for 22 miles of fun in Northern Michigan!

Restrooms: There is a public restroom right off the trail at the corner of Main St. and 6th Street near the mineral springs. A second restroom is on Main St. and 9th.

Parking: Main St. and 6th region.

Visit Crystal Gardens

Love Flowers? How about unique experiences? You need to visit Crystal Gardens! 1299 Pilgrim Hwy. Frankfort, Mi, 49635

Stop in to See Their:

  • Water garden
  • Cut flower fields
  • Antiques at the Barn Swallow
  • Check out the Rock shop and see stones cut, tumbled and polished 
  • Nature House and gift shop (see the resident critters)

​So stop by Crystal Gardens for a great selection of annuals and perennials for your garden in Northern Michigan!

Frankfort Mineral Springs

Location: 630 Main St, Frankfort, MI

This sheltered mineral spring is a cool stop along the shore of Betsie Lake.  We went to check it out just to say we did!  Oh, and if you are brave, you can try the very minerally tasting water.

Frankfort Michigan Beach and Dunes

Located at the west end of Frankfort's Main Street, this vast, clean beach is one of the best Lake Michigan beaches in the area. Frankfort Beach is a fantastic place to spend an afternoon!

Kids will love the swings and if beach volleyball is your thing, there are plenty of nets to get a game going.

Frankfort beach is walking distance from eclectic shops, great eats and spots to grab a tasty drink. Plus, Frankfort’s beach sunsets are killer, so dig in and hang out for flashes of orange, red and pink to fill the skies. Park once for all-day entertainment! 

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Frankfort Michigan Lighthouse

While visiting Frankfort, be sure to walk out to the Frankfort Lighthouse, located at the head of the north breakwater (see map). The lighthouse is a square steel pyramidal tower erected in 1912 and stands 44 feet tall. 

Public Parking in Frankfort Michigan

On-street parking is free in Frankfort.

Public Restrooms in Frankfort Michigan

  • Mineral Springs Park: South of Main Street on Betsie Bay and at the foot of 6th Street Boat Launch: South of Main Street on Betsie Bay between 9th and 10th streets
  • Beach Pavilion


Frankfort Marina is Just Gorgeous!

Frankfort Michigan by Travel-Mi.comFrankfort Michigan by

I mean seriously, these views!! The scenery is reason enough to visit this gorgeous Michigan lake town!

Best Restaurant in Frankfort Michigan

During my travels, I met Michelle and Charles, a fantastic couple with a home near Frankfort.  They raved on and on about the Rocks Landing restaurant...the food, service and atmosphere (on the water) were top notch in their book.

Their menu sounds divine: chickpea & lentil dal with a curry base, lemony ricotta gnocchi with roasted oyster mushrooms, pan-roasted striped bass with seared baby bok choy in a coconut curry broth, sesame-crusted ahi tunaseared sea scallops with a cauliflower puree! 

I mean, what an inventive and delicious menu!

We haven't been there yet but we trust Michelle and Charles' raving review of this Frankfort Michigan restaurant.  Go check it out!

Evening Fun at the Cherry Bowl Drive-In Theater

Location: 9812 Honor Highway, Honor, MI  49640. Phone: 231-325-3413

Have you ever been to a drive-in theater?  I love it the fun atmosphere, snacks and novelty of sitting in my vehicle to watch a movie.  Be sure to check their website or call for current movie titles, show times and information.

Get there early to get a good spot, grab snacks and allow time for energetic kids to play at the playground before the movie starts. What a fun way to spend your summer evenings in Michigan!

I hope you thought Frankfort Michigan, a beautiful west Michigan lake town, was a Michigan hidden gem.

Where to Stay in Frankfort, Michigan (Benzie County)

Harbor Lights Resort Frankfort MI is fantastically located: right between both lighthouses with a spectacular view of Lake Michigan!  There is a very nice indoor pool and a variety of rooms to choose including kitchens, jacuzzi, balcony, etc. 

We love that you can walk out of your room at Harbor Lights Resort and have your toes in the sand within a couple minutes!  The rooms are very nicely decorated and modern.  You will be very comfortable in whichever room you choose for your Michigan vacation or getaway!

See more Frankfort Michigan Hotels on TripAdvisor (Read reviews, see photos and maps).

Visiting Frankfort?  Grab Our Ultimate Sleeping Bear Dunes Travel Guide!

We’ll kick off this Michigan Road Trip near Arcadia so you can get your first killer views of Lake Michigan and Sleeping Bear Dunes.  Continuing on famous M-22, we'll explore famous lighthouses, dig our toes in warm sandy beaches, hike amazing vistas and photograph sweeping dunes while winding our way to our grand finale, Pierce Stocking Drive.

Voted Best Scenic Drive in America, M-22 Will Be Our Route As We Explore Frankfort, Pt. Betsie Lighthouse, Empire, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Pierce Stocking Drive and Lots of Adventures Along the Way.

Visit Leland Michigan "Fishtown!"

  • You will absolutely love Leland, a quaint fishing town in Michigan!

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Today, I'm DYING to feel warm sand between my toes, to feel the heat of the sun on my arms and the breeze on my face. SO, I decided to post a warm photo to cheer me (and you!) up! Sweet deal, huh?! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This #throwbackthursday pic is from last summer's trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes. What a magnificent view of Lake Michigan, isn't it? Sigh...⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #greatlakes #michigan #michiganunsalted #michiganders #onlyinmichigan #bluesky #crashingwaves #landscapephotography #thursday #puremichigan #lakemichiganbeach #michigantravel #greatlakesstate #sleepingbeardunes #sleepingbeardunesnationallakeshore #travelingmichigan #michiganoverboard #michigan_wanderlust #greatlakesstateofmind #puremittenpride #lovemichigan #michiganders #exploremichigan #greatlakesstate #greatlakesstateofmind #greatlakeslocals #midwestmoment #onlyinmichigan #michiganunsalted

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About the Lead Author | Sherry Trautman

Thanks for stopping by!

Our Words of Wisdom: “Never follow anyone else’s path. Unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path, then by all means follow that path.”

"Sherry & Chris"

We're Sherry and Chris the founders of one of Michigan's most comprehensive and Top Travel Blogs!

    Sherry Trautman is a seasoned business owner and a multifaceted content creator, deeply entrenched in the world of travel in Michigan. With her extensive background in writing, editing, photography, marketing, website design, web mastering, social media, and publishing, she is the driving force behind the acclaimed Michigan Travel site "" A lifelong Michigander, Sherry's journey began in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan led her to St. Joseph during her formative years, and further to Kalamazoo for her higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and Fine Art from Western Michigan University. Her career initially blossomed in Battle Creek, where she contributed significantly to aviation, marketing, and the art industry.

    In 2018, Sherry, alongside her husband Chris, embarked on a passionate endeavor with the inception of This venture was not just a business but a full-time commitment to exploring and celebrating the diverse landscapes and communities of Michigan. Together, they tirelessly traverse the state, curating unique experiences, capturing stunning visuals, and weaving engaging narratives that showcase Michigan's rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty. From her early experiences in different Michigander locales to her extensive professional background, Sherry's life and work epitomize a deep-rooted expertise in Michigan travel, making her an authoritative voice in this niche.

Sherry & Chris are at the Inn at Bay Harbor and looking out at the lake.
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