Featured Destination:

Ireland

Fall and winter in Ireland are packed with incredible experiences -- and fewer tourists -- at the most popular attractions. Stroll through the pleasant campus of Dublin’s Trinity College, dating back to the 1700s. Discover the rise and fall of the Titanic at the ship’s birthplace in Belfast.

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The island is dotted with castles and stately homes, from the Wild Atlantic Way on the west coast to Ireland's Ancient East. Ballynahinch Castle in County Galway was once home to a pirate queen. Birr Castle in County Offaly is a hotbed of innovation. “Braveheart” was filmed at Trim Castle in County Meath.

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Ireland’s green pastures and surrounding waters have helped create outstanding flavors (picture the creamiest butter imaginable). After a day of sightseeing, warm up with traditional Irish cuisine like a hot bowl of Guinness stew and a smooth glass of Irish whiskey. Check out food festivals like Kinsale Gourmet Festival (Oct. 13-14).

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Northern Ireland’s capital, Belfast, is a hub of culture and cuisine. A visit here brings you to the doorstep of the Causeway Coastal Route to explore the Giant’s Causeway (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), clifftop Dunluce Castle, and The Gobbins, a coastal path full of caves, tunnels and bridges.

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Enjoy the festive season in Ireland at their Christmas markets, with Galway (Nov. 16-Dec. 22) and Belfast (Nov. 17-Dec. 22) hosting popular ones. Waterford Winterval, a Christmas winter festival, offers sleigh rides and samples of tasty holiday treats. Keep the celebrations going with some traditional music at Tradfest (Jan. 23-27).

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