Photo Courtesy of Morgan AgesenWe should have a castle.Skyline from our room at the MerrionPub DublinConnemaraIreland trekking adventure tourThe 6th century monastic site of GlendaloughWicklow's National Park, Glenmacnass Waterfalls

Families will love:

  • Medieval fortresses and castles
  • Indescribable scenery
  • The luck of the Irish

When you think of Ireland, you may think of rolling green hills and meadows spanning as far as the eye can see. You may envision rocky cliffs bordering along raging seas. Small towns seemingly consisting of one main road, a two-lane road at that, passing by quaint stone churches, tiny pubs and stone cottages with flowerboxes overflowing with color, even on rain-filled days. You ... more
When you think of Ireland, you may think of rolling green hills and meadows spanning as far as the eye can see. You may envision rocky cliffs bordering along raging seas. Small towns seemingly consisting of one main road, a two-lane road at that, passing by quaint stone churches, tiny pubs and stone cottages with flowerboxes overflowing with color, even on rain-filled days. You may imagine fields filled with sheep, tiny roads that can occupy even tinier cars, and Irish music filling the air with song. And with the exception of the Irish music wafting about everywhere you go, all you envision of Ireland would not be a figment of your imagination, but an actual sense of what you'll encounter during a family vacation to the Irish countryside and coasts.

It's no joke that every person traveling to the Emerald Isle returns exclaiming, "It's so unbelievably green!" Perhaps it's the sea air or the mist and rain that frequently appears, but Ireland is, in fact, unbelievable green. And while every twist and turn along its very easily manageable roads and highways will make you pull off the road to take photos, Ireland is much more than its country's beauty. Its cities, from Dublin to Cork to Limerick to Galway, are not small towns set adrift. No, these cosmopolitan cities are steeped in history, as well modern European destinations complete with outstanding shops and gourmet dining. Yes, gourmet dining! You'll find your fish and chips and cabbage and potato dishes, mostly in small inns and public houses, but the country's restaurants do actually know how to serve up delicious fare worthy of accolades.

Perhaps one of the best parts of a vacation to Ireland isn't just the chance to step back in time to a land of castles and medieval fortresses, but its people. Whether in a big city or a small country pub, we've never encountered an entire country filled with such friendly people, eager to talk to Americans and provide tips and insights on what to see and do in their beloved country. It is a place where numerous friends were made, and no doubt we will return.

But is Ireland for children? Or is this a trip you should take when the kids are teens or, better yet, out of the house? Not at all, if you plan it right. Family is important to the Irish and they've lots to offer kids, from the wee ones to the "bored" teens, and even its most luxurious of hotels roll out the red carpet for your tykes. Ireland certainly is family friendly, and when planning a trip overseas, should be high on the list of countries to visit together.

You may also want to check out our Dublin Family Vacations section.

Written by Lissa Poirot less

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