2017 - Ireland

ireland kilkenny castle2 origI have recently returned from Ireland visiting Dublin, Kilkenny & Killarney.

My hotel in Dublin was the Hotel Riu Plaza The Gresham.  The hotel is in a great location on O’Connell Street where there are tons of shops, dining, and pubs all within walking distance.  The bar/restaurant located in the hotel was quaint and very busy.  I would highly recommend this hotel for a true Dublin experience.   

Departing Dublin, our group headed south towards Kilkenny.  Kilkenny is a very nice, unique smaller city.  You can stroll through the many shops and find a restaurant and Pub around any corner!  We had a quick lunch at the Left Bank Bar & Restaurant.  Very unique old building (that was a bank back in the day) great entertainment and is always busy.  We visited the famous the Kilkenny Castle which did not disappoint.  We stayed at the New Park Hotel Kilkenny. A warm, friendly and welcoming property, they have added a large outside outdoor area for dining and drinks.  There is also a lively bar and restaurant located on the property.

And who can go to Ireland and not visit the Blarney Castle and Grounds?    Yes, you need to kiss the Blarney Stone! We spent a little time at the Blarney Woollen Mills – great for shopping and dining.  We stayed at the Killarney Towers Hotel & Leisure Center  - a great location within walking distance to anywhere in Killarney.  They offer live entertainment nightly in the hotel bar and the dining was exceptional.

We took a drive from Killarney to the roads that were winding around the beautiful Iveagh Peninsula – which is better known for the Ring of Kerry.  We stopped at the quaint Village of Steem for a short rest stop.  Stopped at Moll’s Gap and had amazing views of the Lakes of Killarney. Breathtaking views on this entire trip.  

Other tips for Dublin: 
• Guinness Storehouse – Gravity Bar a must! – book private tour early
• Kilmainham Gaol (pronounced like Jail in the U.S.) – book escorted tours early
• Recommend to take a Hop on/Hop Off tour if just for only a day to see the entire city. 
• Old Jameson Distillery – book a tour

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