Dublin, a suburb of Ohio’s capital city, Columbus, prides itself on its Irish flair. And it does a great job! With fun Irish festivals throughout the year, Irish influenced pubs, and an Irish Fairy Doors Trail that lead visitors on a quest to discover shops that sell Irish goods from buildings that are rich in history, the Irish influence is evident. Those that complete the trail, walk away with a bit o’ luck o’ the Irish in the form of a free souvenir t-shirt.
Why Visit Dublin?
Sometimes my husband and I want to get away from home without traveling too far. Driving for hours and even hopping on a plane for the weekend can be very taxing. Lucky for us, we live within driving distance of many wonderful locations that lend themselves to a perfect couple’s weekend getaway; Historic Dublin Ohio is one of those locations. From Fairy doors to an extensive art trail this quaint town on the edge of Columbus is perfect for a weekend getaway.
Dublin is an easy drive for those throughout Ohio as well as the surrounding states and is located less than 30 minutes from John Glenn International Airport (formerly Port Columbus). Plus, Dublin has everything I look for in a destination- roadside attractions and/or public art, history, great food and nature trails that allow you to get away from it all.
Dublin Art in Public Places
Dublin boasts an amazing art trail that features more than 70 sculptural elements. Over 20 years old, this program is a joint effort between the City of Dublin and the Dublin Arts Council. I’ve been a fan of the Art in Public Places trail since I first visited the Field of Corn years ago with my children. At that time, I had no idea that the program was so extensive.
Since that time, I’ve been able to seek out some of the other art pieces and to learn more about them via the Dublin Arts in Public Places Cell Phone Tour. The cell phone tour provides a comprehensive and interactive guide to the art pieces. You can listen to interviews with the artists and learn about the inspiration of each piece. The tour is available 24-hours a day, perfect for those early risers who want to explore the area before everyone else wakes up.
The Field of Corn, Dancing Hares and Leatherlips are three of my favorite pieces, and three I can’t resist stopping at almost every time I’m in the area.
Interesting tidbit: Leatherlips, which can be found in Scioto Park, was created in 1990 and was the first of over 70 pieces of public art that exists in Dublin today.
While exploring the Dublin Art in Public Places Trail, you’ll stop at the Dublin Art Center. This former home, turned community center is a stunning French-Eclectic styled property that was built in 1941 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Don’t miss your opportunity to go inside for a look around.
Nature in the midst of Dublin
In addition to the incredible art trail, Dublin boasts something else you may not initially know about when visiting the city. Dublin has 60 parks that include waterfalls! It rained through most of our visit to Dublin which made it a perfect time to view the falls. Both the Indian Run Falls and Hayden Run Falls were flowing heavily during our visit and couldn’t have been prettier. I still have Glacier Ridge Metro Park on my list of parks to explore in Dublin and the fact that we couldn’t visit everything during our stay just means that I need to plan another trip back.
Historic Walking Tour
Dublin is very historic as my husband and I found when we took the self-guided walking tour (brochure available in the Visitor Center) that lead us along brick-lined sidewalks to marvel at the charming examples of early 19th- century architecture. The entire historic district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
We may have gotten side-tracked by the Indian Run Cemetery, the oldest cemetery in the area with resting place of Ludwick Sells. The first burial took place in the cemetery in 1813. There are approximately 133 burials in the graveyard, the last one taking place in 1877. The cemetery, located behind the public library, is surrounded by the same stone-style fence that is prevalent throughout Dublin. Many of the stones are damaged and lean against the fence inside the gate.
One may think that Dublin was settled by Irish immigrants but that isn’t the case. The land was first inhabited by Native Americans. Then, Lieutenant James Holt was given about 800-acres of land by the Commonwealth of Virginia as payment for his service in the Revolutionary War. Later, Ludwick Sells scouted land along the Scioto River and decided on the site in 1803, the year Ohio became a state.
He asked the surveyor who platted his land, John Shields, to name the village which to that point was known as Sells Settlement. Shields, an Irishman, named the village after his home of Dublin, Ireland. Many of the original families were German and of other European descent. You can learn more about the history of Dublin here or pick up a walking tour brochure of the Dublin Historic District at the Visitor Center.
Pubs that serve Irish Fare
I prefer a glass of wine over a pint of Guinness, but you’ll find both at the Dublin Village Tavern. The lively atmosphere and friendly staff make it easy to see why this hopping business is a favorite among both locals and tourists. At the recommendation of the waitress, I ordered the Irish Kettle Dinner with corn beef, cabbage, carrots, redskin potatoes and pot liquor, while my husband devoured the meatloaf. Both were good, but the real treat here was the Root Beer Waffle Sundae. The warm Belgium waffle, topped with vanilla ice cream and root beer caramel sauce and candied pecans was the perfect dessert for two. It was so delicious that I may drive to Dublin in the future simply to order this sundae.
Brazenhead is another restaurant in Dublin that offers both an Irish atmosphere and Irish-inspired menu items. I was disappointed that we couldn’t try this popular spot as well but the wait was a bit longer than we had hoped for, as our visit to Dublin also coincided with prom.
Other Notable Places to Eat in Dublin
We couldn’t visit Dublin and not enjoy a bite of Graeter’s Ice Cream. Graeter’s in Dublin is the only location where visitors can enjoy a Shamrock Sundae year-round. Of course, I had to try the mint chocolate chip ice cream covered with chocolate syrup and topped with whip mint cream. The ice cream was very minty and I found myself wishing I’d made another choice. While it may be popular in Dublin, this vanilla ice cream loving gal was not a fan.
Because pizza and ice cream seem to be a norm when we travel, even after the kids are grown, we couldn’t resist ordering a pizza from Bridge Street Pizza, Dublin’s oldest pizza place. Seating is limited so we ordered our pizza and took it back to our room at the Sonesta ES Suites in Dublin . It was very good.
The Irish Fairy Doors of Dublin Trail
Grab a passport at the Visitor Center and set off on an adventure to discover eight tiny magical fairy doors in Historic Dublin. Once you find one, simply record the name of the resident fairy, fill your passport and return it to the Dublin Visitor & Information Center and don’t forget about that free Fairy Doors of Dublin t-shirt that I mentioned earlier.
Shopping in Dublin
While I would have loved to explore some of the shops in Dublin, including Ha’penny Bridge Imports of Ireland, my husband was not about to accompany me. Since we don’t live too far away, I decided to let him off the hook and return at another time to shop with friends’ instead. Not only is Dublin a great destination for a couple’s getaway, it lends itself perfectly to a girlfriend getaway as well.
Would you like to plan a visit to Dublin? You can view the digital visitor’s guide here or request a physical copy through the contact form.
Have you been to Dublin? What most appeals to you?
Thank you to the Dublin Ohio Convention and Visitors Bureau for arranging our stay.