LUCK OF THE IRISH
PLUS THE QUAINT COUNTRYSIDE
Favorite part about Irish culture: The Irish are some of the nicest, kindest, most fun and welcoming people in the world. The people make their extremely beautiful country even more beautiful and fascinating. I would move to Ireland just so I could hang with the Irish 24/7. Oh ya, I love their accents and I love their passion for Guinness.
When we landed in Dublin idk if we knew what holiday we were getting ready to celebrate… 😉
IRELAND IS HANDS DOWN ONE OF MY TOP 3 FAVORITE COUNTRIES ON THIS EARTH. THAT IS A VERY BOLD STATEMENT AND I ABSOLUTELY MEAN IT.
Every off-season my husband and I take one big trip. Drew and I did a Euro Trip last off-season and frolicked around multiple countries and Ireland stole our heart. We rented a car and traveled around most of the country and then ended our Ireland portion of the trip in none other than the St. Patrick’s Day capital of the world…Dublin.
ST. PATRICK’S DAY IN DUBLIN
Whoever thinks St. Patrick’s Day is an Americanized holiday, clearly has never been to Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day. Every single prominent building is illuminated green. Banners are everywhere. Guinness is overflowing. The parades are insane and last for 5 days. The only places that are open are church and bars. Once people check church off their list early in the morning, they are dancing in the street with shamrocks on their chest, playing bagpipes, drinking and celebrating. Drew and I were obsessed with all of this.
Their love for their culture is absolutely beautiful.
Here is how our day went:
THE BIG PARADE
Endless people, both locals and visitors, lined the streets for miles and miles along the parade’s path. I have never seen a parade like this (and I lived in New York City for years). I can’t stress enough how packed the route was and how happy everybody was. It was incredible. It was a never-ending sea of green. The route went over landmark bridges, passed Christ Church, Dublin Church, and of course Staint Patrick’s Cathedral.
Saint PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL
We walked around inside St. Patrick’s on St. Patrick’s Day! Does it get more unreal than that!? It was jaw-droppingly stunning.
The mecca of beer. The mecca of Guinness. Honestly, I’m not a big fan of Guinness (in the U.S. that is). In Ireland, everything is better, including their Guinness. Why? They use local Irish barley and local Irish hops, and it makes the world of difference in taste. What else is really cool is when you’re there you get to taste Guinness from around the world. (I was obsessed with the African Guinness. It was light and fruity). While you’re there you also get to go back in time with their fun advertisements of the past, see how Guinness is made, get certified in pouring their perfect pint, and see the coolest view of Dublin from their top floor bar. Of course we lucked out going on St. Patrick’s Day because it was one massive party. Bagpipers in kilts everywhere, and you guessed it- – green on green on green (even the horses were decked out!)
Apparently even on a regular day in Dublin, Temple Bar is absolutely wild. So it was on steroids the night of St. Patrick’s Day. Tons of parties, tons of local music, and tons of people. You know when it’s one in one out at a crowded bar sometimes? It was one in one out for this entire area of town!! I swear. Barricades surrounding the perimeter and cops keeping headcount.
OTHER PLACES WE VISITED AND LOVED IN DUBLIN:
St Stephens Green
(This is the Central Park of Dublin)
The Old Library of Trinity College Dublin
Houses The Book of Kells (a 9th century gospel manuscript that is famous around the world) and overall the most beautiful library you will ever see.
NOW I WANT TO TAKE YOU TO THE COUNTRYSIDE…
Drew and I landed in Dublin after taking a red eye flight, hopped in a rental car, drove on the wrong side of the road for days, traveling The Green Isle’s beauty. Heads Up: If you drive around the country also, be prepared to see Gaelic on every single street and highway sign. Most of them have English as well.
ASHFORD CASTLE, COUNTY MAYO, CONG, IRELAND
This is the most AMAZING place we have ever spent the night. Ever. We would have canceled the rest of our Euro Trip just to stay here longer. It is legit a castle, housing so much incredible history. Its property grounds are absolutely stunning. You can get lost in the gardens, climb forts (which basically is a castle itself), take a ride on the castle’s boat, learn archery, falconry, go horseback riding, golfing, have delightful authentic afternoon tea and the most delicious meals in different rooms in the castle (including the dungeon). The Ashford Castle was owned by the Guinness Family at one point in time and the history of the property is fascinating. The movie The Quiet Man was filmed here. And I’ll just stop talking because nothing I say will do this place justice. They have a moat and their Irish Wolfhounds are icing on the cake.
DRIVE THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY AND STOP AT ADORABLE LOCAL PUBS AND RESTAURANTS.
Stop in Galway and make sure to visit the world-famous cottage, Morans of the Weir for award-winning oysters and Guinness.
You will see many castles while driving! Stop and visit Dunguaire Castle.
CLIFFS OF MOHER
Unbelievable cliffs standing over 5 miles tall on the the Atlantic Coast. Make sure to climb O’Brien’s Tower while you’re there.
leaving thoughts… Make sure you eat a traditional Irish Breakfast with black and white pudding. Drink as much Guinness in The Motherland as your little heart desires. And eat at Butlers Chocolate Cafe, “The Purveyors of Happiness.” I wish I was the Butler that owned this place.
OH YA, AND WE RAN INTO NICK LACHEY AND HIS WIFE VANESSA.
(It’s a bad pic, but come on, we’re talkin’ 98 Degrees…)
Where we stayed:
Dublin: The Westbury (I also recommend The Merrion)
Cong Co. Mayo: Ashord Castle
Where to eat:
Honestly, Dublin is more of a drinking town than an eating town. Irish food is delicious and exceeded my expectations, but just stop in anywhere you see fit. However, go drinking at Guinness, Temple Bar, and anywhere else you feel calls your name. But, do get some yummy goodies from Butlers Chocolate Cafe.
If you do go to the Ashford Castle, they had the BEST food at their restaurants and their brunch was spectacular. One of their restaurants was even in a dungeon (super cool)!
Where to go:
Dublin: Shopping on Grafton Street, The Library of Trinity College Dublin & see The Book of Kells, St Stephens Green, Temple Bar, Guinness Storehouse, Saint Patricks Cathedral, Christ Church Cathedral Dublin
Cong Co. Mayo: Ashford Castle. In addition to walking their STUNNING grounds, you can go to the gardens, forts, go boating, learn archery, horseback riding, dine, and so much more!
Galway: Wine, dine, go to the water, and more. Don’t forget to stop at Morans of the Weir Oyster Cottage and see Dunguaire Castle.
Liscannor Village, Co. Clare: Cliffs of Moher
Where to fly into:
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