By Sara Blatnik

Nestled in the Heartland, just 20 minutes from Columbus, Ohio, is a charming, yet vibrant city that celebrates the spirit of Ireland 24/7/365. Locals live and breathe what they call the “Irish Attitude” and for first-time visitors to Dublin, Ohio, this love of all things Irish is palpable.

Legend has it the city got its name from an Irish gentleman who surveyed the land and became nostalgic for his birthplace of Dublin, Ireland, when he saw the beaming sun on the surrounding hills and dales of the land. The Midwest town pays homage to its namesake year-round and there are odes to the Emerald Isle around every turn.

Irish Kettle Dinner

The spirit of the Ireland is vibrant amidst 19th-century architecture, limestone fences and brick sidewalks in Historic Downtown Dublin. You can stroll down quaint streets lined with boutiques and sweet shops that offer trinkets and gifts to take a wee bit of Ireland home. Delectable Irish-inspired snacks and meals can be found across the city — like an Irish Egg Roll or a traditional Irish Kettle Dinner complete with corned beef, Irish bangers, cabbage, carrots, buttered red skin potatoes and pot liquor.

Dublin is home to many “Irish Approved” experiences including the city’s new Celtic Cocktail Trail which highlights the best of its dining and craft cocktails at 11 stops throughout the city. You can pull up a barstool, get friendly with the locals and sip on a pint of expertly-drawn Guinness in one of the authentic Irish pubs or indulge in a lucky libation at one of the trail’s cocktail stops.

Leatherlips Public Art

The nation’s first Irish Fairy Door Trail takes you on a whimsical adventure through Dublin searching for tiny doors where magical fairies reside. As you stroll throughout the city, you’re also bound to see impressive public art with famous sculptures including “Leatherlips,” “Field of Corn” and “Exuvia.”

Hikers, bikers and sunshine lovers appreciate Dublin’s breathtaking outdoor views. With multiple waterfalls throughout the city including Indian Run Falls, Hayden Falls, Wedgewood Hills Falls and Glick Park & Overlook, you can go on a self-guided tour to explore Mother Nature’s best work in the crisp, spring air, a favorite among both tourists and locals. More than 100 miles of bike paths and over 60 parks provide endless activities and scenic sunset views in the warmer months. Dublin is also right around the corner from the top zoo in the nation, the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium.

Dublin Irish Festival

Dublin’s year-round events celebrate the spirit, heritage and attitude behind the city’s name. In addition to the annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration in March, it’s home to the largest three-day Irish festival in the world, the Dublin Irish Festival — as well as the Memorial Tournament, Annual Frog Jump and Festival, Arthritis Car Show and Downtown Dublin events.

You don’t need a passport or Irish in your blood to experience Ireland with just a three hour drive from Detroit to Dublin, Ohio. The city is enthusiastic about celebrating the spirit, heritage and attitude behind the city’s name, and you will be too after a few days of soaking in their spirit of the Emerald Isle!