Oban, Scotland, United Kingdom
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The gateway to Scotland’s Hebrides, Oban is a charming port town on the country’s west coast. It consisted of just a few houses until the end of the 18th century, when a distillery opened, and the arrival of a railway in 1880 cemented its popularity with travelers from Scotland and beyond. Oban overlooks a horseshoe-shaped bay, with views out to the nearby island of Kerrera, which is reachable by ferry. In town, there’s a lively pub and restaurant scene along the harbor as well as several noteworthy sights. The Oban Distillery offers one of Scotland’s best tours of the famous malt-whiskey making process (with tastings, of course), and the Oban War & Peace Museum provides an overview of the town's role in World War II. Head an hour south on a supremely scenic drive to visit Inveraray and its eponymous castle on the banks of Loch Fyne—the longest sea loch in all of Scotland. And just a mile north of Oban, Dunollie Castle is a must-visit, too, both to explore the castle ruins and to take in the views of the town and nearby islands.