Can’t get to Germany? Don’t worry, there are plenty of places to celebrate Oktoberfest in the US. Below you’ll find our favorite Oktoberfest events!
Oktoberfest In The US
Every year, millions of people travel to Munich, Germany for Oktoberfest. During this fun German festival there is lots of beer, food, music, and dancing. Of course, Oktoberfest in Munich is the main festival.
However, there are Oktoberfest events and celebrations around the world. If you’re living in the US, you’re in luck because there are a few cities known for their Oktoberfest celebrations.
So if you’re wondering, “Is there an Oktoberfest near me?” don’t worry! Chances are you’re not too far from one of the many Oktoberfest events celebrated around the US. To help us find the best ones, we asked some of our blogger friends for their top picks for Oktoberfest celebrations in the US. Below are their recommendations…
Oktoberfest In Leavenworth, Washington
By Jessica Of My Feet Will Lead Me
Tucked into the Cascade mountains of Central Washington lies a surprising Oktoberfest destination. In fact, if you didn’t know better, you would think you were in a small Bavarian village in the mountains of Germany.
Settlers flocked to the area with the arrival of the railroad, developing the timber industry until the railroad was relocated. This left Leavenworth almost a ghost town until town leaders decided to reinvent Leavenworth in the 1960’s as a Bavarian themed village with annual festivals to attract visitors and revitalize the town.
Today, Leavenworth sees upwards of a million visitors per year and is a popular tourist destination with breweries, wineries, shops, and restaurants lining the popular Front Street. There are also endless opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast like hiking, biking, mountain climbing, fishing, camping, rafting, river tubing, and horseback riding.
Although Leavenworth is truly a place for all seasons (complete with a Christkindlmarkt and Christmas tree lighting festival), Oktoberfest really is the festival of the year that defines the Bavarian town. For 3 weekends in October, the town is bustling with special Oktoberfest themed entertainment, food, and beer (complete with a keg tapping ceremony).
The streets are lined with vibrant, fiery fall trees with the backdrop of dramatic mountains surrounding the town. You truly will feel like you’re in a Bavarian village for Oktoberfest.
Rocktoberfest At Rock City Gardens In Lookout Mountain, Georgia
By Jillian Of Adventure Dragon
At the top of Lookout Mountain near Chattanooga, Tennessee, Rock City Gardens celebrates Oktoberfest through a special, month-long event called Rocktoberfest. Guests enjoy live German music, polka lessons, specialty beer, and German cuisine. The Fall Fairy arrives to bring autumn to the mountain, and Ik the Troll King holds special storytelling sessions for the kids. There’s pumpkin painting, geode digging, and guided heritage tours designed to celebrate the history of Rock City.
Founder Frieda Utermoehlen Carter displayed love for her German heritage by carefully weaving aspects of the culture throughout all the major attractions located in the park. Visitors follow the Enchanted Trail to High Falls Waterfall, Lover’s Leap, and Fairyland Caverns while learning about the beloved German folklore and fairy tales that make the gardens truly unique.
It’s an exciting, one-of-a-kind experience that I highly recommend to anyone looking for the best place to spend Oktoberfest in the U.S.
Oktoberfest In Helen, Georgia
Ketki Of Dotted Globe
As a small touristy Bavarian town in the Appalachians, Helen celebrates all its festivals in traditional German style – and when this Alpine town celebrates Oktoberfest – it goes all out on the festivities! Helen’s Oktoberfest celebrations are one of the longest running in the country.
The festivities start in September and continue till the end of October. Attending Oktoberfest celebrations in this Bavarian town is the perfect way to have an authentic Bavarian experience and one of Helen’s best attractions. The town’s unique Bavarian style architecture is the perfect background to drink lots of German beer, eat brats and sausages, and listen to live German music.
The event takes place in Helen’s Festhalle i.e the Festival Hall and bands from around the country dominate the stage with lively music and a vibrant dance floor. This is the perfect time to put on your Lederhosen, Dirndls and other traditional Bavarian outfits.
The town is also full of delicious German food including pretzels, bratwursts, weiners, schnitzels, goulash, and apple strudels. Helen also holds an Oktoberfest parade with floats, decorated vehicles, horse riders, and music. Helen’s Oktoberfest is truly the best one in the country and worth attending at least once.
Oktoberfest In Leavenworth, Washington
By Toccara Of Forget Someday
*Leavenworth is so popular we have two votes for it!*
Leavenworth is a Bavarian-themed village at the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State. It’s the perfect stopover on your drive along the scenic 400-mile Cascade Loop drive! Complete with themed and traditional alpine-style buildings, you will literally feel like you are standing in a village in southern Germany.
Therefore, it’s only appropriate that they put on one heck of an Oktoberfest celebration in the Fall! Plan your visit to Leavenworth during the first 3 weekends (Friday & Saturday) of October and you’ll be able to enjoy authentic German food, beer, music, and dancing in a fun and festive environment.
Each Saturday during Oktoberfest in Leavenworth, the town mayor participates in the Bavarian tradition of “tapping the keg” at 1 pm. Don’t miss it! And be sure not to forget your dirndl and lederhosen, as many locals and visitors dress for the occasion!
Oktoberfest In Ocean Beach, California
By Jenn And Ed Of Coleman Concierge
Ocean Beach is a beach city in San Diego with a cool hippy vibe. They’re known for surfing, craft brew, and having no chain restaurants inside the city limits. They’re also known for street parties. They take every opportunity to close down Newport Street and take the party outdoors. You can guess they go all out for Oktoberfest.
Friday night and all day Saturday there’s live bands, plenty of bratwursts, and beer for everyone. During the day, there’s an art show and all age entertainment on the beach stage including traditional oompah music. When the night falls, get your 21+ wristband and enter the beer garden.
The music continues late into the night along with some rowdy entertainment like stein holding competitions and balloon blows. The Mr. and Mrs. Oktoberfest contests are fan favorites, and everybody gets to break out their sexy lederhosen.
Oktoberfest in Ocean Beach is a So-Cal beach party with a side of brats and beer. It’s a little bit funky and a whole lot of fun.
Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg, Texas
By Priya Vin Of Outside Suburbia
Fredericksburg, a little German town located in the Hill Country is great place to visit for a weekend getaway in Texas! You can browse in the many small shops, listen to live music, sample a wide variety of wines.
If you like wine, you will surely love Fredericksburg! It is home to more than 20 wineries – the Texas Hill Country is actually home to over 45 wineries and vineyards and Fredericksburg is the center of the Hill Country wine region.
This little German town puts together a great Oktoberfest first week of October with food and drink, dance contests, music, souvenirs and much more! Fun for the whole family! Oktoberfest will be held on October 4, 5 & 6, 2019 in downtown, Fredericksburg on MarktPlatz!
There will be great beers from Texas … and beyond! Even if you can’t make it to Oktoberfest, you can still enjoy some great food in Fredericksburg – Auslander Restaurant and Biergarten is one of our favorites, they have been serving up authentic German since 1979.
Oktoberfest In Breckenridge, Colorado
By Jenna Of Travels of Jenna
Just a short drive from Denver, Breckenridge hosts one of the top Oktoberfest celebrations in the Rockies. The festival runs for three days each September and takes place on the historic Breckenridge Main Street. The setting: mountain views and early signs of the aspen tree’s autumn hues.
The weather in the Colorado Rockies during this time of year is absolutely stunning. Clear skies and mild temperatures make perfect days for dancing polka, sipping brews, and enjoying an abundance of German fare. The most enthusiastic guests arrive to Breckenridge Oktoberfest in their dirndl and lederhosen! Since visitors typically begin to arrive on Friday and travel home on Sunday, Saturday is the most popular day of the weekend.
Breckenridge is most widely known as a popular ski town, but this mountain town offers plenty to do without the snow. If you’d like to get away from the crowds and burn off some of the beer calories, lace up your shoes and hike one of the many trails. Another popular and fun activity for families is the annual Breckenridge Oktoberfest 5K. Alternatively, you can rent a bike for a beautiful morning ride on the 9 mile trail to Frisco before the afternoon activities. Booths open at 11 am, just in time for lunch.
Oktoberfest In Salt Lake City, Utah
By Rachelle Of Adventure Is Never Far Away
Oktoberfest has been celebrated in Utah since 1973. Tucked away in Little Cottonwood Canyon, about 30 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City, the tradition continues at the Snowbird Ski Resort. Voted one of the 10 Best Oktoberfests in America by Men’s Journal Magazine, Oktoberfest in Salt Lake City is a family-friendly event, complete with activities, cultural celebrations, food, and of course, beer.
Thousands of visitors flock to Oktoberfest at the Snowbird Resort, making it one of the most popular festivals in the state. Visitors are treated to daily Alpenhorn performances, a full itinerary of music hall acts, and traditional dancing.
Utah’s Oktoberfest lasts from mid-August to mid-October, open every Saturday and Sunday, with a bonus opening on Labor Day. Not only are there ample weekend options to visit, you can’t beat the location. Oktoberfest takes place in one of Utah’s premier ski resorts, giving visitors the feeling that they’re actually in the Bavarian Alps in Germany!
Pro Tip: While you’re in Utah, consider Camping On The Great Salt Lake!
Oktoberfest In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
By Melissa Of Parenthood and Passports
If you’re looking for a low-key way to celebrate Oktoberfest in the United States, forego the festivals and find a true German beer garden to simply relax and enjoy a pint as they do in Bavaria. And you probably won’t find a more authentic beer garden in the central US than Royal Bavaria in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
With communal tables perfectly shaded by large trees, boot-shaped beer mugs, waitresses in dirndls, and plenty of family-friendly entertainment, Royal Bavaria’s beer garden will have you practically feeling like you are in Munich itself. And with good reason. The German restaurant in Oklahoma City is run by a master chef who was born and raised in the Bavarian capital.
The restaurant has incredible food that rivals anything we have tried in Germany and brews their own craft beer in-house according to the German Purity Law standards. And with its large, laid back beer garden, it is a place where you can relax and spend hours, whether you are celebrating Oktoberfest or simply wanting to experience a little bit of Germany in the US.
Oktoberfest In Chicago, Illinois
By Theresa Of The Local Tourist
Chicago has an enormous German population, so it only makes sense that there’d be lots of Oktoberfest celebrations. From September through much of October, the city is filled with dirndls and lederhosen. If you’re looking for the perfect place to eat a giant pretzel and raise a stein, Chicago is definitely your city.
The Berghoff Restaurant is Chicago’s most famous German restaurant and the proud owner of Liquor License number one. This piece of Chicago history celebrates with authentic specials during lunch and dinner, live music, and steins of Adams Street Brewing.
One of the most anticipated events takes place at St. Alphonsus church in the Lakeview neighborhood. Oktoberfest Chicago is a three-day affair with a German Beer Hall and an outside biergarten. There’s a kinderfest on Saturday and Sunday, so the kids can play, too.
Another favorite is Hofbrauhaus in Rosemont, a suburb near O’Hare Airport. There’s nightly entertainment with Bavarian music on-stage and an “Oktoberfestbier” inspired by the original Hofbrauhaus that’s brewed on site and served in liter steins.
These are just a few of the ways Chicago celebrates. If you want to find more places to Prost, check out The Local Tourist’s Oktoberfest Chicago guide.
Oktoberfest In LaCrosse, Wisconsin
By Nicole of Nicole LaBarge
LaCrosse is a college town in Wisconsin that is sandwiched between Grand Dad’s Bluff and the Mississippi River.
To say Oktoberfest in LaCrosse is a big deal is an understatement. Oktoberfest in LaCrosse is the longest running Oktoberfest in the Midwest. This festival has been running for 59 years. Let’s all raise a stein and say PROST to that!
This German festival is a right of passage for any college student but it is also a fun family event. Its a festival of beer, food, parades, people, music and other family entertainment.
Whether you choose to dress in traditional Lederhosen and buttons is up to you. The festival is to promote local pride in LaCrosse. Each year there is a contest to design the button worn at Oktoberfest that year. Festival goers collect these buttons to wear year after year.
There are many main events from the tapping of the Golden Keg to the Maple Leaf Parade or a night out in one of the beer tents you are sure to have a fun time.
Oktoberfest In Frederick, Maryland
By Vicky And Buddy
The city of Frederick, Maryland has a rich German past. In fact, one of the top things to do in Frederick is to visit the Schifferstadt Architectural Museum. This museum was once a home and is considered one of the oldest and most historic buildings in Frederick (it was built in 1758). It’s also one of the best preserved examples of early Colonial German Architecture in the country.
Visitors can tour the home year round and see many original pieces, including including a stove that is probably the oldest in the country still in it’s original location. For an extra special experience, however, we recommend visiting Schifferstadt during Oktoberfest.
There was plenty of German food being cooked as it would have been centuries ago, there was live polka music, and of course, there was also plenty of beer!
Final Thoughts On Oktoberfest In The US
Just because you can’t get to Germany, doesn’t mean you can’t experience Oktoberfest events in the US! We think these cities do a great job of making visitors feel just like they’re in Bavaria, don’t you?
And of course, there are plenty of other cities in the US who we’re sure do a great job at celebrating Oktoberfest. So if you have a favorite, feel free to tell us about it in the comments below! 🙂