We will be in Germany mid September. Are there parts of Munich that we could visit without being in the middle of the Octoberfest scene? We're not drinkers so it doesn't interest us to see it. I've reserved a hotel in Munich but can cancel it & just see other parts of Germany with our car rental. Suggestions welcome!
I'd say you would not see much difference except that hotel prices will be double or triple their normal rates. If you venture on to the U-4 or U-5 that serves the Theresienwiese where the 'Wiesen is held, you might notice heavy crowds.
In 2007 I arrived in at MUC for the last week of Oktoberfest. I'm not sure if my accommodations for the first two nights were totally booked, but I did not have to pay anything over the standard rate. On the intervening day I went to Linderhof, and it did not seem overly crowded. The third night (the last Saturday night of O'fest) I spent in Landsburg and paid the standard rate. If it was crowded, it didn't seem like it.
On the other hand, three years ago I went through Hohenschwangau, and the ticket kiosk for Neuschawnstein was packed. I would imagine Rothenburg would also be busy.
Bottom line, if you went to less famous places or places outside of Bavaria, I don't think you would see much of a problem. Try the Rhein gorge, the Mosel, the Harz, or even the Black Forest. All of those places are well served by public transit. You won't need the car.
Just to say that we went to Octoberfest last year. i am a non drinker and I had a blast. It was not the drunken scene I had imagined. We enjoyed trying various foods (mackerel fish on a stick) , viewing the different tents and enjoying the very warm and fun atmosphere. The people were all dressed in traditional garb and we meet a lot of very hospitable people. We were there on a Sunday and it seemed like a lot of families were there that day.
If you put "Theresienwiese, Bavariaring, 80336 München, Germany" into Google Maps it will show you the location of the Oktoberfest grounds. While it is easy walking distance from the Alstadt, it is not located right next to other things you would want to do in Munich. It would be very easy to just avoid that area. You will have greater crowds and higher prices. We went several years ago when Munich was hosting the German National Holiday so even more people but did not have any trouble with activities.
Thanks for all the suggestions. Really appreciate your help!