The next destination on my Ireland Journey we made this past June is Killarney and it is part 5 in my series of 6 posts all about Ireland. 🙂 To read parts 1-4, see links at bottom of my article which include Travel Logistics, Hotels and Rental Cars, Dublin Adventures, and all about the city of Cork.
Upon leaving Cork, we made our way to Killarney which should have only been a 2 ½ -3 hour journey that ended up taking 5 ½ hours total due to one of the biggest accidents on a one way road into the city and a one way road out…We tried to take what we thought was a short cut (many cars entering a windy road through fields of trees and weeds), but we only got stuck in a long line of traffic for that as well!
As I slowly strolled in to town cautiously fighting massive traffic and encountering several roundabouts while driving on the opposite side of the road than I am used to, we soon realized that we were entering a jam packed busy street in the small town of Killarney with motorcycles everywhere…Just our luck..The weekend we happened to be staying in Killarney was a Bank Holiday weekend and there was a huge motorcycle convention in which everyone had come to town on their bikes! I was so excited to finally find our hotel, The Killarney Plaza and got one of the last and smallest compact parking spots in the garage prior to checking in.
For our first night in Killarney we were bummed to get there later than we had desired, but we jumped right into it and inquired about a good restaurant at the front desk of our hotel. An elderly man that was in the area often insisted we go to this place that I will leave unnamed, (if you really want to know because you are going to visit Ireland email me and I will let you know) so we did…this was not the best choice in a restaurant for us as we are both foodies and this place did not live up to our expectations. Without going into too much detail, the negatives about this place were that the plastic place mats were stuck to our table from still being wet, the mashed potatoes were as hard as rocks and the menu had different prices on our different menus with prices crossed out and handwritten. Some positives were that the steak and the duck were cooked beautifully. Our service was great and our server knew about wine which impressed us, but the mashed potatoes, sticky menus, and hand written items proved to be less than satisfactory and ruined our dining experience. We were bummed, but we ventured out to find somewhere fun to go after dinner.
We headed out for a walk down the street that was bustling with people because it was a Bank Holiday weekend and everyone was jovial as they walked out and about. We stumbled across our sister hotel called Killarney Towers which happened to have one of the most fun pubs in town that we would revisit again on our trip to Killarney. The pub was called Scruffys and there was a great blend of people, popular music, Irish music, libations and lots of dancing! This was definitely our kind of place and we met another American couple in which we joined for drinks at a table and then made our way to the dance floor for the rest of the evening. What great fun!!
On Saturday we decided to venture out of Killarney and drive the entire Ring of Kerry! What great beauty there is in the gorgeous nature in Ireland! We saw some of the most breathtaking sights and beauty that pictures cannot do justice. We stopped in several small towns along the way, including a small town called, Waterville, which apparently was a favorite holiday spot for Charlie Chaplin and he lived there for awhile. There were even several statues of Charlie Chaplin in town, along with a yearly Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film Festival which started in 2011! We walked along the beach and gathered some shells and dined at one of the freshest fish restaurants around! We continued on our drive and met some sheep in the middle of the road in which we pulled over to visit with and take pictures and there was a random castle or two along the way. I could honestly write a whole article just about the Ring of Kerry alone. It was such a beautiful place! See my pictures to get a feel for the beauty of the area. 🙂
After coming back from our long 6 hour journey around the Ring of Kerry, we got ready and went out to dinner at a restaurant called, Laurels. They had some great food including some amazing scalloped potatoes that were to die for and full of yummy melted cheese. We chatted with a nice couple visiting from Florida for a good hour and then we made our way down the street over to the delicious ice cream shop named Murphy’s. 🙂
Murphy’s ice cream appeared to always have a long line out the door since we had arrived in town, so we had to go in and try it. This ice cream was smooth, delectable and tasty and I made a new friend along the way that worked in the ice cream shop. Since then we have continued to stay in touch via social media since I have been back home in the states. As you can see from this encounter, the Irish people are very friendly! 🙂 The owner of the ice cream shop actually lived in the states for part of his life and my husband stopped to chat with him a bit. Great ice cream! I definitely recommend a visit to Murphy’s!
As we were strolling along the street we took some pictures with some locals that were hanging out in front of a dessert restaurant that was called, Just Desserts. We heard such good things; we planned hitting this place for sure before heading on to our next city. Once again on this lovely evening (we got very lucky with the weather…should have been in the 40s but it was 60) we made our way back to our favorite pub, Scruffys for more crazy madness, Irish cider, and dancing! 🙂
Sunday, our last full day in Killarney we decided to visit Ross Castle and Killarney National Park which was such a gorgeous area! This was truly a relaxing and beautiful day with many sights that will be burned into my mind forever…Ross Castle was rich in history and gorgeous in architecture. We sat on the grassy area where Ross Castle stood looking out at the lake where you could go boating and then took a leisurely stroll through Killarney National Park. It was such a gorgeous day filled with sunshine and people on walks through the park, and kids playing outside. I loved this park and we walked a good 2 miles of it.
When exiting Killarney National park, we approached a gorgeous Catholic Church, St. Mary’s Church of Ireland. We went inside and there were beautiful stained glass windows…such a pretty sight.
For our last dinner in Killarney we ate at the Smokehouse which was where we learned it is illegal for Killarney to cook minced meat medium rare. I realized this when I order my lamb burger medium rare and they brought it to me well done. Apparently there was some sort of lawsuit that went on about not being able to serve meat under-cooked, so they took the lamb burger away and brought me something else. This was quite interesting. The atmosphere in the Smokehouse was pretty cool! It was very modern with dark wood and it felt very welcoming in our cushy lounge chairs while we dined. 🙂
The last stop in Killarney was to eat dessert at Just Desserts. The Florida couple we had met in Laurels the night before could not stop ranting and raving about this place so we were excited to check it out! 🙂 We selected the Hummingbird Cake per their recommendation and a slice of Key Lime pie; which is my personal favorite since I visited the Keys in Florida in 2002. 🙂 Both of these desserts were amazing and we had a great time chatting with the owners of the café, as well as a local Irish woman from Killarney that loves to chat with tourists. Just Desserts also sells wholesale gourmet desserts and gluten free products, novelty cakes and catering. This place was delish!!! Our tour of Killarney was sadly now coming to an end so we made one last stop to say good bye to my buddy I met in Murphy’s ice cream and then we went on our merry way…Stay tuned for my last Ireland post…Part 6 – All about Galway! To read Parts 1-4 click on the links here –> Ireland Part 1 – Flight & Transportation to your hotel, Ireland Part 2 – Gorgeous Hotels and Crappy Rental Car Scam, Ireland Part 3 – Dublin Restaurants & Actvities, Ireland Part 4 – Cork City Restaurants and Activities & Part 6 Galway Restaurants & Activities Thanks for reading!
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