Travelers love Germany for all sorts of reasons, including great food, beer, dancing, dachshunds, and the country’s storied enthusiasm for Christmas. But Germany’s timeless demand also guarantees trips to the Fatherland are expensive, especially around Oktoberfest and other quintessential Bavarian events. Fortunately, America’s first waves of German immigrants also ensured there are places where you can nosh on frankfurters and sip Glühwein on this side of the Atlantic, or even partake in Oktoberfest without need for a passport. Read on for our favorite places to experience a bit of Bavaria right here in the U.S.!
5. Hermann, Missouri
This riverside city was founded in 1842 by German settlers hoping to bring a slice of Bavaria into the heart of the U.S.A. They got to work building the country’s trademark architecture and planting the vineyards that would later become known as Missouri’s wine country. Over a century later, these wineries account for 1/3 of the state’s vinicultural production, much of which is consumed during the town’s enthusiastic embrace of Bavaria’s big-ticket draws. This includes Maifest, Oktoberfest and Wurstfest, an annual bash that provides the perfect opportunity to show of Hermann’s significant sausage-making skill and race wiener dogs.