road trip

Irish Road Tripping: Seaweed Baths, Rural Perfumeries and Vegan Castle Dinners

A drive across the Emerald Isle, shacking up at off-the-beaten-path castle resorts and dining at sweet vegan eateries in between spa appointments, is now one of our all-time favorite glam-casual adventures. Starting and ending in Dublin, with at least one pint of Guinness (it’s going vegan in 2017!) and a lot of drop-in yoga along the way, we winded through Sligo, Donegal and Galway on a wellness-themed trek.

Getting there

Ireland’s Aer Lingus started three new non-stop flights from the US in 2016: from Los Angeles, Hartford and Newark. It’s also launching a direct flight from Miami later in 2017. When returning home, a handy pre-clearance in Dublin and Shannon airports mean no customs lines at your home airport when you’re schlepping Duty Free goodies while sleepwalking.


Set up camp at historic, glamorous Shelbourne or boutique and charming Brooks Hotel for centrally located digs. The Shelbourne is steps from Stephen’s Green park and massive (pedestrian-only) shopping thoroughfare Grafton Street, as well as vegan-friendly wine bar Peploe’s. Brooks is located on indie shop-lined Drury Street, as well as a five minute walk from vegetarian Cornucopia restaurant and 15 minutes from the Guinness Storehouse.

And speaking of the Storehouse, The Guinness Storehouse tour may have been around for ages, but is still wildly popular with visitors and a fair amount of locals. A post-tour pint at the top of the Gravity Bar with 360 degree views of the city below is the ultimate touristy indulgence.

Vegan dining in Dublin is easy peasy: Cornucopia is cute for casual lunch for dine-in or to go before hitting the road. If a slightly dressier three-course dinner is more your speed, Fallon & Byrne grocery has an upstairs bistro that serves a vegan menu (in addition to non-veg version) with items including a celeriac and apple salad and roasted cauliflower. After dinner, a night with the famed Literary Bar Crawl is a necessity. Over the course of three hours (and up to four Guinnesses if you have on at each stop) you can get what feels like an entire semester’s worth of Dublin history performed, often in first-person and from the perspective of historic figures like Oscar Wilde, by two locals who live and breathe Irish history.


After a day or two of city living, hit the road three hours north to country castle Lough Eske (pronounced Lock Esk) for grounds and interiors so stunning you best swap out your American athleisure for something more befitting a 17th century castle. Lough Eske does a pan-European tasting menu with risotto, falafel and seasonal salads in their Cedar’s Grill restaurant, but the real star are the forest estate’s 43 acres of manicured gardens, walking paths and fireside nooks.


A visit to Voya’s seaside spa for seaweed-based treatments is a necessary Irish wellness experience. The location alone, on the Atlantic coast and just over an hour from Lough Eske, is ridiculously romantic - stunning on a sunny day and so brooding and lush on a more likely rainy day.

Voya uses a number of different seaweeds, all hand-harvested, throughout their various spa treatments. The signature is their seaweed bath, during which you hop into a steamy claw-footed tub filled with local seaweeds that fill the bath with the weeds’ gel-like goo. Amazing for the skin, detoxifying and so relaxing, the seaweed baths leave you feeling as jelly-like the goo itself. More relaxed than is probably safe, stumble about 200 yards to the Drafthouse Gastro Pub, where they offer a number of vegan options for dinner and dessert that change each evening. On the way out of town, hitting the health-focused vegan and gluten-free eatery Sweet Beat Cafe in the center of Sligo town makes for a quick, nutrient-rich breakfast. This eatery has won national awards for its raw and cooked cuisine, so be sure to stock up a vegan version of the Full Irish (a traditional breakfast often featuring bacon, eggs, and sausage), bean and avocado spelt toasts.


Two hours south of Sligo, Galway is one of Ireland’s older cities and a key stop for some of the country’s coziest pubs. The best meal of our trip was here, at the non-vegan Kai restaurant. Don’t let the regular menu fool you - the vegan tasting menu is Just give them a 24 hour heads up to have it ready. It is way too much food, and yet we finished every bite. Everything is local and perfectly prepared and so creative.

Dromoland Castle

Dromoland is about an hour’s drive south, with a very (very) worthy pitstop being the Burren perfumery and tea shop. The Burren is a crazy section of Ireland that we can’t even begin to describe other than that it feels like you’re on the moon and we hope you’ve gotten used to driving on the other side of the road, because the unpaved ones leading here are not for novices.

Once you arrive, Dromoland Castle is even Castle-ier than Lough Eske. If Lough Eske is your Irish country castle escape for hiking, dressing up and late night drinks by the fire, Dromoland is your ‘which century am I in and I can’t believe this is a real place’ labyrinthine castle for old-school styled fine dining, great spa treatments and a maybe some late night ‘The Crown’ binge-watching with Guinness delivered in-room. Rooms vary greatly, and the corner suites that look out to the grounds on two sides are the ones to nab.


Vegan Road Trip Must-Haves

As Californian cold-pressed juice fiends may already know, Juicero has changed the game for at-home juicing in our fine state. But could the Juicero Press go from well + home to well + away?  Last week on a NorCal road trip from SF to South Tahoe's new Coachman Hotel we put it to the test by packing a Juicero Press along with hiking gear and our favorite car-friendly snacks for a plant-powered road trip from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe.  

Here are our favorite road trip essentials, from hydration (hello, altitude change) to veggie-friendly protein bars (because you never know when you’ll see your next tempeh burger).

Pre-packed Veggies

Pre-packed veggies like organic baby carrots, broccoli florets or kale chips are hydrating, nutrient-rich and great for dipping into your road trip dip of choice. Trader Joe’s is a pre-road trip go-to to stock up on veggies that have all the crunch of a chip, without the preservatives or crumbs!

DIY Hummus

Prepping your own takes less than 10 minutes and the taste is beyond anything you can buy. When making your own, use your cold-pressed oil of choice, steering clear of the often over-processed canola oils used in supermarket brands. Just give the following ingredients a whirl in your blender and your fellow road-trippers will thank you: chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, garlic, lemon and a pinch of salt.

ZICO coconut water

Hydration is key at higher altitudes, especially when trekking between Tahoe's lakes and peaks. Keeping water bottles filled with H20 is the most important, but stashing some coconut water in the trunk keeps you hydrated and loaded up on potassium and electrolytes. It's also handy for mixing with juice and a splash of booze for a conscious happy hour. We're loving ZICO's new not-from-concentrate bottles, especially for this Indian summer.

Aloha protein bars

Aloha makes some of the cleanest bars around, clocking in at 18 grams of pumpkin seed and pea proteins. Sweetened with tapioca syrup and monk fruit extract and made creamy with cashew butter, they satisfy a sweet tooth as well as they fill you up. Our top pick is the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip flavor.

Flourless, Thumbprint Breakfast Cookies

Packing hearty snacks to grab while sitting in traffic, running out the door or before hitting the trail can save a morning on the road. The night before leaving, prep Angela Liddon’s Thumbprint Breakfast Cookies, made from mainly oats, flax and banana, for the easiest carb-up ever. Top them with a dollop of jam or peanut butter to turn them into a sweet treat.

Philosophie Coconut Butter

Continental breakfasts can be tough for our plant-based friends when the only veg options are plain toast and dry cereal. This is why we always pack a jar of Philosophie Coconut Dream, preferably in Green Dream flavor. Made of coconut butter, maple syrup and Philosophie’s Green Dream superfood powder, we spread it all over our toast, mix it into our coffee for a twist on Bulletproof Coffee, or eat it by the spoonful on the road.

Juicero + Your Fave Produce Packs

Nothing is more luxurious than waking up surrounded by the great outdoors and getting to make your own cold-pressed juice while still half asleep. This was our first road trip with a Juicero in the trunk of our car, and it was SO worth the extra five minutes of packing and unpacking. The Coachman Inn had space and outlets aplenty to plug in our Juicero Press, so we made our own fresh-pressed juice in the morning, took some Beta Glow out for a hike in a mason jar, had a Sweet Greens happy hour and shared with some with new friends. Traveling with our Press is now a long weekend must!

This story originally appeared on the Juicero blog. Let us know about your favorite healthy road trip essentials in the comments below.