With recent political events stressing you out, it might be time to get out of dodge for the weekend — so what better time to plan a fun trip to take than St. Patrick's Day in 2017? St. Patricks Day is Friday, Mar. 17, making it the perfect time to plan a long weekend while celebrating the luck of the Irish, and having some good, old-fashioned craic (that's Gaelic for fun).
On St. Patrick's Day, everyone gets to be Irish. It's true, because what you might not know that St. Patrick himself was not even Irish, but British: The legend goes that the man who would come to be known as St. Patrick was captured by Irish pirates from his home in Britain, and taken as a slave to Ireland where he lived for six years before escaping and returning to his family. After becoming a cleric, he returned to northern and western Ireland to convert the Celtic Irish to Christianity.
Not everyone can go to Ireland, but the good news is that there are plenty of epic St. Patrick's Day celebrations right here in the United States. Want to get away this year? Consider one of these unique trips for St. Patrick's Day 2017.
1Party Along The Green River In Chicago
It's worth heading to Chicago just to see the Chicago turn green while the St. Patrick's Day parade marches through Grant Park. There are plenty of pubs, and Irish restaurants to satisfy your fish and chips, or corn beef and cabbage cravings.
Pro-tip: The Irish actually celebrate with fish and chips, and of course a pint (or many pints) of Guinness.
2Rock Out To The Dropkick Murphys In Boston
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Boston is home to more Irish descendants than any other city in the United States. If you want a true St. Patrick's Day experience, Boston is the closet thing to actually being in Ireland.
Get tickets for the Dropkick Murphys annual House of Blues St. Patrick's Day concert; check out the Irish Film Festival; or take a walk on the Irish Heritage Trail. You can also watch the parades, or sign up for a pub crawl.
And with St. Patrick's Day falling on a Friday, it's pretty much guaranteed to be a bash that goes on all weekend.
3Go Irish Caroling In New London, Wisconsin
While Wisconsin may conjure of images of cheese curds (yes, drive-thru restaurants really do sell them), it's also home to one of America's most epic St. Patrick's Day parties.
New London christens itself New Dublin for one week in March, and everyone is invited. There are parades, a music festival, Irish caroling, and myriad New London St. Patrick Day festivities that last an entire week.
4Party With Elvis Impersonators In Hot Springs, Arkansas
Elvis anyone? While the king of rock isn't usually associated with St. Patrick's Day, the folks in Hot Springs, Arkansas, asked well, why not? This St. Patrick's Day party in Hot Springs boasts the world's shortest St. Patrick's Day parade, which is great if parades aren't your jam (they're not mine).
In Hot Springs you can also enjoy performances St. Patrick's Day performances by Elvis impersonators, and musicians like Uncle Kracker. Head to Hot Springs and I promise you, everything will be all right.
5Hit the ShamrockFest In Washington, D.C.
Head to Washington, D.C., for the legendary ShamrockFest, an all-day event featuring more than 50 Irish bands, dancers, games, and more.
Dubbed America’s largest St. Paddy’s Day festival, where thousands shake their shamrocks to Celtic rock bands, this event features carnival rides, an Irish Village, and a monster parade.
6Pretend You're In The Emerald Isle In San Diego
If you want to pretend you're in Ireland, head to San Diego this St. Patrick's Day. This California city covers 80,000-square-feet of its city blocks with artificial green turf to mimic the endless rolling hills of the Emerald Isle.
There's also an Irish Festival in Balboa Park with live entertainment. The best thing about traveling here is that it will be warm so you can leave your triple-fat goose-down jacket at home. There's also the annual ShamRock party in the city's Gaslamp district.
7Watch the Nation's Second-Largest Parade in Savannah, Georgia
Scratching your head about this one? The South isn't an obvious choice when it comes to celebrating St. Patrick's Day, but Savannah, Georgia, is a clear exception. This luck-o-the-Irish bash boasts the second-largest parade in the United States.
Additionally, in Savannah, you can hit the annual St. Patrick's Day festival, which runs Mar. 16 to Mar. 18.
8Head to New York City For One Of The Oldest St. Patrick's Day Parades In The Country
It's always a good time to go to New York City, but if you need a reason this is it. New York has one of the oldest annual St. Patrick's Day parades, dating back to 1762.
Join three million of your closest friends to watch the parade, which begins at 44th Street and proceeds up Fifth Avenue, past St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 50th Street. After the parade hit one of the city's dozens of Irish pubs for fish and chips, and Irish whiskey.
9Celebrate All Week Long In New Orleans
New Orleans isn't just the home of America's most epic Mardi Gras bash, it also claims to be the largest port of entry for Irish immigrants in the southern U.S. To celebrate its Irish heritage, New Orleans throws a week-long party that includes parades, music, food, and drinks that rival any St. Patrick's Day party in the country.
If you really want to have some craic this St. Patrick's Day, New Orleans promises not to disappoint.
10Experience Small-Town Irish Charm In Scranton, Pennsylvania
It's not just the setting for the wildly popular show The Office. Scranton, Pennsylvania, also has one rollicking St. Patrick's Day party. After your tour of Dunder Mifflin, head to this nationally recognized Irish parade. Finish off your day with some Irish music and grub at a local pub.
If you can't get away this St. Patrick's Day, chances are good that there is something Irish happening in your city or town. Check Facebook events, or ask your friends where the best place is to experience some St. Patrick's Day craic this year. Cheers!