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Top 5 St. Patrick's Day vacation destinations

Mar 16, 2012, 3:30 p.m.

With St. Patrick's Day celebrations right around the corner, you might be of a mind to book a quick getaway to better enjoy the festivities and bring this uniquely colorful Irish holiday to vivid life. If so, we've come up with a list of the top five most appropriate St. Patrick's Day vacation destinations. Now, go book your trip.

  1. Dublin, Ireland. Maybe this is a bit of a stretch for your budget, but if money's no object when it comes to basking in St. Patrick's Day celebrations, then why not leap right into the heart of the biggest Irish holiday? Back in the U.S.A., St. Patrick's Day only lasts a single day. In Dublin, however, celebrations last for days and you'd be hard pressed to find a more boisterous party anywhere else on the planet.
  2. Chicago, Illinois. Known nationwide for its annual St. Patrick's Day parade, this is the only day of the year when visitors or year-round residents will be able to take in the spectacle of the Chicago River roiling in brilliant green. Meanwhile, the streets are lined with spectators as the city's biggest parade takes place. The parade always takes place the Saturday before St. Paddy's Day on years when the two dates don't align, so plan accordingly.
  3. New York City, New York. Chicago's got the green-dyed river, but New York City can lay claim to hosting the biggest St. Patrick's Day celebrations, with a parade more than 150,000 marchers strong and enough Irish pride to make Saint Patrick himself blush. Owing to New York City's enormous size, yearly celebrations typically attract over a million onlookers.
  4. Boston, Massachusetts. If New York City has the biggest party in the United States, the city of Boston can claim to have its longest running. It's no wonder, seeing how the city's largest ethnic population are people of Irish decent! The first observance of the Irish holiday dates all the way back to the 1700s when the country was still just made up of thirteen colonies. Needless to say, St. Patrick's Day celebrations are a bit different today than they were back then, but Bostonians know how to throw a good party -- so don't forget your shamrock.
  5. Montreal, Quebec. Not many people think of Irish in distinctly French-influenced Quebec, but it makes sense when you look at the flag of Montreal, which features a shamrock on one corner. Montrealers have been throwing St. Paddy's Day parties every year since the early 1800s, and they're showing no signs of slowing down.

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