From its verdant, rolling hills to its historic castles, Ireland is a special place—and we’ve been dreaming of the Emerald Isle frequently these days. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we’ve rounded up a few of the things we’re most excited to do when we can visit Ireland again. Read on to start mentally planning your own Irish escape; it’s never too early to start.
See the Cliffs of Moher
We’ be remiss not to start our list with the country’s most popular attraction, the jaw-dropping Cliffs of Moher. Shaping the coastline of County Clare, the cliffs are cut through with winding paths that offer stunning views. From that vantage point, the frothing Atlantic and Aran Islands, home to ancient ruins and sacred sites, are clear along the horizon. (And if you can’t wait to see them in person, add The Princess Bride and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince to your watch list.)
Explore Blarney Castle
Built almost 600 years ago, Blarney Castle is a can’t-miss stop on our dream tour of Ireland. It’s actually the third castle to be built on the site throughout history And it’s not just for history buff: Stroll the expansive grounds, home to ethereal gardens that feature plants from around the world. And if you lie on your back and kiss the fabled Blarney Stone, it’s said to give the gift of eloquence forever—though we wouldn’t recommend it during COVID-19.
Sample Guinness in Dublin
Ireland’s iconic brew, first crafted in Dublin 1759, is still a stronghold to this day—according to the company, more than 10 million glasses of it are enjoyed every day around the world. (We can’t actually verify if that’s true) Though it isn’t the craft beers of the U.S., aficionados will still appreciate a visit to the Guinness Brewhouse, a staple experience for visitors to Dublin. And if organized tours and tastings aren’t your thing, the city’s pub scene is the perfectly authentic way to enjoy a pint.
Drive the Ring of Kerry
Following the Iveragh Peninsula, this famous stretch of road in southwest Ireland is one of the country’s most scenic. It’s also tucked within Killarney National Park, the first national park in Ireland. The drive takes about three hours to complete—and don’t forget to add in time for stopping at scenic vistas or hikes—and If you’re comfortable driving on the opposite side of the road, you’ll be just fine; if not, bus tours are readily available to do the work for you.