• Kinsale, Ireland

Kinsale & Cobh

County Cork, on Ireland's south coast, is fringed with historic port towns and scenic peninsulas. The typical tour-bus route here includes Blarney Castle and Killarney — places where most tourists wear nametags. But rather than waiting in an interminable line just to kiss the spit-slathered Blarney Stone, spend your time in County Cork enjoying the bustling, historic seaside towns of Kinsale and Cobh. Pint-sized and friendly, Kinsale is a delightful place full of maritime history, thanks to the town's naturally sheltered bay and a massive 17th-century star fort. Nearby Cobh has an inviting waterfront that's colorful, yet salty, with a playful promenade.