For more than 200 years, Munich, Germany has been home to the most famous Oktoberfest, also known as a Volksfest. However, you don’t have to travel to Munich in order to enjoy this world-famous festival that celebrates Bavarian culture. In fact, there are Oktoberfests held all over the world, including over 150 in North America. Moreover, there are so many Oktoberfest celebrations in America, you won’t have to travel far to find one. While you are free to choose whatever beer festival you desire, here is a look at just 10 of the best Oktoberfests this year in America. But don’t wait too long to make a choice since some have already started.
Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest
42900 Big Bear Blvd.
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
Dates: September 9-10, 16-17 and 23-24, September 30-October 1, October 6-8, 13-15, 20-22, 27-29, November 4,, 2023
The best Oktoberfest in Southern California isn’t in Los Angeles nor is it in San Diego or even Orange County. Instead, the best traditional German-style beer festival is a few hours east of LA in Big Bear Lake. What’s more, the festival in this small town in the San Bernardino Mountains is now in its 53rd year. Held at the Big Bear Lake Convention Center, the event is held over nine weekends, which gives you plenty of options for a visit. Several German beers will be available on tip, including Spaten Oktoberfest bier, Franziskaner and Warsteiner. In case you go to the Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest, take advantage of the free shuttle operating in the area.
Bear Mountain Oktoberfest
Palisades Interstate Parkway
Bear Mountain, NY 10911
Dates: September 30-October 1, October 7-9, 14-15, 21-22, 2023
Known as the largest Oktoberfest in New York, the Bear Mountain Oktoberfest is an admission free and family friendly event. Held in Anthony Wayne Recreation Area, there is something to do for visitors of all ages. For instance, there will be plenty of German food, beer and Bavarian music. On the other hand, there will also be activities for the kids, including a bounce house with air slides, bean bag toss and pony rides. While the event is admission free, you can purchase VIP and parking passes online. Anthony Wayne Recreation Area is located about 60 miles north of New York City. In addition to driving to Bear Mountain, you can also consider taking a train or bus from Manhattan.
Larimer St. and 21st St.
Denver, CO 80205
Dates: September 22-24 and September 29-October 1, 2023
A downtown Denver tradition since 1969, the Denver Oktoberfest is one of the largest in America. Held in the city’s Ballpark District over two weekends, you can expect to join up to 450,000 visitors this year. That’s because there will be many fun things to see and do and you can even bring your kids. Among the events being held at Denver Oktoberfest are a Long Dog Derby, costume contest, stein hoisting contest and keg bowling. Of course, you can enjoy Bavarian-style food and beer in the Beer Hall, with VIP tickets available. There is no admission fee to enter the Denver Oktoberfest. However, you’ll need a ticket to purchase beer, as well as cash or a credit card to purchase food and other spirits like Jägermeister.
601 Weiss St.
Frankenmuth, MI 48734
Dates: September 14-17, 2023
The Frankenmuth Oktoberfest isn’t nearly the oldest festival of its kind in America. On the other hand, it’s one of the most appropriate spots to host a Munich-style liter mug beer fest. After all, its nickname is Little Bavaria and home to several Bavarian-style buildings and businesses. What’s more, the Frankenmuth Oktoberfest is the only festival to receive an official sanction from the Munich Oktoberfest. Furthermore, the iconic Munich brewery Hofbrauhaus is the official beer sponsor. In addition to great German food and beer, there will be live music on all four days. Admission to the beer hall is $10 per day except on Sunday, when it is free.
125 W. Main St.
Fredericksburg, TX 78624
Dates: October 6-8, 2023
In Texas, there are many great Oktoberfests that will be held this year. For example, the Addison Oktoberfest is considered among the most authentic of its kind in America. Of course, there are great beer festivals in Houston, Austin and Dallas. However, the best Oktoberfest in Texas is arguably Fredericksburg, in the Texas Hill Country. After all, this town with a rich German heritage is known as the Polka Capital of Texas. Now in its 43rd year, the beer festival will be held at the Markplatz and will feature over 50 types of beer and wine. The Fredericksburg Oktoberfest will kick off the festivities with a OkTUBAfest, followed by a keg tapping.
1074 Edelweiss Strasse
Helen, GA 30545
Dates: September 7-10, September 14-17, September 21-24, September 28-October 29, 2023
Known as Georgia’s Alpine village, Helen is home to the longest running Oktoberfest in the United States. Now in its 53rd year, the event will be held at the Festhalle and will feature traditional German beer, food and music. General weekday admission is $10 and $12 on Fridays and Saturdays. Admission for children ages 6-12 is half price while children under 6 have free admission. While you missed out on the first weekend of the Helen Oktoberfest, including its parade, you have many other chances to visit the Oktoberfest. In addition to the event itself, you can enjoy Bavarian architecture and food in this town within the Blue Ridge Mountains. In case you go, you’ll quickly understand why Helen has one of the best Oktoberfest celebrations in America.
1001 Front St.
Leavenworth, WA 98826
Dates: September 29-30, October 6-7. October 13-14, 2023
In the breathtaking Pacific Northwest, there is no better Oktoberfest celebration than in Leavenworth. After all, the entire town is located within the Alpine-like Cascade Mountains and reminiscent of an authentic Bavarian village. If that’s not enough, it’s held over three weekends and features not only beer gardens but a a Kinderplatz for kids. That’s not to mention Bavarian-style music, great food and a free shuttle to get you there. You can purchase tickets online, with an option to purchase a weekend pass as well as official merchandise. Please note that tickets may sell out so you should purchase online rather than at the door. If so, you’ll be going to what’s easily one of the best Oktoberfests in America.
1 Oktoberfest Strasse
La Crosse, WI 54601
Dates: September 28-30, 2023
With a rich German heritage, there are several Oktoberfests to enjoy in Wisconsin, including in Appleton and Milwaukee. But Wisconsin’s largest is located along the scenic Great River Road in La Crosse. In fact, Oktoberfest USA draws as many as 150,000 visitors and the longest running in the Midwest. First held in 1961, Oktoberfest will host several events, including the Maple Leaf Parade, a Medallion Hunt and the 15th Annual Craft Beer Night. Of course, there will be live music, several German and domestic beers on tap and German-themed games. That’s to say nothing of a family friendly carnival with free admission at Copeland Park.
1 Fifth Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Dates: September 14-17, 2023
If you want to attend America’s largest Oktoberfest, head over to Fifth Street in Cincinnati. On the other hand, if you haven’t already made travel plans you need to act fast. That’s because the start of Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is just days away. Held across four days in downtown Cincinnati, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati was first held in 1976 and now draws over 700,000 visitors. A family friendly and admission free festival, a whole slate of events will be held. This includes live music, chicken dances and the annual Running of the Weiners. While there will be parking available, you should also consider public transportation like the Connector or the Metro bus.
2100 S. Jackson Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74107
Dates: October 19-22, 2023
Whether you’re hankering for a schnitzel or a liter mug of German beer, Tulsa Octoberfest has it all and then some. Now in its 44th year, Tulsa Oktoberfest is a family friendly event although the top attraction is its large selection of premium beers. Nevertheless, Nevertheless, your kids can have fun too, with events like the Dachshund Dash, Dachshund Costume Parade and carnival rides. What’s more, kids 12 and under have free admission, along Zeeco Family Free Day, with free admission to your entire family. In addition to more than 100 types of beer and entertainment across 11 stages are other special events. This includes a ticketed pre-fest kickoff, a German breakfast buffet, bier barrel races and more.
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About the Author
Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS from 2012-2019. More than 900 stories still appear in syndication across over 20 CBS websites, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. During his peak years with CBS, Randy had a digital audience reach of 489 million and 5.5 million monthly visitors. Additionally, his stories have appeared in the Daily Meal, CBS News, CBS Radio, Engadget, NBC.com, NJ.com and Radio.com. He earned a Media Fellowship from Stanford University in 2012. Randy has nearly 25 years of experience in the transportation industry.