Hi, We are traveling from the US with our 5-month old baby. We land in Dublin and plan to head West to Dingle Peninsula. Due to jet lag, we are trying to break up the drive as we drive west. Any suggestions for a town to visit/place to stay for 1 night? Thanks!
I would just get on the M-1 from the airport , then to M50 following signs to Limerick, to the M-7 and see what you can do. You will easily be able to find a hotel or B&B along the way. Why not research some places along the way every half hour or so so you will know where you can stop? Don't push it though. Ireland is not the easiest place to drive in and with jetlag and the time taken getting the car and getting out of the city area I would not try to do too much.
Sara, we stayed one night at Moher Lodge near Doolin, and Mary and Patrick took good care of us, I think it was 70 euro or so, with breakfast. About fifteen minutes from the Cliffs, which are good to see at the end or beginning of a day when the tour buses are not there. Near Gus O'Connor's Pub, too, you can get some good food there, though note that music probably won't happen til after 9 pm or so. You can also check the B & B Ireland site:
It would be smart to consider how much sleep you will be missing. We recently did a similar thing, but we missed an entire night's sleep (landed at 3:30 a.m. our time, and couldn't catch even a few hours' sleep on the plane due to lots of unhappy babies). We had lined up a stay in Cashel, which is about a 2 hour drive out of Dublin, and frankly, two hours was far too long to be driving on the left, with no sleep. We did stop off to break up the drive and grabbed some food and coffee, but towards the very end, our driver was getting very drowsy and it was scary. If you'll be missing a full night's sleep, or think that's a possibility, I would consider stopping in Kilkenny, which I believe is only an hour outside of Dublin, and do more driving your 2nd day when you should be more rested.
I would be careful not to overestimate your driving capacity on the first day. The first night, we stayed at Glendalough, which is only about 50 km from Dublin. It was too much for that day. We flew from the west coast of the US, with no sleep on the flight, and arrived on Sunday. With sleep deprivation, adjusting to driving on the other side of the road, figuring out different road markings, and dealing with lots of weekend bicyclists on some very narrow roads with no shoulders, I wouldn't try that drive again. Given the same circumstances, I probably will stay in Dublin for the first night next time (even though I don't particularly care for the city). If you're flying from the east coast of the US or are able to get a good night's sleep on a plane, then you'll be in a better position to drive on your first day in Ireland.