Oktoberfest may have originated in Bavaria, but the tradition is alive and well here in the States. Dust off your lederhosen for these five best Oktoberfests near Opal destinations.
October means many things: cooler fall temps, football season in full swing, Halloween, foliage, and that classic German-inspired, beer-infused festival better known as Oktoberfest. But if a trip overseas to Munich for the real deal just isn’t in the cards, here are a slew of Opal destinations that host their own versions, plus what makes them each particularly special.
For Those Who Will “Run” for Beer: Whiteface Mountain Oktoberfest [Lake Placid, NY]
When: September 30–October 1, 2017
Where to Stay: Lake Placid Lodge
Perhaps one of the more entertaining spectacles of Whiteface Mountain’s Oktoberfest – named one of the five “Must-Visit Oktoberfests in North America” by SKI Magazine in 2015 – is the “Lederhosen 5K.” Yes, partly because of the traditional Bavarian garb that is worn by the scores of participants. But even better is the addition of a beer-filled (or soda-filled, for those under 21) stein that must be carried for the duration of this trail run around the base of Whiteface. And, in this race, you don’t have to be fast to be a winner: Prizes are also awarded for those with the most beer remaining in their mug at the end of the race.
For True Beer Nerds: Lake George Oktoberfest & Fall Festival [Bolton Landing, NY]
When: October 6–8, 2017
Where to Stay: The Sagamore Resort
Sure, the Lake George Oktoberfest & Fall Festival has all the bells and whistles of other Oktoberfests, where the streets are transformed into a European village and there are classic activities like a keg toss. But what truly sets this fest apart is its Bier Garten, offering a long and well-rounded list of handcrafted, German-inspired ales and lagers, from bocks and kölschs to hefeweizens and helles.
For Competitive Millennials: Acadia Oktoberfest [Bar Harbor, ME]
When: October 6–7, 2017
The Acadia Oktoberfest has a little something for everyone: live music, a car show, a pumpkin-carving demonstration, and yes, plenty of beer. But backyard game enthusiasts will feel the competitive juices start to flow on Saturday when Southwest Harbor’s Smugglers Den Campground transforms into an arena of tournament-style lawn games. Expect beer pong (using water instead of beer), flip cup, cornhole, a torpedo keg toss, and stein hoisting (that’s where competitors hold a full one-liter beer stein out in front of their bodies with a straight arm, parallel to the ground for as long as they can – trust us, it’s not as easy as it sounds).
For Families with Kids: Oktoberfest on the Beach [Indian Rocks Beach, FL]
When: October 14, 2017
Go ahead Mom and Dad, feel free to kick back a couple cold ones and give your full attention to the arts and crafts merchants, German folk dancers, or the silent auction that all anchor this event. That’s because Oktoberfest on the Beach, located at Kolb Park five miles south of Clearwater Beach, has got your kids covered with Kinderfest. This special area, staffed with volunteers, is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and keeps the kids entertained with bounce houses, carnival games, and face painting.
For True German Cultural Buffs: The American-German Club’s Oktoberfest [Lake Worth FL]
When: October 13–15 & October 20–22, 2017
It doesn’t get much closer to the real deal than South Florida’s biggest Oktoberfest, held during two weekends on 10 acres bordering Lake Worth’s Buttonwood Park. Hosted by the American-German Club of the Palm Beaches and manned by 400 volunteers, the event features multiple beer stations and two beer gardens pouring copious amounts of imported German beer, as well as a Jäger Haus serving herbal and spice-laden Jägermeister. Other authentic touches include two party bands flown in from Munich and almost every tasty German dish ever invented: bratwurst, schnitzel, Sauerbraten (pot roast), giant fresh-baked pretzels, Leberkäse (meatloaf), and more.