Travel

The Fair City {Dublin, Ireland}

Discover the Fair City of Dublin, Baile Átha Cliath in Irish. Dublin is the capital of Ireland and the largest city on the island. There is so much to see and do in this city, so here is a closer look at some of the sights if you only have a short while in the city.

The Fair City {Dublin, Ireland}

Wander the Streets of Dublin

Dublin’s streets are filled with historic and modern architecture. Each turn brings you a new discovery. If you have a limited amount of time, we highly recommend you check out one of Dublin’s hop on hop off buses. This is a great way to catch glimpses of the city and learn some history, without walking yourself to death.

Streets of Dublin, IrelandStreets of Dublin, Ireland

Lunch at The Brazen Head

After a long plane ride to Emerald Isle, lunch is undoubtedly in order. So, why not lunch at Ireland’s oldest pub, The Brazen Head? Dating back to 1198, The Brazen Head will help you jump start on one part of Ireland’s culture, beer and pubs. The present-day building was actually built in 1754 as a coaching inn, but there has been a hostelry here since 1198. Not only does it have a rich history, but they also serve a great pint and delicious food.

The Brazen Head | Dublin, Ireland The Brazen Head | Dublin, Ireland The Brazen Head | Dublin, Ireland

Visit the Guinness Storehouse Factory

Get to know Ireland’s most famous beer up close and personal. A tour through the Guinness Storehouse Factory will reveal what goes into making every pint of Guinness and learn more about the brand. Housed in the legendary St. James’s Gate Brewery, this location has been home to the Guinness Brewery since 1759. Also, fun fact, did you know Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease for this site? Lastly, don’t miss the opportunity to pour the perfect pint and to sip it on the roof-top bar.

Guinness Storehouse | Dublin, Ireland Guinness Storehouse | Dublin, Ireland Guinness Storehouse | Dublin, Ireland

Visit Christ Church Cathedral

Lesser known the St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, Christ Church Cathedral is the oldest of the two Cathedrals and is one of three Cathedrals you can see from River Liffey. Established around 1028, Christ Church Cathedral, formally known as The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, is an excellent example of medieval architecture. Another fun fact, Christ Church Cathedral took part in the first performance of Handel’s Messiah in Dublin in 1742.

Christ Church Cathedral | Dublin, Ireland Christ Church Cathedral | Dublin, Ireland Christ Church Cathedral | Dublin, IrelandChrist Church Cathedral | Dublin, Ireland

Check Out a Book of Trinity College Library

This stop in Dublin was by far one of my favorites. Any book lover will wander around Ireland’s most extensive library like Belle in Beauty and the Beast. Trinity College and the Library were founded in 1592, and the most famous room in the Library is The Long Room. Construction of the Room started in 1712 and finished in 1732; it houses 200,000 of the Library’s oldest books, including the Book of Kells. This place is a Dublin “must see.”

Trinity College | Dublin, Ireland Trinity College | Dublin, Ireland Trinity College | Dublin, Ireland

Wonder at the Beauty of St. Patrick’s Cathedral

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, founded in 1191, is the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland. It is also the tallest and largest church in Ireland. Fun fact, St. Patrick’s is the final resting place of Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s travels and Dean of the Cathedral.

St. Patrick's Cathedral | Dublin, Ireland St. Patrick's Cathedral | Dublin, Ireland

 

What are your favorite sights in Dublin?

Travel

Top Places to Visit in Ireland

From Europe’s largest green space to the longest coastal touring route in the world, Ireland is a dream come true. The Emerald Isle is a country brimming with fun and fascinating ways to spend your days, below is a list of my favorite places from our week-long vacation.

Top Places to Visit in Ireland

Rent a Car

Ireland has the most incredible scenery, and the best way to see it is by car. Master driving on the “proper” side of the road as you explore the Ring of Kerry and the Wild Atlantic Way.

The Ring of Kerry | County Kerry, IrelandWild Atlantic Way | Ireland Wild Atlantic Way | Ireland

pullover // jeans // socks // boots // sunglasses

Drink a Beer or Whiskey

Our chauffeur from the hotel on day one told us that you would be judged more harshly for ordering a coffee at breakfast than a beer. We all made it our mission to try as many different beers as possible. There is more to Ireland than Guinness. Every town we visited had their own brewery, so ask your waiter about the local beer. Plus, you get a legit pint unlike in the U.S.

Ireland

Not a beer drinker? That’s ok. The drink recommended to us was Jameson and Red. Try it; it’s delicious!

Visit a Church

Ireland is dotted with as many churches as it is with sheep and cows. If you are looking for suggestions, then I recommend checking out the following.

Christ Church Cathedral

This church is located in Dublin and was founded in circa 1030. The thing I love most about this church is this is where Handel’s Messiah was first performed in Dublin in 1742.

Christ Church Cathedral | Dublin, Ireland

Cathedral Church of St Canices & The Close

St Canice’s Cathedral has been a place of worship since the 6th Century. Located in Kilkenny, the Close consists of the Cathedral round tower and the various buildings in and around the close area. I highly recommend climbing to the top of the monks’ tower.

The Cathedral Church of St Canice | Kilkenny, Ireland

Visit a Castle

Castles are a dime a dozen in Ireland, so find one that works for your schedule and check it out. We spent the day at Bunratty Castle and even enjoyed a fun dinner there one evening. This specific castle is a large 15th-century tower house.

Bunratty Castle | Co. Clare, Ireland

Blarney Stone

Hike to the top of Blarney Castle and kiss one of the more famous rocks in the world.

Blarney Castle | Co. Cork, Ireland Blarney Castle | Co. Cork, Ireland

Enjoy Pub Life

You cannot walk the streets in Ireland without passing a handful of pubs. One of the pieces of advice provided to us at the beginning of the trip by a local was to eat at the pubs. Pubs have restaurant-level food but are less expensive than some restaurants. Plus you get a more significant interaction with the locals and hear classical pub music, something that is worth the experience alone.

Cliffs of Moher

The cliffs are one of Ireland’s most visited attractions. They definitely live up to the hype and are absolutely stunning.

Cliffs of Moher | Co. Clare, Ireland

hat // jacket // sunglasses

Cliffs of Moher | Co. Clare, Ireland

 

What are your favorite places in Ireland?

Southern Experiences

Bourbon Y’all: Evan Williams

Evan Williams | Louisville, KY

Kentucky and bourbon are synonymous in some people’s books. Bourbon is America’s Native Spirit, but 95 percent of the world’s bourbon is made in Kentucky. What better place to start exploring bourbon than with a tour of Louisville’s first commercial distillery.

Evan Williams | Louisville, KY

Evan Williams was a Welsh immigrant who began distilling in 1783 in what is now Louisville. You can tour and participate in the Evan Williams Experience on Louisville’s Bourbon District, which is Main Street between Jackson and 10th Street. Here you get a taste of what Louisville was like during its bourbon heyday.

Evan Williams | Louisville, KY

The Evan Williams Bourbon Experience features a distillery, guided tours, and educational Bourbon tastings. They describe themselves as the “Epcot of Whiskey Row,” and it is quite the experience.

Evan Williams | Louisville, KY

You start off by learning a little about Evan Williams and how he established his distillery in the 1780s. Then you move to the distillery where you learn about the distilling process as well as the barrelling and aging process. Each bourbon at Evan Williams remains in the rack house in Bardstown at least four years. From there you move to a scenario of Louisville and how it evolved with the bourbon industry.

Evan Williams | Louisville, KY Evan Williams | Louisville, KY

From there, it is time for a little tasting. You get to try three different straights in one of their fun tasting rooms. Our tour got to experience our tasting in the “Don Draper” room.

Evan Williams | Louisville, KY

The next time you are in Louisville, I highly recommend trying out the Evan Williams Experience.

Evan Williams | Louisville, KY

 

What is your favorite brand of bourbon?

Southern Experiences

The Georgia Spa {Warm Springs, GA}

The Georgia Spa | Warm Springs, GA

Nestled amongst rolling hills, freshwater springs and steeped in traditional southern charm and hospitality is the small town of Warm Springs, Georgia. This small town, which served many years as an escape for the residents of Savannah in the late 18th century who were looking for refuge from yellow fever. However, Warm Springs gained national recognition due to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1924. Today, Warm Springs is known for tourism and southern charm. Below is an itinerary for a weekend getaway to this charming town located just an hour south of Atlanta.

Saturday Morning

Warm Springs is located adjacent to F. D. Roosevelt State Park, Georgia’s largest state park. This park is a hiker’s and backpacker’s haven with more than 40 miles of trails. It is the perfect place to get your steps in for the day and explore one of Georgia’s gems.

F.D. Roosevelt State Park | Pine Mountain, GA

After a day of hiking, you are going to need some substance, and what is better than some delicious BBQ. Mac’s BBQ is located downtown and is an easy walking distance of most downtown attractions. After dinner, make the short drive over to the town of Woodbury to see Red Oak Creek Covered Bridge, the oldest covered bridge in Georgia.

Red Oak Creek Covered Bridge | Woodberry, GA Red Oak Creek Covered Bridge | Woodberry, GA

shirt // jeans // glasses

After exploring the countryside, you’ll be ready to tuck in early at the Hotel Warm Springs.

Hotel Warm Springs | Warm Springs, GA

Sunday Morning

For Sunday, explore one of the reasons this small town is such a large attraction, Little White House. Touring the property and the springs will take most of the morning. Take your time and learn more about our 32nd President and his love for Warm Springs, Georgia.

Little White House | Warm Springs, GA Little White House | Warm Springs, GA

After getting a dose of history, grab a delicious Southern meal at Bulloch House Restaurant followed by a wine tasting at Warm Springs Winery before heading back to Atlanta.

Bulloch House Restaurant | Warm Springs, GA Warm Springs Winery | Warm Springs, GA

 

Are you ready to explore this small town in Georgia?

Southern Experiences

The Holy City {Charleston, SC}

Charleston, South Carolina is known for its bright colored streets, southern hospitality, and rich history. It is a city that needs to be on your bucket list. With something for everyone, Charleston provides the perfect backdrop for a weekend getaway. Below is a suggested itinerary for a long weekend.

The Holy City {Charleston, SC}

Need a place to stay? Check out Andrew Pickney Inn.

Saturday

There is more to Charleston than just the city. With several plantations dotting the countryside around the city, start your weekend off by exploring the land of the people who influenced this city. As I mentioned, there are several to choose from, but my favorites are Boone Hall Plantation, with its avenue of oaks; Middleton Place, the oldest landscaped gardens in the country; or Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, America’s first public garden. All of these plantations will take a few hours to tour, so map it out in advance. Luckily, Middleton Place and Magnolia are neighbors.

Middleton Place | Charleston, SCMagnolia Plantation & Gardens | Charleston, SC

Exploring many plantations will take a good part of your day, but if you have time swing by Charleston’s famed Angel Oak. This Southern live oak is located in located in Angel Oak Park (clever!) on Johns Island. The tree is estimated to be 400 to 500 years old and produces shade that covers 17,200 square feet. At its highest point, it stands at 66.5 feet. It’s a place you’ll not want to miss! Please note – The park is open until 4:00 PM Monday to Saturday and until 5:00 on Sunday.

Angel Oak | Charleston, SC Angel Oak | Charleston, SC

Saturday Evening

Spend the evening strolling through Charleston’s City Market. Charleston’s historic City Market is the cultural heart of Charleston since 1807, and one you must visit. Stretching down four city blocks, City Market is a great place to meet some of Charleston’s local artists and is a great place to purchase souvenirs from your visit, like Sweetgrass Baskets. The Market is open daily from 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM and from 6:30 to 10:30 PM on Fridays and Saturdays during the months of April to December.

City Market | Charleston, SCCity Market | Charleston, SC

Once you’ve done a little shopping, stop for dinner at Henry’s House. I’ll save you the trouble – this restaurant has the best she-crab soup in the city!

Sunday

If the weather is nice, spend today getting to know the birthplace of the American Civil War with a trip to Fort Sumter. You’ll definitely want to check out boat times in advance of arriving so you don’t have to spend too much time waiting. If you have kids, the aquarium is right next door!

Fort Sumter | Charleston, SC

Upon finishing your tour of Fort Sumter, head back downtown for lunch at Charleston Crab House. Spend the afternoon exploring Charleston! The city is easy to navigate for pedestrians.

Charleston, SC

The two items you’ll not want to miss are the Pineapple Fountain and Rainbow Row.

The Pineapple Fountain is one of the city’s symbols and is located in Waterfront Park. This area of the Charleston is perfect for a resting spot and to soak up the sea breeze.

Pineapple Fountain | Charleston, SC

Rainbow Row is the nickname of thirteen colorful Georgian row houses due to their bright facades. In fact, this is the longest stretch of Georgian row houses in the United States and is one of the most photographed spots in Charleston.

Rainbow Row | Charleston, SC

shirt // shorts // shoes // watch

Rainbow Row | Charleston, SC

Sunday  Evening

Before dinner, grab drinks on the rooftop of Market Pavilion Hotel. You do not have to be a guest to access the rooftop bar, and it offers splendid views of the city from above. Then head off to dinner and grab some pralines for dessert at Savannah’s Candy Kitchen.

Monday

Before you leave Charleston, you must take a carriage ride. This is a fun way to see different parts of the city and to learn a little more history. After your tour, if you have time, take yourself on a walking tour of Charleston’s old churches.

Charleston, SC Charleston, SC Charleston, SC Charleston, SC Charleston, SC Charleston, SC

 

What are your favorite sites of Charleston?