Howdy! St. Patrick’s Day has come along way from it’s religious origins. St. Patrick, patron Saint of Ireland, returned to Ireland after being kidnapped, to help convert the Irish to Christianity. He passed on March 17th and by then had established monasteries, churches and schools. Ireland then started celebrating this day with religious services and feasts.
Today, especially in the U.S, we use St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate all things Irish. From all things green, 4-leaf clovers, and even green beer.
Ireland is an absolute must for anyone looking to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day authentically, but if international travel is not on your list this year, we have created the top 5 US destinations to celebrate this special day!
There is a reason Chicago is such a popular destination to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. In 1843, victims of British discrimination organized the first Irish parade in Chicago.
Today, they kick off their celebrations in early March with a Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner. Corned beef and cabbage is a staple for your St. Patrick’s day feast.
This year, March 12 will kick off with the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade and River Dyeing. Dying the Chicago River green as been a tradition since 1962 and signifies Irish nationalists fight for independence.
A must visit is the Galway Arms Irish Bar and Restaurant. Guests will enjoy traditional Irish food and drinks along with live Irish music-a full Irish craic!
San Francisco, California
The weekend before the holiday is when San Francisco kicks off their St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Guest will enjoy the festival along with a two-hour parade complete with floats, Irish dance companies, and bagpipers.
The festival usually precedes the parade and is fun for the entire family. You’ll find food vendors as well as a few Irish pubs serving bangers and fish and chips. And an absolute must is beer! You will find a light beer, Irish Coffee and of course, Guinness!
If you didn’t have way too much fun at the festival, you can then enjoy the St. Patrick’s Day PubCrawl. Your PubCrawl visits bars up and down the Marina along Union Street. Each bar features a drink special for this special event!
You might not know, Savannah’s Irish roots run deep! In 1734, the Irish were some of the first people to settle the new colony. They played a major role in shaping the colony as well as boosting the economy in the South.
Today, Georgians celebrate their Irish roots with a variety of parades and activities, but Savannah knows how to throw a party! With approximately 280 components-including bands, families, societies and floats, winding through the streets of downtown, it marks one of the largest and most recognized St. Patrick’s Day parades in the world.
New York, New York
New York City’s first parade was March 17, 1762 and included a band of ex-patriots and Irish military members that were stationed in the colonies. It was a time for the people to honor their heritage by speaking Irish, wearing green (which was banned in Ireland at the time), singing Irish songs and of course playing the bagpipes.
Today, he parade travels up 5th Avenue, marching past St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It is the world’s oldest and largest parades celebrated by everyone!
While there are plenty of Irish pubs to enjoy in New York, a must-see is McSorley’s Old Ale House. You will only find 2 beers at McSorley’s-light and dark house ale. You can be sure to find this pub packed and reservations are not allowed-first come, first serve only. And it is a cash only pub so make sure you are prepared!
Did you know nearly a quarter of all Boston residents claim Irish ancestry? You can say Bostonian Irish heritage and pride absolutely runs deep.
Festivities often begin weeks before the actual holiday, and include Irish band concerts, an Irish Film Festivals and of course the St. Patrick’s Day parade. 1 million people line the streets to watch the parade and include bands from both Ireland and the U.S.
You can also enjoy celebrations and festivities at just about any Irish pub or local brewery!
It’s Not Too Late
Contact your Travel Guru today, for the ultimate St. Patrick’s Day vacation. They can provide you with price points and the perfect itinerary to celebrate! Irish heritage or not, St. Patrick’s Day is a fun excuse to celebrate. Oh, and if you need a payment plan to fund your travel adventure-we got those too!