Cities named after Irish towns are all over the United States. There’s Erin, New York, Belfast, Pennsylvania, and even Killarney, Florida. But, when I think of THE most popular city in Ireland, I have to think of Dublin. It turns out there’s a Dublin, Ohio- only a few minutes northwest of Columbus and the city has a fervor for all things Irish. You don’t need to pull your passport out of storage to experience Irish fun any time of year- but when celebrating St. Patrick’s Day it’s the time of the year when the city comes alive! My family and I enjoyed the luck of the Irish this March in Historic Dublin and I’m excited to share with you the highlights from our fun weekend. Sláinte!
Dublin St. Patrick’s Day Parade
You may be surprised to learn that in Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day isn’t the party fest that it’s here in the States. The holiday has a much more revered and solemn feel- but I’ll take the party atmosphere any day!
On the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day, the streets come alive with both Dublin citizens and folks from out of town who love to wear green, orange, and white and salute the famous Irish holiday.
We had a ball making a short video filled with 2016 parade highlights:
If you’ve never attended the Dublin St. Pat’s Parade, you really should try to at least once. The mood is so upbeat and lively and the general splendor carries all through the weekend.
The Irish Fairy Doors of Dublin Trail
Throughout the day, we were on a hunt for fairy doors. The Irish Fairy Doors of Dublin Trail is home to seven cute, little ornately-decorated doors and each fairy occupant is named. If you’re planning on visiting Historic Dublin soon, stop by its Convention and Visitors Bureau and pick up a passport. Head to the fairy door locations, fill it out with the names of each fairy, return it, and you’ll receive a Fairy Doors of Dublin t-shirt. You can also print out the passport using the link above.
Right after the parade ends, the party continues at Dublin Blarney Bash. The party runs for 11 straight hours (from noon until 11pm) and it’s filled with dancers, live musical acts, and amazing food offerings. This year, Blarney Bash hosted several Columbus food trucks in addition to traditional Irish food stands- and even green beer! This year, tickets ran $7 in advance and $10 at the door. There’s no cost for children 12 and under, and hit the doors before 4pm and everyone 17 and under gets in free.
Walking the Streets of Historic Dublin
I’ve never been to Dublin, Ireland, so I can only assume the beauty from the images and video I constantly look at, but, I’ve gotta tell ya, Historic Dublin, Ohio, has its attention to details locked down.
We got really lucky and hit some unusually warm weather on our visit, so it was an obvious choice to take a stroll around the city and check out the gorgeous buildings and homes.
If you’re really up for a beautiful stroll, head towards the Dublin Bridge and take the path that leads below it (it’s a pretty wooden walkway with stairs).
The path is calm and serene, and the views of the famous Scioto River that passes through Columbus are so pretty.
The Kid and I had a great time enjoying the peace and quiet- and, of course, listening to the river.
Say I was in Historic Dublin on a day that doesn’t fall on St. Patrick’s Day Parade day. What is there to see and do?
Shopping– Historic Dublin has loads of Irish themed shops and from the Ha’Penny Bridge Imports to Boho 72 Boutique, the city offers plenty of boutique shopping.
Dining– Of course you’ll find traditional Irish dining, but there’s also Jeni’s Ice Cream right on the corner (we stopped there for a mid-afternoon snack.) and American dining as well.
Want to know what’s on the calendar? Here’s a list of the fun!
Holiday Inn Express Dublin
I cannot write about my visit to Dublin, Ohio, without mentioning our stay at Holiday Inn Express Dublin! The hotel is squeaky clean, has a no noise policy after 9pm (we’re hit the sack early so this was a welcomed touch!), and the complimentary breakfast was delicious. The staff are really friendly as well, and we adored the fact that there’s a car port to pull into when unloading our luggage- we had a bunch of rain on the last day of our visit and it saved us from getting soaked while packing up the car!
The hotel has a super clean indoor swimming pool, fitness center, and business center, and the beds are really comfy. If you like room to move about and have a teen, we loved the king room with a pull out sofa.
Disclosure: I was hosted by the Dublin Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Holiday Inn Express Dublin to give you fine folks the scoop on what makes the city so perfect for visitors. I was not asked to state a particular point of view and all opinions are my own!