Ireland is full of fun, food and fabulous attractions. A flight to Shannon Airport is only about five hours from the east coast of the US.
Ireland is full of castles, unspoilt nature, and seafood. Public transportation is easy and cheap, everyone speaks English, and they are all very friendly to North Americans. Great bed and breakfasts abound. Expect to pay around $13 for a meal and $35 for accommodation each night outside Dublin.
Dublin caters to tourists, so it does not have the real Irish feel of Cork or Galway, but it does have a fantastic amount of attractions, including Trinity College and the two cathedrals. The youth hostels near Christ Church Cathedral are clean and modern. Expect to pay $20 to $100 per night, depending on season and number of people in the room.