The fishing village of Doolin, only five minutes by car from Doonbeg, is known as the capital of Irish traditional music. In the town’s three pubs — McDermott’s, McGann’s, and O’Connors — patrons regularly enjoy live musical performances, usually involving the fiddle. Act like a local and order a Guinness, which unlike our imported version, has a smooth, nutty, molasses-like flavor and very little bitterness.
When it comes to shopping, I found the best boutiques in the quaint seaside town of La-hinch, also famous for its surfing. Kenny Woolen Mills has the most extensive offering of pottery, tweeds, and knitwear. Across the street, Donogh O’Loghlin has a terrific selection of men’s tweed jackets, while down the street you’ll find shops selling books, women’s clothing, and art.
It has been said that those in search of the real Ireland come to County Clare, where life moves slowly, where you can walk along the beach, stroll through tiny towns, and have your own Irish experience — one that isn’t in a guidebook.
Victoria Abbott Riccardi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.