Las Vegas channels its inner Munich this week with a string of Oktoberfest events. Whether you crave German beer or food (or both), Vegas embraces the Bavarian harvest celebration more than ever.
First off, Germany's Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig) hosted the first Oktoberfest in Munich in 1810. It's now a festival that draws 6 million visitors to the Bavarian city each fall.
1. That history and tradition are well represented at Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas at 4510 Paradise Road, a re-creaton of the legendary Munich beer hall. There will be partying through Oct. 31. On upcoming Fridays and Saturdays, Vegas celebrities will drive a metal spigot into a wooden barrel to tap kegs of beer. Impersonator Rich Little does the honors on Friday followed by BMX pro Ricardo Laguna on Saturday.
2. Consider Beerhaus at the recently launched gathering spot the Park as a good place to begin beer-hopping. Friday through Sunday the bar will be filling commemorative half-liter and full-liter steins with seasonal beers from breweries, including Germany's Ayinger, Hacker-Pschorr and Spaten. The beers make for perfect pairings for homemade bratwurst, German potato salad and fried apples with caramel dip.
3. Just a short stroll up the promenade, Shake Shack at New York-New York hotel-casino will be serving its Shacktoberfest beer through Sunday. Also, adults and kids can enjoy special Oktoberfest concoctions: the apfelstrudel and Black Forest shakes.