I am going to Ireland for 3 days (arrive early am Nov 6 and leave in the am on Nov 9)with my mom and siblings. There are 8 of us. We fly in and out of Shannon. I am looking for itinerary, hotel...suggestions. Also, we are renting a car but would consider a driver instead if it is affordable. Thanks
I'm just back from Limerick, the city closest to Shannon airport and I can tell you that's the only really ugly city I've ever seen in Ireland - and I've been to pretty much all of the island. Driving in Ireland is very easy. All it takes is to be able to handle a stick and to remember to drive on the left hand side of the road - which you almost cannot forget since you're also sitting on the right hand side front seat of the car. You'd need to make a decision: Either create an itinerary for the area North of the river Shannon (which includes the cliffs of Moher) or one solely staying South of it. I'd recommend the latter one. Make Tralee or even more beautiful Killarney your hub and day-tour the Ring of Kerry and Ring of Skells from there. The drive from Shannon airport via Limerick to Tralee or Killarney also is very scenic once you passed Limerick.
You can skip Limerick all together going south from Shannon if you take the Killimer-Tarbert ferry across the River Shannon.
You could make the relatively short drive to the Cliffs when you arrive, maybe drive on up through the Burren, then stay the night in Doolin or Lahinch. Next day, take the ferry toward the south, staying in the Killarney area. You'll want to be back in the Shannon area for your final night so that you have adequate time to make your flight (you'll have an idea by then of how slow driving can be there). You might consider Bunratty your last night. You could tour the castle and folk park, have dinner at Durty Nelly's, then stay at one of the many B&Bs along the Bunratty Road behind the castle.
The previous posters have made good suggestions, but we could be even more helpful if you let us know what you and your family are looking for on this vacation. Castles, museums, scenery? Quaints towns, rural countryside? The more you can tell us, the more we can tell you.
Oh, and if you haven't already you'll definitely want to check out Rick's Ireland guidebook.
I would suggest that you travel to Kinmare via Adare and Killarney. Then to Kinsale, the best town in Ireland via Bantry, as to use as a base to visit Cobh and Cork. The final night could be spent near Shannon to visit Bunratty Castle and Folk Park in the morning,