Many of our guests have been inquiring about the route of New York City’s famous St. Patrick’s Day Parade, so I thought we could help you out. This year’s parade runs from south to north on 5th Ave., beginning at 44th St. and ending at 86th St. The parade kicks off at 11 a.m. and can last for five or six hours!
What’s almost as important as knowing the parade route is knowing where to stand along the parade route. That is why this year I have taken to the streets to find you the perfect spot from where you can enjoy the parade.
First, here is a look from where the parade begins. All of the marchers are going to head right up 5th Ave., opposite of the direction traffic normally travels.
Now, let’s check out the four best places to stand and watch the 2012 New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade
4. Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center is going to be quite a bit crowded on the 17th, but if you’re willing to get up early, this may be the spot to grab. The downtown portion of the tour will be cramped, so my general recommendation is to avoid it, but with a little extra room to stand between 50th and 51st, the view may be worth it. What could be better than showing your friends pictures of the parade with St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the background? Just don’t show up too late or Atlas might ruin your view.
3. 67th Street, West Side
The further uptown you go, more and more room seems to appear for you to stand. Finding a spot right along Central Park is definitely a safe bet. The sidewalk is wide and the scene is beautiful. You cannot go wrong. 67th street in particular is a smart decision because there is a walking trail leading into the park at that point. If you ever get tired of watching the show, you can go for a relaxing stroll, and when the parade comes to an end, you won’t get caught in (too much) foot traffic. Just cut through the park to the west side of the city and you can continue your celebrations while avoiding most of the crowd. Or, if you are visiting from Jersey and want to call it a day, Just hop on the B or D and it will take you right to Herald Square, just blocks from Penn Station where you can transfer to your NJ Transit train. While everybody else is packed in on the east side of Manhattan, you will have a smooth ride if you sneak off to the west side. 67th street is the ultimate escape route paired with a fantastically scenic experience.
2. Between 58th and 59th St., Either Side
At 58th St. you will find the Pulitzer Fountain, which doubles as a landmark and wonderful spot to see the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This is the mouth of the river that is Downtown 5th Ave. Right here, the sidewalks on both sides of the street open up into a beautiful, spacious stretch. Both sides of the street also (conveniently) elevate the further back they go. That means that even if you don’t get the parade early, there still may be a hidden gem for you to stand at 58th St.
1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Without doubt, the best spot to stand and watch the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is at The Met. More specifically, the best spot is the stairs leading up to the front entrance of The Met. The stairs run almost an entire block, leaving room for a bunch of people to stand. The stairs go high, perfect to capture that awesome photo of the bagpipers you’re hoping for. The stairs are unimpeded by trees, signs or any other immovable objects. The stairs in front of the Met are the perfect stage to watch this year’s parade.
Hopefully my tips have helped you, but most importantly, no matter where you stand for the parade, please share all of your great photos with us and make sure that you have fun!