The greenest time of the year is just around the corner – and no, we’re not referring to spring, although that is too!
Originally a holy day in Ireland, it wasn’t long before St. Patrick’s Day was synonymous with celebrating all things Irish, making it one of the most spirited and celebrated holidays of the year. And while we’d all love to visit the “emerald isle” itself to partake in the festivities, don’t worry, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations span the globe, and can be just as “sham-rocking.”
We’ve gathered 10 great St. Patty’s Day getaway destinations – truly channelling the spirit and diversity of Irish pride.
1. Dublin, Ireland: Who among us hasn’t wanted to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the land where it all started? Ireland is a land of contrasts, from pure, unspoiled landscapes and dramatic coastlines, to the urban buzz of the country’s dynamic cities like Dublin. Contrary to popular belief, you’re not likely to find any green beer in Dublin, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying a pint (or more). Sláinte!
2. Boston, United States: Home to one of the largest Irish communities in North America, there is no shortage of love for the Irish in Boston. Take part in the south Boston parade, cultural festivals, road-races, and multiple pubs – all while declaring your green pride.
3. Niagara Falls, Canada: Tourism Ireland has announced that the Falls will be one of several world-famous landmarks to turn green this year. For the first time ever, both the Canadian and U.S. Falls will be illuminated in green, which promises to be a beautiful sight. With endless attractions, restaurants, and hotels, Niagara Falls is a great spot to “go green.”
4. New York City, United States: At this time of the year, the big apple becomes the big GREEN apple. New York celebrates the holiday by blanketing the city in a sea of emerald hues. If the green beer, bagels, water fountains and even a green Empire State building don’t get you in the spirit, the parade, pubs and people will.
5. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Argentina is home to the world’s fifth largest Irish community and the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations confirm it. In Buenos Aires, the weather is quite warm in March so people often take to the streets to celebrate Irish pride. They don’t celebrate with a parade, but rather an all night party on downtown’s Reconquista Street, where there are several Irish pubs.
6. Montreal, Canada: Although typically associated with the French, Montreal’s Irish history stretches back to 1759 and the deep-rooted spirit can be felt throughout the city. In fact, approx. 5.5 per cent of Quebeckers identified themselves as Irish. So, wear your green and hit the streets for one of the oldest St. Patty’s Day parades!
7. San Francisco, United States: With streets like O’Shaughnessy and O’Farrell, you know a city like San Francisco has a rich Irish heritage. Loaded with activities such as the United Irish Societies’ annual parade, cultural festivals, live music and children’s events, San Francisco is the perfect destination for families looking to experience Irish pride.
8. Sydney, Australia: The luck of the Irish pulsates through Sydney. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Family Day is the largest Irish event in the Southern Hemisphere with over 30,000 Irish and Australian Irish families attending.
9. Toronto, Canada: Toronto is a multi-cultural hub and with almost two million Ontario residents claiming Irish heritage, a large Irish community is sure to be present in Ontario’s largest city. The CN tower will be illuminated in green and shine like a beacon for Irish pride on the Toronto skyline. Check out the parade during the day, hit an authentic Irish pub at night, or just join the masses and wear your greenest attire.
10. Chicago, United States: For over 40 years, the Chicago River has been turned an incredible shade of Irish green and over 100,000 people turn out to watch the river’s transformation before the annual parade whips the city into a flurry of green pride. People dressed in green and wearing funky hats and shamrock-shaped eyeglasses flood the streets and take over every Irish pub in sight. The celebrations continue long into the night, or until the green beer stops flowing.