The Best Places in the U.S. to Spend St. Patrick's Day
Want to celebrate the luck of the Irish this St. Patrick’s Day somewhere more memorable than your local pub? From the Big Apple's time-honored parade to Chicago’s famously dyed river, there are plenty of American cities that promise good times. Read on—and remember to celebrate responsibly (and wear something green)!
Watch as the Chicago River is dyed green (a 60-year-long tradition, pictured above), join in on the downtown Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade (Saturday, March 14), and, if you’re in the mood for something truly authentic, visit the Irish American Heritage Center, which hosts a party with traditional and contemporary Irish music, culture, and arts.
With Boston’s rich Irish heritage, the city is a prime destination for celebrating the holiday. Bustling pub parties, a huge parade (Sunday, March 15 at 1 p.m.), plus the Irish Heritage Trail, which begins at the Rose Kennedy Garden and ends near Fenway Park, are some of the city’s festive highlights.
The New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade (which takes place on the holiday itself, beginning at 11 a.m. at 44th Street, marching up Fifth Avenue—past St. Patrick's Cathedral at 50th Street—all the way to 79th Street) is the stuff of legends, dating back more than 250 years. With more than 150,000 participants, including bagpipers, floats, dancers, and more, the parade draws upwards of 2 million attendees. If you prefer a smaller crowd, head to the oldest Irish pub in the city, McSorely’s Old Ale House in the East Village.
The capital’s St. Paddy’s parade (Sunday, March 15 at noon, on Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Streets, N.W.), as well as the all-day National Shamrock Fest on Saturday, March 21, which features more than 50 Irish bands, dancers, games and other activities draws tons of visitors annually. Plus, the metropolitan center’s robust and diverse culinary scene offers lots of Irish bars and eateries to enjoy.
New Orleans is just about the best place to celebrate any event. Jubilant parades, near constant live music, and block parties swell throughout the city over the course of a weeklong celebration that joins St. Patrick’s Day with St. Joseph’s Day. The city’s Irish Channel is the place to be: On Saturday and Tuesday, Tracey’s on Magazine Street hosts its annual block parties, and on Saturday, the 66th annual Irish Channel Parade will take place, with float riders tossing cabbages and potatoes—key ingredients for a traditional Irish stew.
San Francisco boasts the Western U.S.’s biggest St. Paddy’s Day Parade. The event, which takes place on Saturday, March 14 at 11:30 a.m., traces the city’s iconic trolley tracks from the corner of Market and 2nd Street to Civic Center, while the walkable nature of the city facilitates easy barhopping. The city’s Irish Cultural Center also hosts its annual Green Fest Block Party with Irish cultural activities, music and dancing, and on Tuesday, the Financial District will brim with young professionals hopping from block party to block party.
We bet you didn’t know that Savannah is actually home to the second largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the United States! Attracting around half a million visitors on the 17th, the celebrations actually go on for several days and includes food and music festivals. Bonus points for the temperatures being in the 70s this time of year!
How are you going to be celebrating St. Patty’s Day? Tell us in the comments!