Come, lads and lasses. St. Patrick's Day is just mere weeks away. What better way to celebrate your Irish heritage than by loading up your RV and heading out on a road trip to America's St. Patty's hot spots with your friends? Here's our top five.
1. Boston, Massachusetts
It goes without saying that Boston, MA, in the Irish epicenter the Northeast. Some folks may even argue that it is the unofficial capital of St. Patrick's day in America. With one of the largest holiday parades in the country, featuring Irish dancers, pipe musicians, and marching bands, the city puts on an impressive festival to celebrate all things Irish.
The main South Boston parade starts at West Broadway and Dorchester Avenue. The parade route features countless attractions, including face painting, games, and Irish food, for revelers of all ages. For the 21+ crowd, finding an Irish pub crawl is about as easy as spotting someone wearing green. If one parade is not enough to get your fill of Irish green, Boston offers several other St Pattys events from the City of Holyoke to Cape Cod. This year, the parade will take place Sunday, March 16 at 1 pm. Here's a map of the route.
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2. New York, New York
New Yorkers also take St. Patrick's Day very seriously. Often regarded as the most popular parade with an estimated 2 million visitors each year, New York's St. Patrick's Day Parade is spectacle not to be missed. It was organized by Irish soldiers in the British army in 1762 and has been going strong ever since. The parade goes up Fifth Avenue from 44th to 86th Street. This year, the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade will take place on Monday, March 17, starting at 11 a.m. Although they don't allow floats or exhibits, they expect to get over 150,000 marchers. The best place to catch a view of the parade would be on the west side of 59th Street which borders Central Park. Another great place to watch would be on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as you can get the last view of parade before it ends at 86th Street around 2 or 3 p.m.
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3. Chicago, Illinois
Chicagoans will tell you that nothing compares to their St. Pat's celebration, which is highlighted by dyeing the Chicago River green at 10:00 a.m. on the morning of the St. Patrick's Day Parade. The dyeing can be best viewed from the east side of the Michigan Avenue bridge, the west side of the Columbus Drive bridge or upper and lower Wacker Drive between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive. This year the parade starts at noon on March 16 and it features drummers, marching bands, and decorated floats. Visitors can sample the traditional fare of corned beef and cabbage as they watch the entertainment. It wouldn't be St. Patty's Day without a pint of Guinness or Smithwicks, so tag along on a pub crawl in the Windy City, too.
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4. Savannah, Georgia
While it may come as a surprise, Savannah makes it into our top five. It has been celebrating St. Patrick's since 1813 and likes to do it big, with an attendance exceeding 400,000, helped by the fact it is nice and warm in March. The three-hour parade starts at 10:15 AM on March 17 and goes through the Historic Park District, where you'll find fountains that have been dyed green. Participants include a number of bands and U.S. military divisions. Don't miss the much-beloved green grits you can find at the city's eateries and Guinness Beer Stout ice cream from Leopold's Ice Cream.
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5. Dublin, Ohio
Dublin, Ohio celebrates its Irish heritage with a mile-long parade made up of approximately 100 floats, bands and bagpipers and of course the Grand Leprechaun. It starts at 11 AM on Saturday, March 16 and is a great family event.
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