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Shannon, in the Western Ireland county of Clare, is a completely planned town that did not spring up until after World War II. The city is close to several villages filled with friendly citizens and historical attractions, but it is also only a short drive away from the very scenic country roads, mountains, or the Atlantic coast in Clare County. The people here remain quite attached to the land and its natural beauty.
As this is Ireland, there are plenty of pubs in Shannon serving authentic Irish cuisine. Though potatoes are no longer the central food staple (as it was during the 17th and 18th century), it is still the basis for many traditional dishes. You will also find a variety of other regional ingredients starting to appear in Shannon as well. Salmon, oysters and other types of seafood from the ocean nearby are good dishes to try if you are in a restaurant.
Of course, pubs remain at the heart of evening socializing, though Ireland recently banned smoking in these establishments. Traditional music is often played in pubs, so this may be the cheapest way for you to enjoy some Irish culture. Try an Irish breakfast, a tall glass of Guinness or some Baileys Irish Cream cocktails to top off the effect.