As a result of its surging art scene, live music venues and culinary hot spots, County Cork has been developing a strong cultural reputation of its own for years. Located on an island in the center of the River Lee, Cork is a busy metropolis made up of ancient narrow side streets and modern architectural marvels.
Cork is the center of commercial and cultural activity in County Cork, and it is in the midst of an ongoing process of urban renewal. This means a growing list of new restaurants, bars, art galleries and performance venues every year. This energetic new life makes Cork an exciting and lively vacation destination. However, it's still possible to find a bit of the older life of Ireland within the city and around the surrounding countryside.
Here are a few suggestions of specific things to do and see while in Cork:
- Go on a whale watching excursion: Take a charter boat trip with a knowledgeable guide and see Minke whales, porpoises and Atlantic grey seals.
- Go sea kayaking: Rent a sea kayak and explore the shoreline ecosystems of Cork. Or, take a paddling trip through the city along the River Lee.
- Visit Garinish Island: Situated in Glengarriff Harbor, this popular island offers plenty of natural beauty, along with Italian gardens and a historic tower.
- Visit Spike Island: This island is home to an old prison and military barracks. Its history is very rich and goes back to Norman and Viking conquests prior to the 12th century.
- Take a day trip: From your vacation rental or condo in Cork City, it's easy to take a daylong excursion to Blarney, Kinsale and the harbor town of Cobh. See the Blarney stone and some of Ireland's important historic sites.
- Visit the Blackrock Castle Observatory: Learn about science and the history of life at this observatory and planetarium, a wonderful way to spend a day with children.
You'll never run out of fun and exciting things to do in and around Cork, and you'll also have no trouble finding the perfect vacation rental for your time here. Many travelers like to rent a sleek cosmopolitan condo in the heart of the city, close to the nightlife. If you'd rather stay away from the hustle and bustle of downtown, book a luxurious country villa in the surrounding area of County Cork.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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