While cities around the U.S. embrace green for St. Patrick’s Day, Boston bleeds green all year. From the Boston Celtics to the Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston’s Irish history spans centuries, and all generations unite every year around the festive weekend to celebrate. But don’t be mistaken — St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just an excuse to have green beer. There’s a lot of Irish to take in around the city, so grab your walking shoes and get ready to go green, Boston-style.
Irish Heritage Trail
Start your day by walking the Irish Heritage Trail, which highlights all the landmarks of Irish-American artists and heroes dating back as far as the 1700s. After you’ve explored the 20 sites throughout downtown Boston (Boston Massacre Memorial, Old Granary Burying Grounds and the Rose Kennedy Garden, to name a few), head to the outskirts of the city to continue along the trail. If you need a break while you’re out, stop off at The Bristol Lounge at Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Four Seasons Hotel Boston for an Irish coffee or some traditional tea.
Stay in Style
Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star XV Beacon offers a Luck o’ the Irish package. The deal starts March 17 and runs for one week, giving you 17 percent off of the nightly room rate. While you’re here, stop into the hotel’s Forbes Travel Guide Recommended restaurant, Mooo, for some Irish-inspired cocktails (read: whiskey) or one of the city’s top brunches (don’t miss the USDA prime beef hash with sunny-side eggs). The best part: You’re only a short cab ride from South Boston’s famed St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Rates start at $375 per night during the promotion week.
Irish Film Festival
Just after St. Patrick’s Day, the Irish Film Festival kicks off in Davis Square. Visit the Somerville Theater to take in all the best in Irish cinema from March 20 to 23. The largest of its kind outside of Ireland, the festival awards filmmakers in four categories (best film, best documentary, best short fiction/animation and director’s choice) as well as the annual Excellence Award, which recognizes those whose work portrays the best of Ireland and the Irish.
St. Patrick’s Day Road Race
If you’re up for exercise, join the South Boston Boys & Girls Club for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Road Race. The 5K race starts at 11 a.m. March 16 and concludes right near the St. Patrick’s Day Parade (more on that below). The proceeds go to benefit the South Boston Boys & Girls Club’s Keystone Teen Leadership Program that helps kids get off the street and back on the right track.
Southie St. Patrick’s Day Parade
The pièce de résistance of parades happens every year on St. Patrick’s Day weekend. On March 16, the parade begins at 1 p.m. and winds the streets of Southie (South Boston), the city’s famed Irish neighborhood. Arrive early to get a good spot on the route. Our suggestion: Begin your day with a traditional Irish brunch of eggs and ham at Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Boston Harbor Hotel, then follow the Boston Harborwalk all the way to Southie, where you’ll find yourself smack-dab on East Broadway Street, right in the middle of the all the parade action.
Photos Courtesy of Boston Harbor Hotel and XV Beacon