Looking for recommendations for a good place to use as a base for seeing Western Kerry county. Considering Killarney, Dingle town, Kenmare. Interested in comfort, good pubs, and good music.
Killarney is full of tourists, but close to the National Park. Kenmare is a cute little town, but I don't know about music there, as we were only there for a day. Dingle seems to have it all.
Definitely Dingle!! Beautiful scenery, great town, lots of fun pubs and restaurants!
How long will you be in the area? Length of stay might influence recommendations for a base.
I would vote Dingle. I wasn't too fond of Killarney, because, as someone said, it's full of tourists. We didn't go to Kenmare, but we went to Dingle, and it was my favorite town of the trip. The only thing is that you'll have to drive in and out of the peninsula each time you go somewhere. Dingle definitely has good pubs and good music.
Dingle is GREAT, but I would not consider it to be a good "base" to see anything but Dingle and it's peninsula.
In my opinion, Ireland generally isn't really conducive to the base camp/day trip type of travel
Otter may have hit this nail on the head when he said that Ireland isn't really suited for day-tripping. Some short term exceptions might be Dublin, Galway, Belfast (none of which answer your question about Co. Kerry, I realize), and perhaps a couple of others, but when I'm there I feel the need to spend 2-3 days in one place and then move on. It's more of a "linear" (in totally nonlinear fashion, given the road system) type place than a "drive from a hub" type place.
Still, I'd love to stake out one place for several weeks (months?) and not drive all the time.
But if you "stake out one place" you'll still have to drive distances to see places, and back.
It is reassuring to have the same place to return to every night. I have done self catering on three different occasions and it truly gives you a chance to met and interact with some of the local population. This is especially true if your cottage is in,or close to,a small town and is not part of a holiday cottage complex. Going into the local shops and pubs every day certainly begins to give you more of a feeling of being part of the community as opposed to picking up and moving every day or two. There are many things to see and do in Ireland that you will not find in the guide books but someone locally can tell you about.
Nancy, you're right that if a person were to "stake out one place" there is lots of driving involved IF each day (or most) involve day trips. I was thinking more of a place that I wouldn't stray far from, but rather stay close to my home base and get to know a local place rather than just drive through it.
Of course, day trips that involve the same route out and back aren't the worst thing in Ireland. Just about everywhere I've been in Ireland is worth seeing at least twice.