Last updated: 01:58 PM ET, Thu March 10 2016

Which Cities are Best for Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day?

Features & Advice | Donald Wood | March 09, 2016

Which Cities are Best for Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day?

PHOTO: Mike Wyatt, from the Greater Boston Fire Fighters Pipes and Drums, plays the bagpipes in the 2011 Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade. (Photo by Rachel Larue/Courtesy of Thinkstock)

St. Patrick’s Day has become synonymous with wearing green and partying with a few alcoholic beverages, and travelers are wondering where the best celebrations can be found on March 17.

In a recent study, used 17 key metrics to determine which of the 100 largest cities in the United States had the best St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

The top city for St. Patrick’s Day in 2016 is Boston, with Buffalo, Omaha, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh rounding out the top five, respectively. In terms of the cities travelers want to avoid for the Irish holiday celebrations, San Bernardino, California, is considered the worst, followed by Birmingham, San Jose, Dallas and Oakland, respectively.

READ MORE: Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin

Some of the key factors in determining the order include the number of Irish pubs and restaurants per capita, lowest price for a three-star hotel on St. Patrick’s Day and weather forecasts for the holiday.

When asked about St. Patrick’s Day’s popularity in the U.S., Hofstra University professor Julie Byrne, “It’s a combination of the great number of people of Irish heritage in the United States, and the ease and fun of the customs to absolutely everyone. Have a parade, eat, drink, and color everything green, from your clothes and your beer to fountains and whole rivers, in the case of Chicago. It used to be a way for Irish to celebrate Ireland and the new country of America at the same time. But now everyone is ‘adopted’ as Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.”

Here are the best and worst cities for St. Patrick’s Day:

Best Cities for St. Patrick’s Day

Worst Cities for St. Patrick’s Day


Boston, MA


Santa Ana, CA


Buffalo, NY


Fremont, CA


Omaha, NE


Hialeah, FL


Philadelphia, PA


Riverside, CA


Pittsburgh, PA


Memphis, TN


Tampa, FL


Oakland, CA


Madison, WI


Dallas, TX


Lincoln, NE


San Jose, CA


Gilbert, AZ


Birmingham, AL


St. Paul, MN


San Bernardino, CA

For the full list of where the top 100 largest cities rank, check out


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