Oktoberfest is a much beloved holiday and this German-inspired fall festival is widely celebrated all over the world. With nearly 20 percent of Americans claiming some German ancestry, it is easy to see why it is so popular in the United States.
Taking place from mid-September until early October, it is an excellent opportunity to let your hair down and guzzle a few beers while gorging yourself on bratwurst and pork knuckle.
Here is our definitive list of some of the most amazing places to commemorate Oktoberfest if you are living in or traveling to the USA.
Famous for its replications of iconic international landmarks, its 24-hour party scene, and non-stop gambling; there no better place the Las Vegas to experience “Munich in the desert.”
Here you will find the “Hofbrauhaus” which is an exact copy of the renowned German beer hall in Munich and a party that claims to rival its counterpart in Europe. Enjoy authentic music and traditional cuisine while tasting the same beer as you would find at the original location, which is brewed using a 440-year-old recipe handed down by the Duke of Bavaria.
Welcoming more than half a million visitors each year, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio is the biggest celebration of its kind in the US and the second largest Oktoberfest in the world after the one in Munich. Jam-packed with German music, 800 barrels of beer and more than 30 food vendors, this three-day event is one of the most highly anticipated of the year.
San Francisco Sensibility
Taking place at Pier 48, “Oktoberfest By The Bay” in San Francisco is the place to be for nonstop music, singing, dancing and incredible German food and beer. The festival features a 21-piece Chico Bavarian band and welcomes an eclectic group of party-goers from all walks of life.
Family First In Pennsylvania
Home to the German immigrants known as the Pennsylvania Dutch the “PA Bavarian Oktoberfest” in Canonsburg is one of the most family-friendly celebrations in the US.
Along with the obligatory beer, braut and Bavarian music, you will discover kid-focused activities like carnival rides, face painting, structured games, silly contests and live performances that will appeal to revilers of any age.
Located on the banks of the Missouri River, Oktoberfest in the quaint town of Herman Missouri is not to be missed. Activities will take place throughout the month of October at 50 historic buildings including antique shops, specialty stores, museums, art galleries, restaurants and bars.
In addition to copious amounts of German beer, food booths and arts and craft demonstrations, Herman is home to seven different wineries who each have special events planned to mark the occasion.
Taking place in the middle of Texas’ most famous German settlement, Fredericksburg Oktoberfest is a sensational weekend-long celebration of German heritage, food, music, and art.
Look forward to having “Texas style” fun while soaking up plenty of German beer. You will even find some kids activities and games, along with the live entertainment.
Southern California Style
One of the oldest and largest Oktoberfest celebrations in California, the Alpine Village Oktoberfest in Torrance attracts more than 100,000 visitors a year. Discover live entertainment including Oom Pah big bands from Germany, participate in a rambunctious sing-a-long, and try your hand at a yodeling competition. Experience extraordinary fun in the California sun along a plethora of traditional German food and beer.
No one does Oktoberfest quite like Chicago, and the St. Alphonsus Oktoberfest in Lakeview is legendary. Treat yourself to a weeklong celebration of German culture along with imported German beers and 20 local breweries from around the country offering craft beers. They also feature “Kinderfest” with face painting, dance parties, and arts and crafts for the children.
Pacific Northwest Forest
The Leavenworth Oktoberfest is located near the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest just a few hours outside of Seattle, Washington. Touted as being the “next best thing to being in Munich” you are treated to live music from bands imported for Germany, weekend parades, a “keg tapping” ceremony and plenty of German food and beer.
The rustic and natural scenery, crisp clean air and laid back atmosphere all conspire to make this an unforgettable celebration.
Melissa is a passionate foodie, travel writer, and editor working in media internationally and in the USA. She has lived in Bangkok since 2004 and has a background in the travel industry. Melissa’s writing has been published globally in many prestigious online and print magazines for over a decade. Her motto for life is “You cannot live or love well if you have not wined and dined well!”