Oktoberfest is the world's largest fair, lasting for 16 days in Munich, Germany, from late September to the first weekend of October. You can partake in the celebration in its birthplace of Munich, or if in the Pacific Northwest, in the Bavarian town of Leavenworth in Washington State.
As an impressionable 19 year old touring Europe for the first time, the Hofbrauhaus was a boisterous venue with good tasting beer, lively music, and the best pretzel in the world. What better way to experience Bavaria, but, to be in Munich!
A few highlights of Munich during Oktoberfest include Augustiner Keller and Lowenbraukeller. As a traditional beer hall, Augustinerkeller boasts a 5,000 seat beer garden. With a 800 year old history, it's no wonder locals regard their beer as one of the best in the world, and can be found in most bars around Munich.
If you want to dress up in the traditional Bavarian wear, head out to Lowenbraukeller, another 800 year old beer hall and garden, and be transported in time. You'll feel like royalty with its medieval castle exterior and tall gothic spire.
Just a two hour drive outside of Seattle is the Bavarian town of Leavenworth. With more sunshine than Seattle, many locals gravitate towards this lively place during the three weekends of Oktoberfest, but, also for all the outdoor activities, including the beautiful Autumn foliage.
Leavenworth invites both young, old, couples, and families to Oktoberfest. We enjoyed the dancing and music. The kids especially liked the Chicken Dance. As the evening progressed, it became more lively, which signaled families to head back to their hotels.
It's best to plan ahead with accommodations, because it really is a good idea to be able to walk back to the hotel. Our favorite go-to hotel, The Enzian Inn, with its outdoor and indoor pools, ping pong table, and mini-golf was already booked.
Whether you're in Europe, and come hop on the train to head to Munich, or you're in the Pacific Northwest, with Leavenworth just a few hours drive, Oktoberfest is a celebration not to be missed. With the season changing, and the anticipation of Winter, Oktoberfest in Munich or Leavenworth is a festive way to embrace Autumn.