The Shire is a realm, populated by hobbits, in the Eriador region of northwestern Middle Earth. It is a popular tourist destination for pipe-smoking wizards, dwarves in search of a thief to help them steal lost treasures, and Ringwraiths cloaked in black.
Must See/Do in the Shire
No trip to the Shire is complete without sampling the "only brew for the tried and true" at the Green Dragon Inn. The ale at the establishment is reportedly worth dancing on tables and singing drunkenly about after successful battles in faraway lands. Beverages at the Green Dragon are best consumed alongside pipe-weed, which holds a beloved place in nearly every hobbit's heart.
The tour of historic Bag End, former home of the legendary Baggins family, is pricey (thanks to the Sackville-Bagginses, who finally own the place), but is also a must-see.
Best Time to Visit the Shire
The Shire is particularly picturesque in late spring, when the gardens are in full bloom and the waters of the Brandywine River are perfect for a swim.
Avoid the Shire during those dark periods when evil, fallen wizards and their henchmen assume control of the realm and attempt to replace its natural beauty with the polluted wheels of industry.
Food in the Shire
Bring an appetite to the Shire, as the pot-bellied little folks who live there consume large meals at least six times a day. Staples of the hobbit diet include chickens, cheese, taters (or "PO-TA-TOES!"), salad, bread, braces of coneys, Farmer Maggot's vegetables, cereal, fruits, salted pork, pies, cakes, and tarts.
Where to Get Lost in the Shire
Numerous quaint forested areas dot the Shire, making it a perfect destination for anyone who enjoys lounging under shadowy trees beside pleasant streams, communing with nature as they puff on some pipe-weed.
Insider Tip for Visitors to the Shire
If you are invited to a friend or acquaintance's eleventieth birthday in the Shire and he makes a cryptic speech before disappearing into thin air, don't be alarmed. It's merely a sign that the forces of good and evil will soon collide in a series of deadly battles that will shake the foundations of Middle Earth.
Disclaimer: The Shire is not real.