PROST! The Best Oktoberfest Celebrations in America

Hello, fall. It’s good to see you. You and all your sweatshirt-weather, football-playing, apple-scented, pumpkin-flavored goodness.

But perhaps one of your greatest gifts is that of Oktoberfest. The great German tradition of spending two weeks each year to celebrate beer is a stroke of genius. And then you couple it with soft pretzels and bratwurst? Brilliant.

Growing up in Cincinnati, there was a rich German heritage that still exists today. One of the most vibrant neighborhoods of the city is called Over-the-Rhine, if that’s any indication. Breweries oozing German flair—Moerlein, Hudepohl, Rhinegeist—are central to the city’s identity. Even native Cincinnatian Jim Koch, legendary founder of Sam Adams, started off brewing his great-great grandfather’s recipe he found in his father’s attic.

All this to say, I’m completely biased and a total homer, but I do believe Cincinnati boasts one of the best Oktoberfests in the U.S., second in size only to the one held in Munich. But don’t take my word for it. USA Today recently did a poll to determine the best Oktoberfests in the country. While I may not agree with Cincinnati’s fourth-place showing, it does make me want to take a vacation day or two to explore some of the other top-rated events.

A look at the top ten is below. For the full list, click over to USA Today. There are still some festivals underway—why not make a weekend long and enjoy the German-themed spoils in one of the winning towns?​

  1. Reading Liederkranz Oktoberfest—Reading, PA
  2. Wurstfest—New Braunfels, TX
  3. Oktoberfest U.S.A.—La Crosse, WI
  4. Oktoberfest Zinzinnati—Cincinnati, OH
  5. New Ulm Oktoberfest—New Ulm, MN
  6. Mount Angel Oktoberfest—Mount Angel, OR
  7. Oktoberfest Fredericksburg—Fredericksburg, TX
  8. Frankenmuth Oktoberfest—Frankenmuth, MI
  9. Linde Oktoberfest Tulsa—Tulsa, OK
  10. Alpine Village Oktoberfest—Torrance, CA

What do you think of the list? Did USA Today miss one of your favorites? Tweet us @ProjectTimeOff and let us know the Oktoberfest that is worthy of your vacation time.


October 5, 2015