Lying 24km (15 miles) east of Cork City, the harbor town of Cobh (pronounced Cove, meaning "haven" in Irish), was once Ireland's chief port of emigration, with three or four transatlantic liners calling each week. For thousands of Irish emigrants, particularly during the famine years and in the early part of the 20th century, Cobh was the last bit of Ireland they ever saw. It was also the last port of call for the Belfast-built RMS Titanic before it sank spectacularly in April 1912. Cobh is still a heavily industrialized port.

Along the coast just east of Cork City are a number of attractions worth venturing away from the city for, most within an easy hour’s drive. While families will probably make a beeline for Fota Park on the shore of Lough Mahon, the small inland town of Midleton attracts foodies thanks to Ballymaloe House and its famous cooking school. A vital piece of Ireland’s history is told at the harbor town of Cobh, which under its former name Queenstown was once Ireland's chief port of emigration. If you have more time to spend, farther east are some pleasant beach resorts such as Ballycotton and, near the Waterford border, Youghal.

The latter is the county's major coastal town (pronounced Yawl). A leading beach resort and fishing port, the area is loosely associated with Sir Walter Raleigh, who was once the mayor and is said to have planted Ireland's first potatoes here. From a tourist's-eye view, present-day Youghal is a moderately attractive, congested town with a grand stretch of beach just beyond the center.