We experienced lots of nifty things in Ireland, but the ones listed below were our particular favorites. We’re a family of three with a toddler, so our recommendations lean towards friendly dogs and good food rather than awesome nightlife.
We booked three different cottage-type places in Ireland through Air B&B and loved them all. These are all hearty recommendations.
Rural Location Amid Magic Landscape (Skibbereen) – beautiful garden and surrounding farmlands, peaceful, fantastic hosts
The Enchanting Mill Cottage (Kilkenney) – cozy, amazing fireplace near a comfy couch
Badger Hill Low-Impact Chalet (Wexford) – serene, friendly animals and family
To our (vegetarian-leaning) tastes, the food in Ireland from restaurants was good, but generally not amazing – with the exceptions of the ones listed below, which were great. We had good luck with searching out provisions to cook on our own.
Skibbereen Farmers Market: great produce, industrious children selling various wares, amazing lattes out of the back of a truck
The Glebe Gardens in Baltimore: fresh, local food, and fantastic gardens to stroll, fancy chickens
Knockdrinna Farm Stand Cafe in Stoneyford, Co Kilkenny: best soda bread we had in Ireland, very good food overall
Sol Cafe – warm vegetable nut roast, fish on walls
Green Acres in Wexford: lovely produce and prepared foods, cafe with yummy lattes
Linda McCartney Frozen Vegetarian Food: while these are not exclusive to Ireland, I’d never had these before, and the farmhouse pies in particular knocked my vegetarian socks off
While we skipped many of the traditional tourist activities, we did really enjoy the places listed below.
Kilmainham Goal in Dublin: great place to begin to learn about the events leading to the founding of independent Ireland
Schull Equestrian Centre: very well-kept horses, beautiful trails for riding
Whale Watch West Cork in Baltimore: possibly the friendliest captain ever, environmentally friendly practices
The Ewe Sculpture Garden in Glengariff: fun for kids, witty social commentary for adults
Kells Priory: beautiful open space to explore, lots of sheep
Keelbeg Strand in Union Hall: secluded,tiny beach, great boat watching
The Oscar Wilde: classy overnight ride between Ireland and France, dolphin watching
The Treehouse in Skibbereen: great indoor play area for rainy days, good snacks