3 long-distance Oktoberfest road trips

Flickr/Creative Commons photo by Digital Cat.

Flickr/Creative Commons photo by Digital Cat.

October is the only month that gets its own “fest,” as far as I can tell. If you missed the Oktoberfest celebrations in several spots in and around Ottawa this weekend, don’t despair: you still have opportunities to raise a stein and celebrate all things beer-related this month. You’ll just have to drive a little further. (And don’t forget to always have a designated driver.)

Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest

The granddaddy of Ontario Oktoberfests, this celebration in a region with a long, proud German heritage extends over two weekends (October 9 to 17). Highlights include a parade, a fashion show, culinary events, cycling and running races, and a big beer hall.

Harpoon Octoberfest Vermont

If you don’t want to spend Thanskgiving stuffing yourself with turkey, you could drive five hours to Windsor, Vermont, for this two-day festival at the Harpoon Brewery (October 10 and 11). Chicken dancing, live oompah bands, bratwurst and beer: it’s a traditional party with all the trimmings. Plus, the fall colours should be pretty spectacular at that point.

Bear Mountain Oktoberfest

OK, it’s a 6.5-hour drive from Ottawa, but the Bear Mountain Oktoberfest in Anthony Wayne Recreation Area in New York state has two advantages. First, it may well be the longest Oktoberfest within driving distance of Ottawa, as it started on September 12 and runs every weekend until October 25. Second, it’s right on the way to New York City, so you can combine some rural fun with a Manhattan getaway.

Did this just whet your whistle? If you’d like to travel further afield in search of hoppy goodness, check out the Globe and Mail‘s recommendations for craft beer spots across Canada or this Booking.com list of 250 beer-loving destinations around the world.

Want more tips on road trips from Ottawa—including info on hotel discounts, contests, festivals and other cool news? Subscribe to my free weekly e-newsletter! I will never spam you—promise.

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