St. Patrick’s Day is the most fun day to be Irish – or fake like you are. In honor of the holiday, cities across the country are painting the town green, and Kimpton hotels are never far from the fun. Read on for the best events happening from coast to coast and tips on where to stay nearby.
South Boston, or “Southie,” is where the whole city gets jiggy. On Sunday, March 17, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade travels through neighborhood streets as emerald-colored beer flows from tavern kegs. After the parade, Irish bands and dancers rock out on street corners. Kimpton’s Nine Zero Hotel is closest to the action and right down the street from Beantown Pub, one of the most boisterous places to party. Closer to the Financial District, Onyx Hotel is a historic spot within walking distance of the Irish bars at Faneuil Hall Marketplace (we love The Black Rose for fish ‘n’ chips and homemade stew).
The winner of the Ms. Blarney Beauty Pageant spreads more joy than a pot of gold as she rides in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 16. The parade skirts Nicollet Mall, the pedestrian-only thoroughfare just two blocks from The Grand Hotel, Kimpton’s Art Deco hotel that was recently restored to the grandeur of its heyday. It’s been known to snow on St. Paddy’s in Minnesota; thankfully, the hotel is connected to the Skyway system of indoor tunnels.
From select rooms at the historic Hotel Monaco, guests get a primo view of the Chicago River, which is dyed a vibrant shade of shamrock on Saturday, March 16. The city’s main event is the Chicago Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, featuring bands, dancers and an official parade queen. The parade winds down Columbus Drive through Grant Park, and you can stay close to it all at Hotel Burnham in the Loop. And, while most of the city’s Irish neighborhoods are on the South Side, on this great affair, you can find leprechaun hats and green Guinness at just about every Irish pub across town on St. Paddy’s.
New York City
New Yorkers have held a St. Patrick’s Day Parade every year since 1762 — that’s 14 years before the Declaration of Independence was signed. On Saturday, March 16, the historic procession snakes along Fifth Avenue from 44th Street north to 86th Street, flanking Central Park for most of the way. For easy access, stay at The Muse in the Theater District mere blocks from the parade’s start. For another dose of Irish culture in Manhattan, visit nearby St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a city landmark known for its stunning stained glass windows.
The San Francisco St. Patrick’s Day Festival and Parade, held Saturday, March 16, at Civic Center Plaza, features traditional music, dance and plenty of Irish spirit. But the bar-sponsored block parties are perhaps the most popular part of the festivities, and last all weekend long. Some of the best bashes include those at The Irish Bank in the Financial District and O’Reilly’s in North Beach. Hotel Triton, Kimpton’s boutique hotel on the cusp of Chinatown, is a great place from which to hit both bars in a weekend. Sir Francis Drake hotel is worth a visit, too — if for no other reason than the city views from Harry Denton’s Starlight Room on the 21st floor.
You know what they say: Green means go. See you there!
– Matt Villano
Photos: Courtesy of South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade, courtesy of Dean Battaglia, courtesy of United Irish Societies of San Francisco