- 1 Laoag – The main city of the area. Famous as a gambling city, and blessed with an International airport, so it occasionally gets overrun by tourists from Korea, Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong. It is also served by a flight from Manila on Cebu Pacific -- flight time is about an hour.
- Batac — A city of over 55,000 people, it is better known as the hometown of the Marcos political family, and some historical figures like Artemio Ricarte, a general in the Philippine Revolution, and Gregorio Aglipay, the founder of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente, a breakaway denomination of the Roman Catholic Church.
- 1 Burgos
- 2 Pagudpud – Up on the north coast of the Philippines, it probably isn't the best place to go in winter, although if you're after deserted beaches, then it's a great relief from the hordes at Boracay. It's about a 90-minute bus ride from Laoag.
The province lies at the northwest of Luzon island, facing the West Philippine Sea (or South China Sea). It is bordered by Cagayan, Apayao, and Abra to the east, and Ilocos Sur to the south.
Ilocos Norte is best noted as the bulwark of the Marcos political family, among them the infamous dictator Ferdinand Marcos and first lady Imelda Marcos, and their children. The contributions of the Marcoses remains a sensitive topic here, so tread carefully. That said, the provincial political arena is shifting away from the influence of the Marcoses, though some locals continue to voice support for their family and local policies.
Take a scenic bus trip from the capital Manila to Ilocos Norte, lasting about eight hours. Among the bus companies plying this route are the Philippine Rabbit, Partas, Dominion, Fariñas, and Maria de Leon.
Ilocos Norte is the terminus of two major numbered highways, Rte 2 from the south and Rte 1 from the north. Rte 2 enters from Ilocos Sur, while Rte 1 (also AH26) comes from Cagayan Province to the east, with scenic sections that take you around cliffs at the northern edge of Luzon; you'll also be greeted by wind farms that are concentrated in the north.
Ilocos Norte is best explored on foot or riding the calesa, the traditional horse-drawn carriage that promises a unique experience in itself. Tricycles also abound for traveling short distances. Going from town to town would mean taking a bus, a mini-bus, or a jeepney.
- Saint Augustine Church in Paoay, one of four world heritage listed baroque churches in the Philippines. Interestingly, this church is made of coral.
- Bangui Wind Farm in the town of Bangui. This wind farm is beautiful with many massive windmills spread around the coastal area around Bangui. The original section of this wind farm is on the beach right beside the town of Bangui and is picturesque with a long line of windmills slowly curving along with the coast line.
- Be sure to try some Ilocos style empanada. Ilocos empanada is a bright orange deep fried pocket filled with ingredients such as grated papaya, mongo beans, egg and longanisa (if you order a 'special' empanada).
- You can also try some pinakbet which is a dish of mixed vegetables cooked in bagoong (a Filipino style fish sauce).