The Best Cities For Celebrating St. Paddy's

Go green or go bust

When it comes to celebrating March 17, there's no place we'd rather be than in our favorite cities taking part in rousing festivities. So bust out your gaudiest green garb, don your "Kiss me, I'm Irish" shirt" (even if you aren't) and plan a last-minute trip to one of these seven cities giving a spirited toast to St. Patrick.  

① Boston, MA

When we think St. Patrick's Day celebrations, we think Boston, where an army of kilts and bagpipes make their way to Andrew Square during the annual parade. And after the festivities are done, just head to any of the plentiful Irish pubs, such as The Black Rose on State Street and The Burren in Davis Square, where the whiskey is strong and the beer free flowing.

② Chicago, IL

Forty-five pounds of brilliant dye are used to turn the Chicago River green every year, a tradition dating back to 1961. Run the breezy St. Paddy's Day 5K (or half marathon if you're planning on really packing away the corned beef later) before warming up with a cozy beer blanket.

③ Madison, WI

The Irish flag is proudly raised above the state capitol building in a nod to the Irish immigrants who made Madison their home in the 19th century. Aside from the annual parade, the city plays host to some very Irish contests, including the person with the most freckles and the family with the largest clan. Afterward, make your way to the Celtic Cultural Center for a night of dancing and music.

④ New York, NY

NYC can not only brag about having the largest St. Patrick's Day parade in the world but also the oldest, dating back to the 1760s. Two million spectators line up along Fifth Avenue for the five-hour procession—Northeast blizzards be damned—while pub crawls around the city help take down the 13 million pints of Guinness that are expected to be consumed this year.

⑤ Pittsburgh, PA

Philly's sibling is home to a sprawling parade boasting 20,000 participants, in addition to half a million spectators. It's also home to one of the largest percentages of Irish citizens in the country, so you know you'll never be far from a pub serving up an authentic Irish feast.

⑥ Savannah, GA

This Southern city doesn't just dedicate a single weekend to St. Patrick's Day—festivities occur almost all month long. Savannah's parade comes second only to New York City in size, while weekend festivals include live music, 5Ks with craft beer at the finish line and an annual green-dying ceremony of Forsyth Park's famous fountain.

⑦ San Francisco, CA

After attending the celebrations that make their way down Market Street, head to the Financial District where bars, restaurants and pubs host block parties (both family friendly and 21 and over) all night long.