St. Patrick’s Day — the way Americans do it — is completely its own beast. And in our special kind of (ahem) tribute to Ireland this time of year, so much gets lost between the green-colored Jell-O shots and rapid-fire pints of Guinness. Hey, no judgement. But let’s remember that the country we’re referencing around this holiday is rich in culture — and gorgeous. With that, we present to you these breathtaking Irish destinations for all of your St. Patrick’s daydreaming... and future trip planning.
1. Killarney National Park
If you want to dive into a landscape that looks like it’s straight out of the Irish storybook you’ve always had in your mind, go to the Killarney National Park.
2. Giant’s Causeway
Giant's Causeway is a mystical spot that was first created somewhere between 50 and 60 million years ago via volcanic activity. An estimated 40,000 basalt columns are still planted in this spot today, inspiring awe and accompanying many travelers in their photos.
3. The Dingle Peninsula
The Dingle Peninsula, the town, the bay — all of the Dingles are worth seeing when in Ireland. Sandy shorelines and dreamy views abound, so make sure your camera is charged and get ready to take it all in from one zen-like moment to the next.
4. Cliffs of Moher
The steep and ragged Cliffs of Moher are a sight to see indeed. Lush green tops them all the way to their Atlantic Ocean drop-off points, making for an iconic glimpse into picturesque Ireland.
5. Portstewart Strand
If you’re in Ireland and looking for a beach, look no further than Portstewart Strand. On the Northern Atlantic coast of Ireland, this beach is not only a gorgeous spot for lounging, but it’s thick with history, too.
6. Gougane Barra Forest Park
If the idea of walking on a mossy forest floor beneath towering and dense trees with everything green aglow as if it has electricity at times appeals to you, you’ll have to make a visit to Gougane Barra Forest Park in Ireland. It’s downright enchanting.
7. Croagh Patrick
Croagh Patrick is a mountain —2,507 feet in height — located in County Mayo. It’s been a site of both pagan and Christian pilgrimage. Climbing the mountain is a popular activity, but even if you just meander through the land at its foot, seeing it will make your Irish experience that much more beautiful.
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