The long awaited vacation season is nearly upon us, and it’s time to start brainstorming where your next wanderings will take you! With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, the luck of the Irish is in the air, and has us wanderlusting after a trip to Ireland. Coincidentally, the summer happens to be the best time to visit, due to the less frequent downpours.
Historically speaking, the U.S. and Ireland have always been connected through ancestral ties, and shared values. There isn’t a city in the U.S. where you can’t find an Irish pub, and more than a few Guinnesses will be thrown back this St. Patrick’s Day.
Imagine rolling green hills, fairytale-like castles, plenty of pubs, quite a few sheep, and the sound of Irish accents everywhere you go. In fact, there’s so much to love about Ireland, that it would take a rather long time to relay every reason. Since we believe wholeheartedly that the land of leprechauns and pots of gold is a top destination, we will quickly sum up our five favorite characteristics about Ireland to get you just as excited as we are:
All truly desirable destinations share this one crucial factor – welcoming people. Any region where folks are happy, must be some indication that it’s a nice place to live – and of course visit. Pop into any pub, bed and breakfast, or restaurant and you’ll be greeted with warm smiles and friendly questions about your travels. Beware – friendly Irish folk are also known for whiling away hours at a time chatting. Irish folk have literally been voted some of the friendliest in the world, and that’s high praise considering how big our world is!
It is nicknamed the “Emerald Isle” after all. We’re talking cliffs, beaches, forests, national parks, and one rolling green hill after the next. Ireland is famous for its breathtaking beauty. The best part about Ireland’s landscape is that it is so accessible. Most everything can be reached by car, and no crazy hiking gear is required, usually. The latest Star Wars movie had scenes filmed on one of Ireland’s most beautiful little islands – Skellig Michael. Because Ireland has so much coast to offer, there are also an array of ways to see the beauty of the country from the water!
Perhaps you’re a history buff, or you’ve got a history buff in your travel group, either way, Ireland is full of exciting history! For starters, there’s a castle about every 10 feet… OK that’s a bit of an exaggeration but seriously, there are a lot of castles in this small country. It just so happens that the famous Blarney Stone lies inside one of the prettiest and in-tact castles – Blarney Castle.
Visit the castle and kiss the stone all in one fell swoop. For many, a trip to Ireland is simply incomplete without a visit to the home of Guinness. Housed in an old fermentation plant, Guinness offers a seven-story experience that tells the story of the world famous drink. Did you know the Titanic was built in Belfast? Now there is an entire interactive museum that tells the tale of the Titanic from its birth through its untimely demise.
What is it about the Irish and pubs? There are plenty of bars in the U.S. and every other country for that matter, yet the idea of an Irish pub seems so much more enticing. Being that pubs are so darn popular, the Emerald Isle is harboring more than a few very very old pubs, and as they say in Ireland – the older the pub the better.
The Brazen Head in Dublin, McHugh’s in Belfast, and Old Thatch in Cork, are just three out of many worth taking a trip to. As for food, well you can’t skip trying these authentic dishes when you visit: soda bread, shellfish, Irish stew, colcannon and champ, boxty, boiled bacon and cabbage, irish salmon and smoked salmon, black and white pudding, coddle, and barmbrack.
When it’s all said and done, every bit of Ireland has something beautiful and unique to offer. Dublin is great, but there’s a vast amount of rich scenery and experiences to be had in the countryside. The best part about visiting Ireland is that it’s only about the size of Indiana! Meaning, you can see and do it all in a short amount of time.
Hit up Dublin and become drinking buddies with locals, spend a few days traversing through the countryside moving from b&b’s, and then continue to on to whichever other adventures are calling your name.
Need we say anymore? It’s time to skip across the pond, and explore the mystical beauty and contagious culture of the land of lush green. You have just the right amount of time to plan, summertime is the best time to visit, or at least, the driest time to visit. Get ready to drink, eat, and castle your way across the country that brought us St. Patrick’s day, as well as many other wonderful things.
Speaking of St. Patrick’s Day, 365 Tickets USA has quite the array of Irish offerings, check them out and plan your activities before you go!