Toasting New Ulm

In this Minnesota river town, the Germans like a party.

If your thoughts turn to beer and oompah music in fall, the southern Minnesota town of New Ulm is the place for you.

New Ulm is the state's most German town, and Schell's is the second-oldest family-run brewery in the nation and possibly the most picturesque, on a wooded hillside adjoining a state park. They're all fun to explore.

What to do: Tour Schell Brewery (pictured). Hike on 8 miles of trails in Flandrau State ParkBicycle a five-mile paved path through town. Shop at Domeier's German Store and downtown shops. Watch the figures of the Glockenspiel twirl. Visit Morgan Creek Vineyards in the countryside.

Events to catch: Sept. 30-Oct. 1 and Oct. 7-8, Oktoberfest at the Holiday Inn. Oct. 1, Cambria Crush Grape Stomp at Morgan Creek Vineyards.

Details: See Where the Germans are.