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 days a year.

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.

While Dublin is home to many “Irish Approved” experiences year-round, it rolls out the green carpet for its favorite holiday: St. Patrick’s Day. The annual celebration (this year on Saturday, March 16) kicks off with a feast of green, shamrock-shaped pancakes.

The annual city-wide parade is truly a celebration of Irish entertainment. It features marching bands, pipe & drums, a bugle corp, an equestrian team, stilt walkers, clowns, and really big balloons.

Of course, no St. Paddy’s Day celebration is complete without some traditional Irish eats and a beer or two. The city hosts a two-day outdoor block party for the 21+ crowd where you can chow down on authentic Irish-inspired dishes like Guinness beer-battered fish and chips and Irish Reubens while taking in the sounds of bagpipes and enjoying Irish dance. But don’t worry, Dublin features several attractions perfect for family-friendly fun like the Irish Fairy Door Trail, a whimsical adventure in search of magical fairies throughout Historic Dublin and Bridge Park.

Dublin is home to other year-round Irish attractions like the Celtic Cocktail Trail which highlights the best of its dining and craft cocktails at 14 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 swanky rooftop bars. Visitors can also receive Irish Approved services and products inspired by Ireland like an authentic Irish wake-up call each morning at local hotels.

The Ohio city is also filled with history. 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.

The spirit of 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.

The best part? You don’t need a passport or Irish in your blood to experience Ireland. Getting to Dublin by car and plane is painless and perfectly accessible for a quick weekend getaway. Pack the car and road trip from these U.S. cities:

      • Cleveland: 2 hours
      • Indianapolis: 2 hours and 45 minutes
      • Detroit: 3 ½ hours
      • Pittsburgh: 3 ½ hours
      • Louisville: 3 ½ hours
      • Chicago: 5 hours

Or, jump on a quick, 2-hour flight from these U.S. cities:

      • NYC: under $300 roundtrip
      • Atlanta: under $300 roundtrip
      • Miami: under $300 roundtrip

Dublin, Ohio, 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!

This article was submitted to the IrishCentral contributors network by a member of the global Irish community. To become an IrishCentral contributor click here.