Five Fantastic Oktoberfest Events In The US

Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest, originally a celebration of a royal wedding, began over 200 years ago in a field in Munich, Germany. It’s now the largest festival on earth, with people coming all over the world to celebrate Bavarian culture by laughing, dancing, singing, and, of course, drinking beer. But it’s not necessary to leave the United States to celebrate Oktoberfest. Many cities across the country have embraced their German heritage, putting together festivals that rival those in Munich. Below we have included our five favorite picks for Oktoberfest celebrations around the United States.

Harpoon Oktoberfest
One of the most popular Boston fall events for over 20 years, complete with Oktoberfest beer, traditional bratwursts, a keg bowling game, and German chocolate cake-eating contests. Harpoon Oktoberfest offers everything from musicians dressed in lederhosen to yodeling competitions, plus much more.
Addison Oktoberfest
One of the most authentic outside of Munich, this four-day Oktoberfest in Addison Circle Park attracts more than 70,000 visitors every year. This event offers a variety of food and entertainment options, including gourmet schnitzel, polka dancing, folk music, karaoke, a German spelling bee competition along with numerous child activities.
Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest
Among the top rated Oktoberfests in the US for more than 42 years. Features of the Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest include food such as bratwurst, knockwurst, and Bavarian dumplings, as well as premium imported beers on tap. Observe or participate in various contests such as stein-carrying, plus enjoy live music, petting zoos, face painting, and much more.
Leavenworth Oktoberfest
A three-weekend festival held annually in Leavenworth, this celebration attracts over 10,000 people and features four venues with concerts of live traditional German music from the US and Germany. Here you will find authentic Oktoberfest cuisine like sauerkraut-topped bratwurst, shops with handmade art, crafts and collectibles, plus concerts, games and contests.
Historic German Town Oktoberfest
Attracting thousands of people for over 32 years, the family-oriented event of Oktoberfest in Nashville features everything from 4 stages presenting live German music, delicious assortments of Bavarian food and beverages, polka dancing, arts and crafts, antique booths, street performers, and plenty of fun games and activities for children.

 

Cheers to festivals and cheers to exploring new cities! Check back for more travel tips. And when booking your next trip, make sure to check out Bonwi.com.

The Ultimate West Coast Road Trip

West Coast Road Trip Tips

West Coast Road Trip Tips

The landscape found along the West Coast of the United States between Seattle and San Diego is considered by many to be the most beautiful in the world. The various environments between the two cities include volcanoes, high deserts, ancient redwoods, forested-coastline cliffs, massive rivers, and untamed wildlife. Depending on the time you travel and how you want to experience the journey, such a road trip can be conquered anywhere from one to five days. Starting at the northwest tip of the United States at Olympic National Park and driving all the way south to the Mexican border, this 1,650 mile (2.655 kilometers) stretch can be broken down into sections for you to start and stop as you wish during the best road trip of the year.

Olympic National Park

The park spans 1,442 square miles (3.734 square kilometers) and features snow-covered mountains, a temperate rainforest, and the rocky Pacific coastline. Olympic National Park is perfect for almost all outdoor activities due to its undeveloped and untouched environments. Camping, hiking/backpacking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, fishing, soaking in hot springs, wildlife watching, skiing, snowshoeing, and surfing are a few activities you can take advantage of in this outdoor playground

Distance from Los Angeles: 1,243 miles/1.812 kilometers: (17 hours)
Distance from Portland: 162 miles/260 kilometers (3 hours)
Distance from San Diego: 1,124 miles/1.808 kilometers (19 hours)
Distance from Seattle: 112 miles/180 kilometers (2 hours)
Distance from San Francisco: 796 miles/1.281 kilometers (13 hours)

Joshua Tree

With its desert landscape, dry air, and “anything-goes” vibe, many consider Joshua Tree to be a very magical place. There are areas designated to walking trails and rock climbing found throughout the park. Here you will come across a variety of great stores and restaurants each with their own unique personality. Make sure to visit the Hicksville Trailer Palace and grab a drink at the famous Pappy & Harriet’s Bar & Grill.

Distance from Los Angeles: 128 miles/205 kilometers (2 hours)
Distance from Portland: 1,080 miles/1.738 kilometers (15 hours)
Distance from San Diego: 160 miles/257 kilometers (2 hours)
Distance from Seattle: 1,249 miles/2.010 kilometers (19 hours)
Distance from San Francisco: 500 miles/804 kilometers (7 hours)

 

Big Sur

The drive to Big Sur is known to be one of the best in the country. The road zigzags along the ocean making it a fun and beautiful drive. The beauty that you will see along the way will only continue to expand upon your arrival. Redwoods tower over cafes, hiking trails, and modern businesses. The area is booming with artisans from around the world.

Distance from Los Angeles: 352 miles/566 kilometers (6 hours)
Distance from Portland: 757 miles/1.218 kilometers (12 hours)
Distance from San Diego: 462 miles/743 kilometers (8 hours)
Distance from Seattle: 928 miles/1.493 kilometers (14 hours)
Distance from San Francisco: 140 miles/225 kilometers (3 hours)

 

North Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe offers something for everyone with its ski slopes, boat rentals, camping, fishing, gambling, and nightclubs. It is considered one of the best pit stops for road trippers. Grab a drink at the historic lakefront Cambers Landing Bar, or make have some Tex-Mex from the legendary Caliente, also known as “The Stop.”

Distance from Los Angeles: 500 miles/804 kilometers (7 hours)
Distance from Portland: 581 miles/935 kilometers (9 hours)
Distance from San Diego: 559 miles/899 kilometers (9 hours)
Distance from Seattle: 752 miles/1.210 kilometers (12 hours)
Distance from San Francisco: 199 miles/320 kilometers (3 hours)

Explore the Distilleries and Breweries of Washington, D.C.

Washington DC distillery

Want to sample some local hooch after you visit the Smithsonian and snap photos of D.C.’s monuments? Here’s a rundown on a few notable local distilleries and breweries in the city.

Among the revolutionaries that moved to Washington, D.C. in the late 1700s to start the USA’s first government, quite a few were were brewers or distillers. So it’s fitting that the nation’s capital has some production facilities of its own nestled into its limited land area. I got a tour of some of the options with City Brew Tours and here’s what we found.

Cotton and Reed Rum

Washington D.C. Distilleries

Cotton & Reed
Although rum played an important (and often unsavory) role in the Americas in the 1700s and 1800s, there was never a rum distillery in Washington. Cotton & Reid Distillery changed all that when they opened in a revamped 1929 factory building in 2016. They make two kinds of rum for now, white and spiced, because nothing has had time to age. So the attached bar serves lots of cocktails—really good cocktails. They’re serious about the craft though, using Lousiana cane sugar and distilling with a botanicals basket that includes the cane itself. One of the founders, Reed Walker, was a NASA engineer so they’ve got the chops for the science part.

Jos. A. Magnus & Co.
Taking the name and recipes from a midwest distiller that ceased operations during prohibition, Jos. A Magnus is a company that takes the best from the past and reworks it for the modern age. (One poster from the original days says, “A staunch friend from sunrise to sunset.” Another says it’ll cure your marital ills.) They make several styles, with their excellent Murray Hill Whiskey, a bourbon, already winning awards. Their Vigilant Gin is made exclusively with American ingredients. It’s a bit sweeter than most, in an attempt to lure in new fans to the spirit.

Heading up the operation is Nicole Hassoun, who mixed cocktails at D.C.’s top gin bar before striking out on her own. The company also makes Royal Seal Vodka, which tastes like…vodka. Good stuff all around.

Joseph Magnus liquor DC

Washington D.C. Breweries

Atlas Brew Works
Downstairs from Jos. A. Magnus in the Ivy City neighborhood is Atlas Brew Works, probably the city’s best-known brewery. Two of their three most popular beers are ones you would easily predict: the easy-drinking District Common and a Ponzi American pale ale. The third one, Rowdy, is kind of a wild card though: a hop-forward rye beer that doesn’t taste quite like anything else I’ve had.

Unfortunately I didn’t have a lot of time to linger here, but did find out that Atlas is a 100% solar-powered brewery. How many breweries can say that? There’s a great pub vibe here, so make a night of it and go down the row for a flight.

Atlas Brew DC

Blue Jacket Brewery
Located walking distance from the Nationals baseball stadium, Blue Jacket is a new-build brewery inside the walls of an old boilermaker factory, in an area that’s gone from closed-factory-desolate to gentrified glory in just a few years. Because they could plan it all out from scratch inside, this brewery has set up operations in the traditional style, letting gravity take its course. Brewing starts at the top level and then works its way down to the bottom. There modern science takes over and beers are served in the brewpub at the ideal temperature: lagers at a colder temperature than stouts, for instance, all temperature controlled from the back.

Brewery near Washington Nationals baseball

They’re not afraid to experiment at Blue Atlas though, brewing wild yeast beers that sometimes work and sometimes don’t, and having two dozen house-brewed beers on tap at any given time. The Mexican Radio spiced stout is a typical example. It’s not like anything you’re ever going to actually find in Mexico, but it’s yummy. This is a bustling restaurant too, so get some food in you between samplings.

There are a few other breweries and brewpubs in D.C. proper. You can check out the whole list of what’s there, in Virginia, and in Maryland nearby at DCbeer.com.

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