The Rundown: The Best Of Ireland

Above: The Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland
The Rundown: The Best of Ireland

Every year on March 17, North Americans celebrate all things Irish by donning green, getting drunk and populating pubs, taverns, bars and streets singing traditional folk songs and using bad accents on St. Patrick’s Day.

But the vast majority of people that get excited about the one day a year they feign being Irish and envelope themselves in the country’s culture have never set foot on Irish lands.

And everyone should because it’s beautiful and there are so many things to see and do. Here are some of the sights to see.

Giant’s Causeway

Situated in County Antrim, just outside the town of Bushmills, this geological wonder is truly a sight to behold. As the name suggests, legend has it that the fractured pillars that form steps are the remains of a causeway built by rival giants from Ireland and Scotland, with a similar landmark (Fingal’s Cave) existing on the Scottish isle of Staff.

The Guinness Storehouse

If you’re going to Dublin, you must have a pint of the dark where it is brewed. Tour the storehouse, learn how to pour a perfect pint and then head up to Gravity Bar for panoramic views of the city and the pint that comes included in your admission. Drinking several more in various other locales during the course of your visit is highly recommended.

Cliffs of Moher

Words don’t do justice to the majestic beauty to this must-see stop. Feel the crisp ocean air and tempt your fear of heights by walking along the edges of these magnificent cliffs, which climb as high as 700 ft. above the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a marvelous full-day of hiking and reveling in the beauty and even getting caught in a sudden rain shower doesn’t feel so bad when you’re surrounded by these views.

Blarney Castle

Whether you wait in line to kiss the famous Blarney Stone is up to you, but visiting and exploring the grounds is highly recommended. Climb the Wishing Steps. Find the Witches Cave. Nosh on your packed lunch in one of the numerous picturesque, grasses patches. Make a day of it.

Walk the Town, Any Town

One of the best days you could spend in any number of towns is to just roam around and take in whatever the town has to offer for the day. Get breakfast from a local spot. Pop in and out of shops. Grab lunch from a bakery. Check out some of the landmarks and attractions. Watch a match in the pub with a pint or three. Find live music. Actually…

Find and Enjoy Live Music

There is nothing more enjoyable when on vacation to a far away land – England, Ireland, Newfoundland – than strolling into a pub in the evening, enjoying terrific food and listening to locals play. If you do nothing else on this list, do this.

Explore Random Stuff Along the Road

Driving around the countryside, you’re going to see actual attractions and random potential stops that pique your interest. Investigate them all. That creepy looking busted up castle in the field? Check it out. The roadside attraction up ahead? Stop in. And Ireland is a great country for driving, as long as you get used to the opposite side of the road thing and really narrow roads.

Do Dublin for a Couple Days

You can spend one day shopping. Another checking out galleries and museums and edu-tainment type places. Check out Kilmainham Gaol, Temple Bar, Dublin Castle, Trinity College…

Skelling Islands

Okay Star Wars fans, this one is all for you, though even if you’re not a Star Wars fan, it’s still cool. Remember that island where Rey finds Luke at the end of The Force Awakens? That was Skellig Michael, the largest of the Skellig Islands. Trips out are on a schedule, but you’re not going to find anything like it in these parts, so if you’re into it, do it and thank yourself later.


Eat street food. Eat North American overseas. Eat India, Chinese, Italian. Eat traditional Irish dishes. Travel is about indulging and enjoying, so go, travel, indulge, enjoy!

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