City Guide

Top 8 U.S. Cities to Spend St. Patrick’s Day

By Bri Hand | Mar 15, 2022
Man drinks green beer at a bar on St. Patrick's Day.

Sláinte to you and yours! The spirit of St. Patrick’s Day is infectious, and you can find plenty of great spots throughout the country to celebrate without crossing the Atlantic. 

Here is our list of the top 8 places in the U.S. to visit if you want the best of the best for St. Patrick’s Day: 

1. Boston

This Massachusetts city’s Irish influence is on full display during the month of March, with plenty of activities to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. South Boston (aka “Southie”) hosts the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, complete with floats, music, and green—lots and lots of green. This Boston neighborhood also features a St. Patrick’s Day Road Race, if you prefer pounding the pavement over pounding a Guinness.

Other ways to celebrate include catching the Dropkick Murphys’ annual concert at the House of Blues, bar-hopping around Boston’s many Irish pubs (we recommend hitting up The Burren in Somerville!), and swinging by Harpoon Brewery’s St. Patrick’s Day Festival

Beyond the holiday itself, you can also learn more about the area’s history on Boston’s Irish Heritage Trail, which celebrates Irish immigrants and their descendants and their impact on Boston and the country as a whole. 

2. Chicago

No list of the best places to spend St. Patrick’s Day would be complete without Chicago, which goes above and beyond in its celebrations by literally dying the Chicago River green—yes, you read that right…green. This tradition, which has been in place since the 1960s, is worth witnessing in person from the Chicago Riverwalk or from a boat tour on the river. The dye only lasts a few hours, so be sure to plan accordingly! 

Chicago also hosts an annual St. Patrick’s Day parade chock full of floats, Irish flags, step dancers, and bagpipes—along with the procession-leading Shannon Rovers Irish Pipe Band. Beyond downtown, there are also plenty of neighborhood parades throughout the city to enjoy. 

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3. Denver

The Mile High City kicks off its annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration by painting a green stripe down Blake Street and temporarily renaming it “Tooley Street” in honor of late Denver local Dale Tooley. The city is also known for hosting one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country. 

Join one of the various pub crawls around the city, such as The 5th Annual Lucky’s St. Patrick’s Day Crawl at the Pig and the Sprout and the Denver St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl, presented by Social Scene. Locals also love hitting up Irish pubs such as the well-known Scruffy Murphy’s Irish Pub, My Brother’s Bar, and the Irish Rover.

Other St. Patrick’s Day events in Denver include the Celtic Mania show from Denver Brass, “An Evening of Irish Plays and Prose,” and the Runnin’ of the Green Lucky 7K

4. Philadelphia

While you can’t technically visit “Paddy’s Pub” from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” there are other ways to get into the festive spirit in Philly. Choose from The Shamrock Crawl, the Kiss Me, I’m Irish: Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl, or the Official St. Patrick’s Bar Crawl, among others, or stay put at the St. Patrick’s Day party at McGillin’s Olde Ale House, the oldest bar in Philadelphia (just make sure to get there early!). 

This city also hosts a huge parade with bands, dancers, and other revelries to enjoy from the sidewalks. You can also enjoy seeing Glen Hansgard and Marketa Irglova of “Once” perform at the Merriam Theater. 

5. New York City

New York City is the city that never sleeps—and there’s no exception on St. Patrick’s Day! The Big Apple hosts one of the biggest and oldest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country along 5th Avenue.

Popular Irish pubs to get your party on include Connolly’s Pub & Restaurant, The Playwright Irish Pub, The Red Lion. If you’re looking for your next Instagram post, definitely swing by the Loreley Beer Garden for green beers and green frozen margaritas, or book a mini-cabin at Pier 15’s outdoor bar, Watermark (complete with your own personal mini-keg!). Want to join a bar crawl? The Kiss Me, I’m Irish: NYC St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl will travel around 14 different bars around Manhattan’s East Side.

You can also celebrate the holiday by exploring the catacombs underneath St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, watching Irish music and dance performances at The New York Irish Center’s “40 Shades of Green” event, or even exploring the Tenement Museum, which details the experiences of many Irish immigrants after they arrived in America. 

6. San Francisco

The Bay Area is also known for throwing quite the party for St. Patrick’s Day, attracting more than 100,000 people to its annual parade and subsequent festival. Cheer on the many local Irish dance companies, bands, and groups strutting down the street, then make your way to the Irish Bank’s block party in the Financial District to keep the party going. 

No St. Patrick’s Day in San Francisco would be complete without a refueling trip to Buena Vista, a Fisherman’s Wharf mainstay known for serving the first Irish coffee in the U.S. Not only do they taste wonderful, but watching their bartender handily whip up 20 at once is the real attraction! 

There are also a ton of pub crawls throughout the city, including the St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl Party, the infamous LepraCon, and the Shamrock Stroll St. Patty’s Day Bar Crawl. Can’t bear to have your furry friend miss out on all the fun? Head over to the annual Patrick’s Pawade at Fort Mason to see hundreds of dogs in Irish-inspired costumes—yes, an actual dream come true. 

7. New Orleans

Fresh off the heels of Mardi Gras, this Louisiana city is still ready to party come March 17. Visitors can expect a full week and a half of parades, block parties, and other celebrations throughout town. NoLa’s annual parade adds some extra excitement to the standard fare, with people throwing green beads and doubloons—along with onions, potatoes, cabbage, and carrots!

Locals love Tracey’s St. Paddy’s Day Party in the Irish Channel, along with the all-day street party at nearby Parasol’s Bar. The Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Club also throws an annual block party with Irish music, food, drinks, and dancers. 

8. Savannah

Another Georgia locale known for top-notch St. Patrick’s Day celebrations is Savannah, which hosts an annual parade filled with marching bands, dancers, elaborate floats, and even the Budweiser Clydesdale horses (whaaaat!). 

You can also celebrate by watching the annual dyeing of the Forsyth Park fountain, a feat that makes for quite the photo op, or head to the five-day family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day celebration at Plant Riverside District, which includes live music and free mini-golf.

In the mood for some exercise (or want to just watch from the sidelines)? Savannah hosts an annual March of Dimes Shamrock Run, a Savannah Shamrock Rugby Club St. Patrick’s Day Tournament, and an Irish Road Bowling tournament.

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Bri Hand

Bri Hand is Landing's Content Marketing Manager. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts, with her partner and dog, Arlo, but relishes any opportunity she can to travel so she can try new foods, see gorgeous sights, and daydream about living somewhere new after visiting there for less than 24 hours.