Last Day of Ireland Vacation
July 22, 2015 2:20 PM   Subscribe

My family (two American Gen Xers and a 17yo) has one day left in our trip, and we would appreciate suggestions of how to spend it.

We are spending this night and tomorrow night in Bunratty and flying out of Shannon Friday morning. We have a rental car and have already been to the Cliffs of Moher. We are thinking of driving to Galway to spend the afternoon after seeing Bunratty Castle. Is thisa good plan? If yes, what should we do in Galway? If no, what should we do instead? Thanks in advance!
posted by chaoticgood to Travel & Transportation around Ireland (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Can you let us know a little bit about what else you've done?...or has it just been the Cliffs of Moher?

You're actually not too far from Kinsale, which is sort of like the foodie capital of Ireland.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:27 PM on July 22, 2015

Response by poster: We've had three days in Dublin, two in Kerry (one was spent driving the Dingle Penninsula), and today was mostly getting here from Kerry and several hours at the Cliffs. It has been a fabulous trip and we've taken in city, village, and scenery. I would love suggestionns of easy day trips from our location, and I've particularly heard Galway is a great city, but no specifics.
posted by chaoticgood at 3:00 PM on July 22, 2015

You are 140km from Kinsale, which while lovely in no way constitutes an easy day trip. Don't attempt to do that.

Galway for a day is doable. The Galway Arts Festival is on though, so, on the downside, traffic will be insane and there will be crazy crowds everywhere. But on the upside, there will be a terrific buzz, and lots to see. Note that there will be NO accommodation anywhere near the city because of the festival so you'll need to get out of it and stay somewhere near Shannon.

Alternatively, for a non-urban day, you could do the Burren tour, leaving out the Cliffs.

However, for an absolutely smashing and varied excursion, you can head to Shannon via Ennis, Ennis Friary to Gort, then go to Coole Park, and Kilmacdaugh. It's basically this tour, which starts in Shannon, but you would not continue to Galway city. Instead of going to Galway, double back and stay again in Bunratty, or somwehre around Ennis. Dinner at Moran's is especially recommend if it's not overflowing!
posted by DarlingBri at 3:31 PM on July 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

Note that the Arts Festival is on in Galway this week, which is good for you (events you might be interested in) and bad for you (things will be very busy and possibly overcrowded). Here is a great place to eat in Galway.

I would consider visiting Loop Head. Most of the holidaymakers you find will be Irish, unlike Cliffs of Moher, Dingle etc this time of year. This article might be of interest to you. There's a nice drive you can do described here. This company does does guided walks if you are sick of driving and want to get out and enjoy the outdoors (no rain forecast for tomorrow!). This is a nice place to eat seafood in Carrigaholt.
posted by bimbam at 3:59 PM on July 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Galway, Galway Galway! It will be rammed for the Arts Festival, so I would definitely book a table for dinner if you're going to be around. I love Ard Bia -- honestly, one of my favorite restaurants in the world, and Cava -- but honestly, there is a ridiculous amount of delicious food in Galway. But yes, probably packed. Walk along Shop Street, hang out in a pub for a pint, and definitely do the Arts Festival in some way.

If you want to avoid the crowds, I second the recommendation the Burren tour and going to Linnane's Lobster Bar and the Flaggy Shore, or driving out into Connemara.
posted by caoimhe at 5:09 PM on July 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

I thought Lahinch Beach was beautiful and a great place to visit. It is not too far from where you are. I am not sure how crowded it is in July though, I was there in late September. And surfers!
posted by maxg94 at 7:35 PM on July 22, 2015

Galway is great, but the Burren is such an otherworldly landscape it is definitely worth making the effort to go see if you've only got one day left.
posted by briank at 6:05 AM on July 23, 2015

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