Luck Out with Last-Minute St. Patrick's Day Escapes

by  Andrew Hickey | Mar 14, 2009
Photo courtesy iStock International

On Tuesday, March 17, Americans will paint their faces green and don their woolen sweaters to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. This year, why not make a last-minute road trip to one of these five U.S. cities to catch the big parade and throw back some Guinness with the locals? Considering how many great airline deals are out there, you may even luck out with a cheap flight!

Chicago: The Windy City has dyed its river bright green since 1962 (don't worry, the dye used in the annual event is not harmful to the environment). Chicago's parade is packed with floats, marching bands, Clydesdale horses, and, of course, Irish step dancers. See our Chicago Travel Guide

Four more seriously green St. Paddy's Day cities after the jump.

Boston: Considered by many to be the most Irish city in the country, Boston throws one wicked-good St. Patty's celebration every year. Dating back to 1737, Bean Town claims to have held the first ever St. Patrick's Day parade in the United States. Nearly 600,000 people attend this event that starts at the Broadway "T" station and winds up at Andrew Square. This three-hour parade includes bands, dancers, a Kennedy or two, and plenty of Red Sox chants . . . shocked? See our Boston Travel Guide

New York City: St. Patrick’s Day in New York City is a must for lovers of warm Irish eyes and cold tasty brews. The Big Apple has been celebrating this hugely popular event since 1766. The day begins with mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral at 8:30am sharp (kindly wait until after morning services to start chugging your Guinness and taking your Jameson shots). At 11am, the parade marches up 5th Avenue, from 44th to 86th streets, and it always garners a huge crowd (roughly 2 million people).See our New York City Travel Guide

San Francisco: Way out on the West Coast, Irish eyes are also smiling. as San Francisco holds its annual Irish event. This parade, which may not be as flashy as Savannah's or as popular as New York's, does hold the distinction of being the oldest and biggest St. Pat's celebration on the left coast. Locals march down 2nd and Market Streets toward City Hall to the sounds of Celtic music performed by local California musicians. See our San Francisco Travel Guide

Savannah: This Irish city, about 4 hours from Atlanta, holds the honor of throwing the second biggest St. Patrick's Day parade in the United States (behind NYC). Doing it up Chicago style, Savannah dyes the water in its fountains green. The parade, which is celebrating its 184th year, marches through the Historic District for a day of nonstop celebration. See our Savannah Travel Guide

For more information about these and other St. Patrick's Day parade celebrations, complete with dates and times, check out

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