For nostalgic seaside thrills, ride Luna Park’s rickety 88-year-old Cyclone or the hair-raising Thunderbolt. Stroll along the 2.5-mile boardwalk lined with carnival games and souvenir shops, and get a corn dog at Nathan’s Famous. 1000 Surf Ave, Brooklyn (718-373-5862, lunaparknyc.com)
Many of NYC’s hottest dance clubs are in hipster Brooklyn. In a mere four-block radius of Williamsburg, you can hop from sceney rooftop bars with waterfront views and a bowling-alley-cum-music-venue to megaclubs and a brewery. In keeping with the nabe’s artisanal rep, choose a drink known for its craftsmanship. Between North 10th and North 12th Sts and between Berry and Kent Aves, Brooklyn
Check into the Graham and Co.’s pastoral-chic enclave of 20 rustic rooms in Phoenicia, with Catskill mountain views and fire pits—the perfect setting to sip a warming Jägermeister nightcap. You can borrow a free bike or hike in the gorgeous countryside, and you’ll find everything from antiques to a German deli on the town’s Rockwellian Main Street. 80 Rte 214, Phoenicia (845-688-7871, thegrahamandco.com)
Admire fiery fall foliage as you soar above the Hunter Mountain valley on the highest (600 feet!), longest (3,200 feet!) and fastest (almost 50 mph!) zip line in North America. The heart-racing SkyRider tour sends you flying along a series of cables at automotive speeds, but you can also cut your teeth on less-intense lines that’ll still get your blood pumping. New York Zipline Adventure Tours, 64 Klein Ave, Hunter (518-263-4388, ziplinenewyork.com)
There’s a lot more to the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum than a corridor of plaques. Even nonfans will be fascinated by the collection of sports ephemera, from Babe Ruth’s locker to the glove worn by Willie Mays when he made his over-the-shoulder catch in the 1954 World Series. 25 Main St, Cooperstown (888-425-5633, baseballhall.org)
Stop for a bite at one of the best eateries in Providence, the city where the diner was born. Local expert and director of the city’s Culinary Arts Museum Richard J. S. Gutman swears by the Friday blue-plate special—Rhode Island–style spicy fried calamari, just $5.25—at the classic 1950s Seaplane Diner (open from 5am to 3pm). 307 Allens Ave, Providence (401-941-9547)
Get off the road and onto the Wilds, a two-year-old network of more than 1,000 miles of trails in Coös County. Rent an ATV via Bear Rock Adventures to drive through rugged woodland terrain you can’t access by car, and climb to the top of picturesque Beaver Brook Falls or up steep hills with spectacular White Mountain views. There are plenty of hiking trails, too. Bear Rock Adventures, 107 Bear Rock Rd, Colebrook (866-663-9777, bearrockadventures.com)
Drink in the fresh air while exploring miles of lakeside hiking trails, and be sure to make a pilgrimage to the Earth Clock (enter Oakledge Park at Flynn Ave to follow Island Line Trail, 802-578-8774, circlesforpeace.org), a public art installation featuring a sundial in the middle of a Stonehenge-style granite circle overlooking Lake Champlain. Once you work up an appetite, head to one of Burlington’s many excellent eateries. And did we mention the Ben & Jerry’s factory (1281 Waterbury Stowe Rd, 866-258-6877, benjerry.com), just down the road in Waterbury?
Pick up produce and traditional foodstuffs, from hand-rolled pretzels to imported German cheeses and wursts, at Lancaster Central Market, the country’s oldest farmers’ market in the heart of Amish country. Though the imposing market building dates back to 1889, producers have been shilling their wares on this spot since 1730—and like Jägermeister, many of the stalls have been owned by the same family for generations. 23 North Market St, Lancaster (717-735-6890, centralmarketlancaster.com)
Perched on a Lake Erie peninsula, Cedar Point, the country’s second oldest amusement park, mixes classics like a Ferris wheel with 21st-century stomach churners, like the floorless coaster Rougarou and the Millennium Force, which has an initial 80-degree drop that might distract you from the stunning view. Momentarily. 1 Cedar Point Dr, Sandusky (419-627-2350, cedarpoint.com)
Riding the wave from its second No. 1 radio smash, Grammy-winning rock band Halestorm is known for its intense live performances. Catch the group at the city’s Lifestyle Communities Pavilion, the first indoor-outdoor concert venue in America with a reversible stage. Jägermeister presents: A Wild Evening with Halestorm, 405 Neil Ave, Columbus (614-461-5483, promowestlive.com). Sept 30.
Godsmack, Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top are among the headliners at the two-day rock and metal festival Louder than Life, but you can also catch up-and-coming acts on the Jägermeister stage. In true “Beer Drinkers and Hellraisers” form, this fest goes heavy on the booze, as well as “gourmet man-food,” like chocolate-covered bacon cream puffs. Champions Park, 2050 River Rd, Louisville (louderthanlifefestival.com). Oct 3, 4.
Pull up, dial up the soundtrack on the car radio, and grab some popcorn or a burger at the concession stand at Parkway Drive-In Theatre. If it’s warm enough, sit on the car hood to watch the latest Hollywood blockbuster in the open air. But since they usually run double features, you may retreat to the comfort of your car before long. 2909 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy, Maryville (865-379-7884, bluemoontheatres.com)
Explore more than 32 miles of underground passageways complete with cool rock formations, waterfalls and pools at Cumberland Caverns. But if you prefer knee-slapping to spelunking, you can rock out at the regular Bluegrass Underground concerts (see website for schedule). 1437 Cumberland Caverns Rd, McMinnville (931-668-4396, cumberlandcaverns.com)
Luminaries from the Metropolitan Opera to Elvis Presley have performed at the Carnegie Hall of the South, Ryman Auditorium. The former tabernacle was the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974. These days, Ryman hosts a varied slate (Kraftwerk on September 27, Sufjan Stevens on November 11). But you don’t have to see a show—tours of the 123-year-old landmark are available. 116 5th Ave N, Nashville (615-889-3060, ryman.com)
The Indiana Dunes rise more than 100 feet above Lake Michigan. Explore 45 miles of hiking trails through wetlands and forests, ablaze with color in October, or go fishing, horseback riding or swimming (c’mon, the water’s not that cold). Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, 1215 N State Rd 49, Porter (219-926-7561, nps.gov/indu)
Chi-Town’s expansive Lincoln Square neighborhood is known for its German roots. After stocking up on house-made wieners, wursts and other sausages at Euro delicatessen Gene’s Sausage Shop (4750 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, 773-728-7243, genessausageshop.com), head to one of the old-school dive bars to raise a shot glass (or stein) in honor of the historic hood.
Known for throwing “Parking Lot Parties” for the “Drinking Class,” Lee Brice is on a chart-topping roll with his latest album I Don’t Dance. See what all the fuss is about when the award-winning country singer plays Peoria on his nationwide tour. Jägermeister presents: Lee Brice, Peoria Civic Center Arena, 201 SW Jefferson Ave, Peoria (peoriaciviccenter.com). Oct 8.
It takes two ferries to get to secluded Rock Island State Park, which is only accessible from Washington Island through Columbus Day, but if you really want to disconnect from the real world, this is the place to head. Once you’re on the stunning 912-acre isle, it’ll be just you, Wisconsin’s oldest lighthouse and 2,000 feet of sand. Take the Washington Island Ferry Line, Northport Pier, 215 WI-42, Ellison Bay (800-223-2094, dnr.wi.gov)
Take a trip (within your trip) back to 19th-century Germany at the Amana Colonies, a cluster of seven villages founded by a German religious community in Iowa’s River Valley in the mid-1800s. For a memorable souvenir, stop in at the Amana Woolen Mill and Furniture Shop (where items are still handcrafted) and learn how a society with no individual kitchens kept itself fueled up at the Communal Kitchen and Coopershop Museum. 622 46th Ave, Amana (319-622-7622, amanacolonies.com)
Local mixed-media artist Pat Acton creates incredibly detailed models—Notre Dame Cathedral, Hogwarts, the U.S. Capitol and the new World Trade Center (including Santiago Calatrava’s Transportation Hub)—entirely out of matchsticks at Matchstick Marvels. Catch a glimpse of some of his work as you pass through his hometown. 319 2nd St, Gladbrook (641-473-2410, matchstickmarvels.com)
If you see a 60-foot-tall bull’s head rising from a field, don’t assume you’ve been on the road too long. You’ve just arrived at Porter Sculpture Park, where metal artist Wayne Porter displays his stunning industrial sculptures. The park closes on Labor Day, but don’t worry—much of his work is big enough to be seen a long way off. 25700 451st Ave, Montrose (605-853-2266, 605-204-0370, portersculpturepark.com)
Borgore’s sonic evolution has been as enticing as his surreal multisensory shows. Watch the the 27-year-old classically trained producer, songwriter and DJ ravage electronic culture one bass-heavy bonanza at a time on this U.S. tour. Jägermeister presents: Borgore, Bourbon Theater, 1415 O St, Lincoln (bourbontheatre.com). Oct 6.
In a simple space decorated with jokey slogans and images relating to the 16th President, Honest Abe’s Burgers + Freedom is known as having the best burgers in town (no mean feat in a state known for its beef). Go for the aptly named Greatest Burger Ever topped with applewood bacon, grilled onions, American cheese and “awesome sauce,” or a creative twist like the Fuzz, with crispy pork belly, smoked gouda, sweet onion jam and spinach. 840 N 70th St, Lincoln (402-261-9860, grounduprestaurants.com/honestabes.html)
Just as Jägermeister mixes hand-picked ingredients to create its unmistakable flavor, epicurean food hall the Source unites select vendors in a former foundry. Hop from a chef-driven taqueria to a cool cocktail bar, a cult brewery and other spots. 3350 Brighton Blvd, Denver (720-443-1135, thesourcedenver.com)
Catch Counting Crows (September 16) or rappers A$AP Rocky and Tyler, the Creator (September 30) against the dramatic sandstone formations of nature’s own music hall, Red Rocks. If you need to stretch your legs, hit the trails of the surrounding 640-acre park. 18300 W Alameda Pkwy, Morrison (720-865-2494, redrocksonline.com)
When you reach the desolate blackened expanse of wilderness that is Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, along the north border of the Snake River Plain, you’ll feel like you’re in another world. The surreal lunar landscape was formed by lava thousands of years ago. Stride out on one of several trails to explore sights like Devils Orchard, a series of sculptural lava formations jutting up from a field of cinders. Off Hwys 20, 26 and 93, Arco (208-527-1335, nps.gov/crmo)
Perched nearly 500 feet above the winding Snake River that cuts through the arid badlands, Perrine Bridge is known worldwide for this adrenaline-charged activity—part skydiving and part cliff-jumping. Luckily for most of us, no experience is required, just courage, but you’ll be in safe hands with the seasoned guides at outfitter TandemBASE. Off US 93, Twin Falls (208-546-9873, tandembase.com)
Unlike most places in America, Leavenworth isn’t content with one Oktoberfest weekend—you can hit this überpopular fete each of the first three weekends of October in this Bavarian-style town tucked in the foothills of the Cascade Range mountains. Dance to oompah and polka bands, pig out on sizzling wursts, and (because who says Oktoberfest has to be just about beer?) end with a round of the fiery digestif. Leavenworth (425-445-6183, leavenworthoktoberfest.com). Oct 2–17.
See Kurt Cobain’s smashed Fender Stratocaster and the only passport Jimi Hendrix ever had at the EMP Museum, Seattle’s tribute to the region’s rich rock legacy in a Frank Gehry–designed building. The museum takes pride in pop culture’s wild and weird. Also, sci-fi fans can step aboard a reconstruction of an “alien spacecraft” stocked with 150 artifacts from iconic TV shows and films like Star Trek and Blade Runner. 325 5th Ave N (206-770-2700, empmuseum.org)
Home to more than 600 food carts, Portland is a melting pot of far-flung flavors; in much the same way, Jägermeister is a unique blend of distinctive ingredients carefully sourced from around the world. One of the tastiest spots in PDX is the corner of SW 10th and Alder Avenues, where you’ll find two major local favorites: Nong’s Khao Man Gai, known for its simple yet delicious poached thai chicken and rice, and Savor Soup House, which serves a rotating soup selection and sandwiches. foodcartsportland.com
With more than 40 regional farmers, food purveyors and eateries, the Ferry Building Marketplace is both a foodie destination and one of San Francisco’s most popular attractions. Just like a certain authentic German elixir, it’s brimming with carefully sourced natural ingredients. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays until 2pm, food-obsessed hordes comb aisles and stalls for organic produce and gourmet goodies from meat, seafood and cheese to bread, jams and flowers. In addition to the tri-weekly farmers’ market, top purveyors such as Cowgirl Creamery and Blue Bottle Coffee offer their wares from permanent stalls, and a number of popular restaurants and bars also have branches here. Embarcadero at Market St, San Francisco (415-983-8030, ferrybuildingmarketplace.com)
The most legitimate ghost town in existence (since it’s now preserved as a park), Bodie was an old mining town from the late 1800s, then was slowly abandoned in the ’30s after two big fires and the decline of the gold rush. The state of California now keeps it in pristine condition, just as it was when it was left for dead, so feel free to explore it at your post-apocalyptic leisure. US Hwy 395 to State Hwy 270 East, Bodie (bodie.com)
Skip the glitzy velvet-rope dens of L.A.’s Sunset Strip and get down until dawn to everything from reggae to rock in the indie clubs on the stretch of Sunset Boulevard between Silver Lake and Echo Park. Spice things up with a few shots of a complex liqueur that owes some of its warm intensity to cardamom and star anise, and you have all the ingredients of a memorable night—maybe even a few surprises.
Surrounded by redwoods, Wayfarers Chapel is a peaceful sanctuary. The glass-and-stone structure is a beautiful example of craftsmanship (and an active church, to boot), designed by Frank Lloyd Wright’s son and open to the public. Jägermeister displays the same devotion to its craft, melding natural ingredients with refined and uplifting results. 5755 Palos Verdes Dr S, Rancho Palos Verdes (310-377-1650, wayfarerschapel.org)
Modern artist Noah Purifoy’s open-air Joshua Tree Outdoor Museum is located in the middle of the desert beside the famed U2-inspiring national park. The mission of the wall-free space is to maintain the artist’s sculptures as a permanent park, allowing the art (created mostly from junked materials) a constant resting place. Joshua Tree, Blair Ln between Center and Rice Aves, Twentynine Palms (213-382-7516, noahpurifoy.com)
Be dazzled on a tour of the appointment-only Neon Museum (a.k.a. the Boneyard), the caretaker of the city’s discarded electric dreams. The two-acre park includes more than 200 historic signs from the Golden Nugget, Stardust and more. 770 Las Vegas Blvd N, Las Vegas (702-387-6366, neonmuseum.org)
Getting an eagle-eyed view of the Strip is exciting enough, but piloting your own aerobatic plane takes a sightseeing flight to new heights. You don’t need to have flown before, even on Delta—Sky Combat Ace lets you take over the controls and try your skill at maneuvers such as barrel rolls and loops. (After it shows you the ropes, of course.) 1420 Jet Stream Dr, Henderson (888-494-5850, skycombatace.com)
Watch as more than 500 hot air and gas balloons take to the sky in one of the most exhilarating feel-good annual events. Started back in 1972 and taking advantage of the area’s balloon-friendly wind patterns, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has grown to become the largest event of its kind in the world. Balloon Fiesta Park, 5000 Balloon Fiesta Pkwy, Albuquerque (888-422-7277, balloonfiesta.com). Oct 3–11.
In 1947, an unidentified flying object crashed in Roswell, New Mexico. Was it a weather balloon or something extraterrestrial? At the International UFO Museum and Research Center, exhibits extend beyond the incident to cover UFO sightings all over the world and other phenomena. 114 North Main St, Roswell (575-625-9495, roswellufomuseum.com)
See how wild the West really was at the onetime frontier saloon and brothel the Bird Cage Theatre. Check out the cages where the “tainted angels” saw clients from 1881 to 1889. The bullet-riddled walls are a clue to why the former house of ill repute is allegedly haunted. E Allen St at S 6th St, Tombstone (800-457-3423, tombstonebirdcage.com)
Even if you can’t make it for ACL (October 2–4, 9–11; aclfestival.com), Austin rocks year round with more live music venues per capita than anywhere else in America (more than 250 at last count). Head straight for colorful, chaotic 6th Street (a.k.a. Dirty Six) for a ground-shaking lineup of rock, country, blues and jazz joints. Between Lavaca St and Interstate 35, Austin
Devotees of modern art will be in heaven at Rothko Chapel, a peaceful space dedicated to Mark Rothko. Commissioned by the philanthropic couple who founded the city’s Menil Collection, it contains a suite of 14 canvases by the Russian-born American painter. 3900 Yupon St, Houston (713-524-9839, rothkochapel.org)
The annual Andouille Festival celebrates the smoked pork sausage for three days straight. Join in a gumbo-cooking contest, enjoy a jazz brunch—or just chow down. St. John Community Cetner, 2900 Hwy 51, LaPlace (andouillefestival.com). Oct 16–18
Everyone knows that if you want real-deal local music in New Orleans, head to the Faubourg Marigny’s Frenchmen Street. The raucous strip is jumping with bars, clubs and restaurants spotlighting homegrown jazz and funk. And, of course, you’ll find plenty of sumptuous food there, too. Between Esplanade Ave and Royal St, New Orleans
Origin stories are more intriguing with a little mystery. Though we know that Jägermeister gets some of its spicy kick from ginger root and cinnamon, many of its 56 ingredients are kept under wraps. It may not be secret, but how the tamale arrived in these parts is also a subject of speculation. Whether it was brought back by soldiers from the Mexican-American War or imported by migrant workers, one thing is sure: You’ll find abundant cornmeal-and-meat delicacies and live entertainment at the Delta Hot Tamale Festival. 503 Washington Ave, Greenville (662-378-3121, hottamalefest.com). Oct 15–17.
More than 600 motorcycles are on view at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, which has the largest collection (a total of more than 1,400 bikes and cars) in the world. Motorheads can drool over a rare 1920 Harley, a gleaming 1959 Triumph Bonneville and more. 6030 Barber Motorsports Pkwy, Birmingham (205-699-7275, barbermuseum.org)
After being jilted by his bride-to-be, Latvian immigrant Edward Leedskalnin embarked on a monumental act of lovelorn folly and spent 28 years building a castle. By himself. By hand. In addition to being a touching testament to one man’s inability to just get over it already, Coral Castle Museum is a miracle of engineering—as no one is sure how five-foot-tall Ed did it. 28655 S Dixie Hwy, Homestead (305-248-6345, coralcastle.com)
Swing into Orlando over Halloween weekend for Plazaween, the annual street party at Wall Street Plaza, a one-block-wide complex of themed bars, clubs and restaurants. Too road-weary to dress up? No sweat—the lively crowds are sure to keep you amused. Between Route 527 and N Court Ave, Orlando (wallstplaza.net). Oct 30, 31.
Some of the city’s most buzzed-about chefs and restaurateurs have put down roots in Krog Street Market, a former 1920s-era warehouse. Snack your way through a dozen tempting food stalls selling everything from Japanese small plates to handmade tarts. 99 Krog St, Atlanta (krogstreetmarket.com)
An alpine village in the Deep South? Yep, you heard us. The pretty, trippy town of Helen took on its Bavarian-inspired identity in the late ’60s as a revitalization scheme inspired by its mountain location. Among the German spots are bakeries serving old-world sweets and, of course, bars. When you’ve had enough bier, ask your bartender to concoct a Jägermeister-spiked cocktail. helenga.org
At ramshackle Scott’s Bar-B-Que, about an hour from Myrtle Beach, the superbly tender pulled pork is made from whole hogs slow-cooked overnight in a wood-burning pit. Note that it’s closed from Sunday through Tuesday. 2734 Hemingway Hwy, Hemingway (843-558-0134, thescottsbbq.com)
They don’t call this amusement park the thrill capital of the Southeast for nothing. Brave the new Fury 325, billed as both the tallest and fastest giga-coaster in the world, at Carowinds— it towers 325 feet high and fires riders down the track at 95 miles per hour. 14523 Carowinds Blvd, Charlotte (704-588-2600, carowinds.com)
With the relatively gentle white water of its southern section and the big rapids of the Lower Gorge, the New River is a great place for river runners of all levels. But that’s not all: On Bridge Day (October 17; officialbridgeday.com), hundreds of BASE jumpers join in the action, jumping more than 800 feet to the river below, on the one day of the year the New River Gorge Bridge is closed to traffic. US Route 19, north of Fayetteville (304-465-0508, nps.gov/neri)
Artist Mark Cline describes Foamhenge, a life-size, astronomically correct copy of Stonehenge made entirely of Styrofoam, as his greatest achievement, and this from a man who once ran an interactive exhibit called “Hunt Bigfoot with a Redneck.” Off US Route 11, north of the Natural Bridge Zoo (thefoamhenge.com)
In the 1920s and ’30s, it was known as America’s “black Broadway” when jazz greats like Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald made D.C.’s U Street famous. The ’hood fell on hard times in the late 20th century, but a few decades of revitalization means the stretch between 9th and 16th Streets is buzzing once again. Shoppers, diners, drinkers and partiers descend on the indie designer and vintage boutiques, trendy restaurants and hip watering holes.