Top Oktoberfest celebrations

Whether German blood courses through your veins or not, there’s something irresistible about a music-infused, beer-enhanced party that simultaneously welcomes the coming of autumn and nods to a vibrant culture.

Fall Getaways for Festival and Beer Lovers

Though the original is held in Munich, Germany, each year, plenty of American cities pull off Oktoberfest celebrations that are anything but second-rate. Visit one of these cities to experience the best Bavarian-style revelry that the U.S. has to offer.

Cincinnati, Ohio

Calling itself the nation’s largest and most authentic Oktoberfest, Cincinnati (or Zinzinnati as you might be compelled to call it) is definitely worth checking out. Over half a million people stop by each year to get their fill of brats, beer, potato pancakes and chicken dances, so if you find yourself in the Southwest Ohio area, don’t miss this massively entertaining event.

Anaheim, California

Making excellent use of the Phoenix Club, Orange County’s German American cultural center, Anaheim’s celebration is authentic with a twist. Lederhosen, Dirndl dresses, spit-roasted pigs and plenty of food and drink should sate your appetite for all things German even as you bask in the golden California sun.

Tempe, Arizona

Known as the Way Out West Oktoberfest, this popular gathering melds German flavors with local pastimes (so don’t be surprised if your day includes both polka music and rock climbing). Family-friendly events, live bands and delicious eats make it easy to see why over 200,000 people ditch convention and head to the desert to get their Oktoberfest fix each year.

Fredericksburg, Texas

The Lone Star State’s strong German roots become cause for celebration each fall as several towns throughout Texas strike up the oompah music and let the beer taps flow. Fredericksburg sets a fine example with its schedule of tradition-nurturing events, so make this a part of your tour for sure.

Denver, Colorado

Before this mountain-flanked Colorado capital becomes covered with snow it livens up with a colorful celebration of German heritage. This long-running festival is held on Larimer Street and includes kids’ activities, an accordion concert and a 10K. Admission is free, so there’s no reason not to drop by for a cold one if you find yourself in the neighborhood.