Erin go bragh! It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, and of course, here at Oyster, we’re celebrating by traveling! Whether you find yourself in Dublin, Boston, or Tokyo (yes, Tokyo), these nine cities are filled with Irish pride on March 17th -- and throughout the upcoming weekend.
What better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than in Ireland’s capital city. Not only is March 17th a public holiday in Ireland, it’s also considered a holy day of obligation for Catholics. In Dublin, the four-day-long celebration (March 14th-17th) is not only meant to celebrate St. Patrick himself, but also Irish culture and heritage. This year, visitors can take a walking tour of the city known as “In the Footsteps of St. Patrick,” learn about Irish food and drink at the Guinness Storehouse, revel at the Irish Beer and Whiskey Festival, and even enjoy a special tribute to W.B. Yeats at The Irish Georgian Society. Not to be missed are the annual “greening” of the city, when iconic buildings throughout Dublin are lit-up green at night, and, of course, the annual St. Patrick’s Festival Parade.
Where to Stay: Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin
The Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin is sleek and modern with large, comfortable rooms. It’s also within walking distance of St. Patrick’s Cathedral — the last stop of the St. Patrick’s Festival Parade.
With more Irish American residents than any other city in the US, it’s no surprise that New York City takes its St. Patrick’s Day celebrations seriously. Of course, the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade is a must see: Catch a glimpse of the day’s Irish regalia anywhere along 5th Ave between 44th and 79th Streets, starting at 11am on the 17th. If parades aren’t your thing, you can do what the Irish do best by sampling hundreds of craft beers at the 10th Annual NYC Craft Beer Festival (March 13-14th), see an Irish improv show at the Peoples Improv Theatre (March 17th), or take a walking tour of lower Manhattan’s former Little Ireland neighborhood (March 14-15th).
Where to Stay: The Surrey
The Surrey is a luxuriously appointed 190-room hotel on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. It’s location on East 76th Street between Madison and 5th Avenues means it’s directly in parade route territory. It’s also within walking distance of the American Irish Historical Society on East 80th Street.
New York may have more Irish residents than any other US city, but Massachusetts is the “most Irish” state percentage-wise, with nearly a quarter of its residents claiming Irish heritage. South Boston’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is one of the country’s most watched. This year’s parade begins at 1 pm on March 15th on West Broadway and moves east ending on Dorchester Street. For those interested in some cultural enrichment, Boston’s Irish Heritage Trail is a self-guided tour of Downtown and Back Bay that aims to teach visitors and locals about Boston’s Irish history.
Where to Stay: Holiday Inn Express Boston
The Holiday Inn Express Boston is the perfect spot to crash after day-long celebrations in South Boston’s best Irish pubs. Though it’s not within walking distance, it’s about a 10-minute drive to Dorchester Street, the parade’s ending point.
For more than forty years, Irish Chicagoans have gathered near the Columbus Drive Bridge to watch the annual dyeing of the Chicago River. This year’s river dyeing will take place at 9:15 am on March 14th. Spectators can watch the river turn bright green as the secret formula dye is emptied into the waters. Following the river dyeing, The St. Patrick’s Day Parade will kick off at noon at the intersection of Balbo Ave. and Columbus Drive.
The Blackstone, a Renaissance Hotel and Hyatt Regency Chicago are two great options, and which you choose depends on your priorities. Those interested in the parade will want to stay at The Blackstone. Located on Balbo Street, it’s a stone’s throw away from the parade’s starting point. The Hyatt Regency Chicago, on the other hand, has awesome views of the river, and is within walking distance of the Columbus Driver Bridge where the dyeing takes place.
Though it doesn’t boast an overabundance of Irish residents, Savannah nonetheless hosts an annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration that would make any Irishman proud. The largest parade held in Savannah each year will kick off at 10:15 am on the 17th. But this weekend, Savannah celebrates ahead of time with an entire festival filled with live music, Irish food and drinks, and even a Miss St. Patrick’s Day pageant. The city even allows open containers in the festival’s downtown area provided that guests purchase a five-dollar wristband and are over the age of 21.
Where to Stay: East Bay Inn
Savannah’s historic East Bay Inn is the perfect place to stay for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. It’s ideally located on Bay Street, which is part of the parade route and within walking distance of all of the weekend’s festivities.
Because of its French heritage, language, and culture, Montreal might not be the first city that comes to mind when thinking of St. Patrick’s Day. But the city is actually home to one of North America’s longest running St. Patrick’s Day parades; let’s not forget that Montreal’s flag contains a shamrock in the lower-right quadrant! This year’s parade, hosted by the United Irish Societies of Montreal, will take place on the Sunday after St. Paddy’s, the 22nd. It will start at noon on the corner of Fort Street and St. Catherine Street, and will continue to Philips Square.
Where to Stay: Loews Hotel Vogue
Half a block from St. Catherine Street, the parade’s main thoroughfare, the Loews Hotel Vogue is conveniently located for parade-goers. It’s also smack dab in the middle of downtown Montreal, should visitors care to see other parts of the city during their stay.
About ten percent of Australia’s population claims Irish ancestry which — proportionately speaking — means Australia is home to more people of Irish descent than any other country outside of Ireland. In Sydney, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are family-friendly affairs, filled with parades, lives music, and Irish dance performances. This year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade and family day takes place on March 15th. The parade begins at noon at the corner of Bathurst and Pitt Streets and continues onto Elizabeth Street where it will end in Hyde Park’s northern corner. From there, Hyde Park Family Day kicks off at 1 pm.
Where to Stay: Park 8 Hotel
The ultra-hip Park 8 Hotel is conveniently located across from Hyde Park and is within blocks of multiple parade route streets. Its location in Sydney’s Central Business District means it’s also close to great shopping, restaurants, and nightlife.
Argentina boasts South America’s largest Irish population, and the capital city of Buenos Aires takes its St. Paddy’s Day celebrations seriously. On March 15th, the city’s annual parade begins at 5:30 pm on the corner of Arroyo and Suipacha Streets and ends in the Plaza San Martin. Afterwards there will be live music and dance performances, including an appearance by the Irish dance troupe, Celtic Argentina. Of course, in a city that’s known to party all night long, the festivities will continue in some of the city’s best Irish pubs, such as the Druid In and The Kilkenny.
Loi Suites Arenales is a 76-room apartment-style hotel with a prime location near the Plaza San Martin, where most of the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations take place. Rooms are spacious and comfortable, with kitchenettes and small seating areas.
In 1992, the Irish Network of Japan began hosting a St. Patrick’s Day parade on the streets of Tokyo as a way of introducing Irish culture to Japan. Now, more than two decades later, the St. Patrick’s Day parade is one of Tokyo’s most anticipated celebrations. The parade takes place on March 15th on Omotesando-dori, between Harajuku and Omotesando, and expects over 50,000 spectators.
Where to Stay:Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills
The Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills is a luxury boutique on the top floors of the Toranomon Hills skyscraper. Although the Andaz is not within walking distance of the St. Patrick’s Day festivities, it’s an easy 20-minute metro ride.
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