Boston was the first city to host a St. Patrick's Day parade way back in 1737 before the Declaration of Independence. Today, more than 850,000 people gather to see the famous parade that started it all. The festivities begin several days before with performances from hometown rockers, including the Dropkick Murphys. As the crowds gather to watch the bagpipers, bands and parade floats, it's a perfect time to stop by Irish Village, Mr. Dooley's and many other Irish pubs located along the parade route. Travel Ideas: 3 Day Itinerary To Boston.
New York City:
With its large Irish population, New York City is one of the best places to go for St. Patrick's Day. The five-hour parade begins at 44th Street and continues up 5th Avenue past St. Patrick's Cathedral, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Central Park before reaching the end of the route at 86th Street. The festivities begin at 11:00 a.m. and continue until 4:30 p.m. After enjoying authentic soft pretzels, head over to Connolly's Pub & Restaurant or Langan's for traditional Irish fare and live music.
You know a city takes St. Patty's Day seriously when they add large amounts of eco-friendly green dye to the local river. In Chicago, the locals have been celebrating this important holiday since 1843. Stop by the Riverwalk to view the dyeing process before the parade starts at 10:00 a.m. If you want to see the dancers and floats at their best, station yourself near Columbus Drive, Wabash Avenue or Balbo Drive. Take advantage of the all-day party special offered by Jack's Bar & Grill, which includes a giant Irish breakfast, mixed drinks and green draught beer. Travel Ideas: Day Trips and Weekend Getaways Around Chicago
Seattle doesn't celebrate St. Patrick's Day on March 17th. They party all week. The week-long celebrations begin with a genealogy symposium, soda bread contests, language workshops, an Irish film festival, Celtic handicraft markets and performances from award-winning dancers. Seattle hosts an annual four-mile St. Patrick's Day Dash and a top-notch parade that travels through the downtown area along 4th Avenue. For a day of fun and great food, stop by the Fado Irish Pub for fish and chips or corned beef sandwiches. Kells hosts a massive outdoor St. Patty's Day party with live music on four stages. Travel Ideas: 10 Free Things To Do In Seattle.
New Orleans seems like an unlikely host, but this cosmopolitan city has the largest Irish population south of the Mason-Dixon Line. In addition to its famous Mardi Gras parties, the French Quarter hosts one wild St. Patrick's Day parade. The city kicks off this week-long celebration by tossing potatoes, cabbage and traditional stew ingredients at partygoers. Parades and block parties begin a week before the holiday and continue through March 17th. Stop by the Kerry Irish Pub, Ryan's or Mollys on Toulouse for traditional Irish fare.