March is perhaps one of the most playful months of the year. In a typical year, it’s the time when New Englanders and Midwesterners are finally escaping the snowy months of winter and enjoying the first signs of spring. (Clearly, 2015 isn’t exactly “typical.”) It’s the time when Julius Caesar failed to watch his back, when March Madness hits us all, and when we all collectively decide to be Irish for a day.
If you really want to be Irish, this is a great time of year to visit the small but proud island of Ireland. Interestingly, up until 1970 pubs were actually closed in Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day. Since the mid-90s, however, Ireland has taken a kindly eye to our predominately secular celebration of this famous Irish day and started organizing festivities throughout the country to commemorate St. Patrick’s Day.
If you travel to Ireland this spring, here are a few sites that you absolutely shouldn’t miss:
We know, this one is a bit of a no-brainer. But it still merits mentioning, especially because Dublin is where Ireland’s annual St. Patrick’s Festival is held. The multi-day celebration falls on a weekend this year and includes a parade, a variety of performances and activities, and more than its fair share of Guinness.
If you don’t make it in time for the festival, not to worry. Dublin is also jam-packed with amazing architecture, history, and delightful pubs. If you’re a literature fan, we highly recommend visiting the Dublin Writers Museum as well as the Old Library at Trinity College where the Book of Kells is housed.
Killarney National Park
For nature lovers, there are few delights as wonderful as Ireland’s Killarney National Park. The overwhelming greenery might make you forget that there are other colors worth looking at. The park is filled to the brim with mountains, lakes, and woodlands. Wildlife that you might come across include the white-tailed sea eagle, the native red deer, and a number of beautiful rare insects.
The Cliffs of Moher
Along the coast in County Clare, you’ll find one of the most dramatic sites in all of Ireland – the Cliffs of Moher. These almost perfectly vertical cliffs jet to a height of 666 feet above the sea. Make sure to arrive on a clear day to marvel at the beauty of these cliffs and listen to the booming waves crashing below, and be sure to do all of this with a pint of Guinness in hand.
Wherever your travels take you this spring, we’d love to hear about them. Please share the story of your latest international adventure in the comments below.
And, if you decide to travel to Ireland, give us a call to learn about Ireland visas and passport requirements. Currently, US passport holders do not need a tourist visa to Ireland if they wish to simply visit the country for 90 days or less. Again, call (877) 917-9438 if you’re curious about student visas or longer travel stints in Ireland.