5 Tips for Enjoying the St. Patrick's Day Parade

March 15 2017 | Travel Tips

It’s a parade older than the United States itself. Every March since 1762, the Irish have paraded through the streets of New York, embedding this tradition into the fabric of the city.

It has endured through two centuries, the switch from monarchy to democracy, countless economic ups and downs, and every generation since the founding of the country.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of one of the nation’s most historic parades:

1. Know the basics

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade can be viewed along 5th Avenue between 44th Street and 79th Street from 11am to 5pm. (If you’re looking a for “plan b” in case there’s bad weather, the parade can also be seen live on NBCNewYork.com beginning at 11:00 a.m.)

2. Get the best view

If you want the best views, simply arrive early to get close to the street (and bring a good book). If you’re staying with us at the Washington Jefferson all parts of 5th Avenue are a quick drive (or walk) away.

3. See the city

However, if the weather’s nice, this would be a great opportunity for a walk. From the Washington Jefferson, 5th Avenue is less than a mile away by foot. Plus, depending on what part of 5th Avenue you’re headed, your journey can take you through much of Central Park.

4. Pack some snacks

Restaurants along the parade route will likely be jammed, so plan ahead and bring some snacks along. If you forget and need to eat on the go, look for vendors inside Central Park for some quick and easy options.

5. When you gotta go…  

Be prepared. There aren’t any portable restrooms on the parade route, so have a plan for when nature calls. (Or just take your mother’s advice for once and go before you leave for the parade.) If none of that works, there are public bathrooms in Bryant Park, near the 59th Street entrance to Central Park.

As for some bonus tips: unfortunately no pets or alcohol are allowed along the parade route, but there are plenty of bars along the way. So enjoy the parade, then celebrate with a pint after. Sláinte!


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