Summer is finally here in Cork City and our beautiful boutique city-centre hotel is ready for it. The sky is blue, the sun is shining- the River Lee is glistening under the moonlight. Our delicious, locally-sourced strawberries have returned to our dessert menu at our award-winning Greenes Restaurant, and Cask Cocktail Bar have just launched a tempting summer cocktail menu. What’s not to smile about? Well, as June fast approaches, there are even more reasons to be excited about Cork! Here are my personal five favourite:

1 - Soul in the City Festival

Taking place in our very own Victorian Quarter, this new festival provides an alternative beat to your June bank holiday weekend. Get into the groove in some of the many participating bars and restaurants who will also be getting ‘soulful’ with their culinary offerings. Our very own award-winning cocktail bar, Cask will be getting into the spirit of all things soul with Colm Motherway, Ms Ken D and Ian Richards playing sets over the weekend. The highlight of the festival will undoubtedly be the grand finale in St Lukes with Chicago-born, Karen Underwood performing alongside Gemma Sugrue, Niall McCabe, Christina Underwood, Leah Ahern and Isaiah G from Chicago Illinois.

2 - Cork Harbour Festival

If being active is more your thing, get down to the Cork Harbour Festival running from June 2nd-10th. With over 60 events on water and land planned, there really is something for everything. Kids will love the model boat race, foodies can indulge their taste buds at the Cork Harbour Seafood trail and adrenaline junkies can try their hand at one of the many classes on offer including yacht sailing, kayaking, surfing and paddle-boarding. There are exhibitions, talks, tours, tall ships and even a performance in the Cork Arts Theatre from a local Sea Shanty and Maritime Song group based in Cobh. The highlight will be the Ocean to City Race on June 2nd, the festival’s largest event attracting over 600 Irish and International participants crewing 200+ craft.

3 - Cork Midsummer Festival

What would summer nights be without Cork’s festival of art and culture providing a splash of colour and creativity to the streets of our charming city? Taking place from June 15th-24th, expect the weird and wonderful. There are market-stalls, street artists, a gigantic picnic in the park, music (including performances from Little Green Cars and Mick Flannery) and high-brow theatre (including the world premiere of Louise O’Neill’s Asking for It). If outdoor theatre is more your thing, “The Numbered”in Fitzgerald’s Park exploring our perceptions of age and how our life is impacted by it is bound to spark some interesting debates.

4 - Live at the Marquee

What better way to spend a summer’s evening than down on the docks in Cork’s big top singing along to one of the many performers joining us this summer? There really is something for everyone including performances by Kodaline, A-ha, The Script, Picture This, Christy Moore and 2FM’s Jenny Greene with the RTE Concert Orchestra. Who needs the 3 Arena when we have our beloved marquee?

5 - The Vibes and Scribes Lee Swim

If watching people suffer is more your thing, see June off on a high note with the Lee Swim, one of Cork’s oldest swimming races dating back to 1914. An expected 550 swimmers are expected to take the plunge this year making it one of the biggest open-water swims in Ireland. It is not too late to register....if you dare!

About The Author

Colette is a hotel receptionist working at Hotel Isaacs Cork. Her favourite part of the job is meeting the many guests coming from all corners of the globe and sharing with them all the wonders that Cork City and County has to offer. One of her great passions is travelling and exploring new places especially museums, galleries and castles. "One of the things I feel very strongly about is how so many people in Ireland are completely unaware of some of the hidden treasures right on their door-steps. When people go abroad, they push themselves to see all the cultural delights on offer but too often, they have no idea how great what is right in front of them, readily available every day is. I came to Cork as a student in 2008 and I too limited myself and didn't push myself to explore. It took a friend to take me off and show me how truly amazing this city and county is and this is what I want to share with my guests and readers.

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