The Best Places to Travel for St. Patrick’s Day (That Aren’t Ireland)
Everyone has their holiday jam. Maybe you live for the winter holiday season or count down until the 4th of July. For those of us with Irish heritage (or simply appreciate Irish tradition), St. Patrick’s Day is the day of the year. Sure, modern celebration might not be exactly what the holiday was for originally, but it's still a day to get together with family and friends to celebrate the Irish culture overall. If you don't happen to live in Ireland, don't sweat it. There are a few other places around the globe that pull out all the stops for this holiday.
If anywhere knows how to have a party, it’s New York. As home to the oldest and biggest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world, the Big Apple is a must-see during this time of year. Over 150 thousand volunteers march in the parade every year, many of them descendants of Irish immigrants in generations past. After you’ve watched the parade, visit one of the many local pubs for some authentic Irish food and a Guinness for good measure.
Second only to NYC, London is also a major hot spot during St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Multiple parades make their way through the city and major landmarks are often turned a shade of green. Smaller events can be found throughout the city, including Irish folk shows, film festivals and parties at the local pubs.
The landmark beach city of California doesn’t hold back on St. Patrick’s Day. Stroll through the Gaslamp during the day to see it transform into an emerald isle, then return in the evening to witness the biggest block party of the year, complete with Irish dancers, musicians, costume contests and more.
If partying until the wee morning hours aren’t your thing but you still want to celebrate, the City of Love is the place to be. While there aren’t any parades through the city, the locals still show their love for Irish culture by celebrating at the many authentic Irish pubs or listening to live music at the Irish Cultural Center. You can also see the Basilica lit up green on the big day or visit Disneyland Paris and see your favorite characters in special Irish attire.
More parades, parties, and pubs! One of Chicago's most famous St. Patrick's Day traditions is the dyeing of the Chicago River, which is turned an emerald hue every March 17. But since that only lasts about 5 hours during mid-day, you can also count on multiple parades, a festival hosted by the Irish American Heritage Center, and plenty of drinking, dancing and celebrating.