Whether you’re traveling with a loved one to a romantic destination for Valentine’s Day or just looking for an excuse to escape with your partner to the Emerald Isle, Ireland has attractions for any of romantic (or not) occasion.
Busy this holiday season? Make it a family affair any time of year and bring the kids through the island’s incredible history and fairy-tale attractions. Luckily, this list of Irish locales can accommodate families, couples or both.
Any visit to Northern Ireland wouldn’t be complete without a day spent at the most-visited tourist attraction: the Titanic Belfast exhibit. Known world-round by film aficionados, history buffs and basically anyone with a means to keeping up with pop culture, Titanic was more than just an Oscar-winning film. See firsthand where the iconic ship was built, learn about its history and take the obligatory “King of the World” pose for photos as Jack did in the film.
Make it a bit more romantic with your partner and enjoy Sunday Afternoon Tea by the Grand Staircase, featured in the film.
Back in the Republic of Ireland, visit the incredible gardens of the Kylemore Abbey in County Galway. The impressive structure was originally designed as a token of love in the late 1800s — already sealing its fate as a great destination for couples. Walk along the green woodland paths and stop in the impeccable gardens with your partner, or make it more of a family trip with historic tours and take in the impressive architecture.
History buffs can visit St. Valentine’s Shrine in Dublin’s Whitefriar Street Church year-round, while lovebirds can enjoy a unique experience during the holiday season. Couples visiting the church and shrine in February should make a point to bring their rings to the Feb. 14 special Blessing of Rings ceremony. Plenty of locals and visitors alike will be in attendance, getting engagement and wedding rings blessed for the big day, as well as couples visiting on an annual anniversary pilgrimage.
Over in County Donegal, the Fanad Head Lighthouse holds a special place in romantics’ hearts. Voted one of the most scenic in the world, the lighthouse offers incredible overlooks to the Wild Atlantic Way and quaint town walks. Guests can stay the night and enjoy the local attractions at their own pace. The whole family will love the rugged, yet quaint town, filled with Irish-speaking locals and endless natural beauty.
Bring the older kids out for a pint after the lighthouse tour and extend your stay or just make it a daytrip and head back to the local town of Bundoran for fun surfing lessons and adventure excursions.
Looking for something to do with the younger kids? Bundoran also offers an indoor waterpark and amusement fun.
By Hainan Airlines
You’ve heard of pub crawls, where beer enthusiasts explore a new city by visiting — and tasting — bars and pubs in the company of an expert guide. Well, this year, visitors to New York City can have a similar experience tailor-made for kids and anyone in the family who loves dessert. Sugartooth Tours created a destination tour of Manhattan called Village to Village Cupcake and Cookie Crawl.
As we enter the height of the busy holiday season families everywhere make plans to celebrate together. While many families find the biggest obstacle is juggling how to fairly spend time with more than one side of the family, many families face a much more complex problem — one of not just blended families but blended faiths.
Traveling with the whole crew, solo or with your partner can really shake up your routine. Whether you’re an early morning runner, late afternoon city explorer or looking for any excuse to get to the park and tire out the rambunctious kids on your next family trip, wouldn’t it all be so much more fun if you had a rescue dog along?