From LAX, Aer Lingus offers nonstop flights to Dublin; Delta, American, Continental and Lufthansa offer connecting service (change of planes). Restricted round-trip fares begin at $418 until April 30 and $548 during May.
To call the numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (the international dialing code), 353 (the country code for Ireland) and the number, omitting the initial 0.
WHERE TO STAY
Ashbourne House, Slieverue, County Waterford, 051-832037, www.waterfordfarms.com/ashbourne. A quirky but comfortable B&B in quiet horse country just outside Waterford City. Doubles $85, including breakfast.
Garnish House, Western Road, Cork City, 021-4275111, www.garnish.ie. This welcoming B&B, near the university and within walking distance of the old part of town, serves a world-class breakfast. Doubles from $134, including a superb breakfast.
Eldon House, Bridge Street, Skibbereen, 028-22000, www.eldon-hotel.com. A comfortable small-town hotel with quiet rooms but a dreary breakfast. Doubles from $107, including breakfast.
Kilronan House, 70 Adelaide Road, Dublin 2; 01-475-5266, www.dublinn.com. This inn, an easy walk to St. Stephen's Green, makes up for its cramped quarters with a fine breakfast, a peaceful neighborhood and the kind-hearted helpfulness of owner Terry Masterson. Doubles from $184, breakfast included.
WHERE TO EAT,
DRINK & HEAR MUSIC
The Thirsty Scholar, Western Road, Cork; 021-427-6209, www.thethirsty.com. A lively pub with an old interior and a young clientele drawn from the local universities. Music ranges from the traditional to college-party bands.
The Paragon, 29 Main St., Skibbereen; 028-21772 A relaxed, friendly pub that often showcases terrific traditional live music.
The Tzar, Bridge Street, Skibbereen; The dining room above this popular pub has surprisingly good food — try the wild Irish salmon on a bed of leeks.
Famine Ship Dunbrody, JFK Trust, the Quay, New Ross, 051-425239, www.dunbrody.com.
Atlantic Sea Kayaking, the Abbey, Skibbereen, 028-21058, www.atlanticseakayaking.com.
Bru Boru, Cashel, 062-61122, www.comhaltas.com/bru.
TO LEARN MORE:
Tourism Ireland, (800) 223-6470, www.tourismireland.com.
-- Colleen Dunn Bates