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Céad míle fáilte – that’s ‘a thousand welcomes’ in the poetic Irish language. Gnational Gnomad and NYC based travel blogger Sher of Sher She Goes shares why a recent trip to Ireland has left such a lasting impression – and why you’ll want to visit the Emerald Isle too! 

Ireland is home to some of the friendliest people in the world. A quick step into a pub means lively music, hearty comfort food and plenty of friendly locals welcoming you to their country. Ireland enchants every visitor who has the opportunity to visit – here are just a few highlights you can experience in Ireland!

1. The Wild Atlantic Way

If you love a good road trip, there’s nowhere more scenic than Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. This 1,500+ mile long route passes 9 counties and 3 provinces from North to South along the country’s western coastline. Just mentally prepare yourself to drive on the ‘opposite’ side of the road!

2. Irish Food

Irish cuisine has come a long way from mere potatoes and Guinness. Although Ireland may not be the first country you think of for innovative cuisine, today’s Irish chefs are doing exciting things and showcasing home grown, Irish produce at its best.

A must try is Irish lamb and beef – fresh and flavorful and thanks to the island’s lush green landscape. Meanwhile, the western coast of Ireland boasts some of the largest, freshest oysters I’ve ever tried and all around the local brewers are pioneering Irish craft beer. Don’t miss Dingle Gin or Irish brown bread to round out your meal!

3. Ancient History, Legends and Ruins

Ireland has a long, twisting history dating back to the Vikings who settled the first towns and ports to the Normans who built castles and cities and eventually, the English who dominated the island. Head to Ireland’s ‘Sunny Southeast’ for a bit of adventure and history! The Viking Museum uses virtual reality to take visitors back into time while nature lovers can walk through stone circles and longships at the Irish National Heritage Park.

4. Irish Castles You Can Stay In

One of the most unique things to do in Ireland is to stay overnight in a castle! Many Irish castles and manor houses have been converted into luxury hotels. There’s nothing more relaxing than going for a hike in the morning and returning to have afternoon tea by the fire!

5. Irish Pubs

Irish pubs are steeped in tradition – some like the Brazen Head in Dublin are more than 800 years old! Many have been cobbled together from multiple houses and it’s a trip wandering through the many rooms. Also, unlike American bars, Irish pubs are family-friendly, serving food and entertainment at all hours of the day.

There’s nothing like a proper pour of Guinness from a quaint Irish establishment. It really does taste better in Ireland!

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