Anyone that knows me, knows how proud I am of my Irish heritage, and how much love I have for my homeland. So, in honor of St. Patrick's Day and in celebration of all things Irish, I wanted to share my insider's guide to Ireland!
Where to Stay :
O’Neills B&B in Ballyheigue County Kerry.
I grew up in this Bed and Breakfast perched on a cliff top overlooking the spectacular Ballyheigue Bay, framed by the Majestic Slieve Mish and Brandon group of mountains, with 4 miles of one of Ireland’s safest white sandy beaches at your door step.
I have traveled the world, from the southern shores of Italy, to the far blue lagoons of Bora Bora, and Ballyheigue can hold its own and sparkle just as bright.
The bright airy rooms at O’Neills with stunning views, coupled with warm hospitality and delicious home cooked full Irish breakfast, is second to none.
Eat and Drink.
“Kate Browns”, just 5 miles to Ardfert for its award winning food, a traditional Irish pub with a sophisticated delicious menu.
“The Oyster Tavern”, located just 7 miles away in The Spa, one of the finest seafood restaurants in Kerry.
Flahives, my favorite bar in Ballyheigue, especially in the summer with its walled-in Beer Garden. Climbing roses spill over tall white washed walls, and baskets of brightly colored petunia’s hang from the rafters of wooden pergola’s. The Guinness is perfection, served ice cold with its thick rich creamy head contrasting with the smooth dark beer. On the perfect night the Irish Folk Band “Spailpin” will be playing their rousing rebel songs to which the crowd will be singling long to at the tops of their voices.
“The Kerry Way” a 5 mile walk in Ballyheigue that takes you through magical lush woodland paths alive with bird song, with breathtaking vista’s of Ballyheigue Bay.
“The beach walk” to the Black Rock, an hour and a half round trip to the rock along the water’s edge where the sound of the crashing waves and piping sea birds soothes and refreshes mind, body and soul.
“The Dingle Peninsula” from the magnificent views of Conor’s Pass, to the charming shops and pubs in Dingle town, on out past the Beehive huts dating back to the Stone age and on to the legendary iews of The Blasket Islands from Sleigh head.
O’Neills B&B balcony over hanging the Atlantic ocean.. settled in a comfy lounge chair for a nap or to read a book, soothed by the sounds of the ocean, the sea birds, and the laughter of children playing on the beach.
I often would sit at this very desk, starring out into Ballyheigue Bay and dream of capturing the sparkle of the ocean into a dress. Ballyheigue continues to inspire my designs to this day.
Siamsa Tire Play house in Tralee, A theater company that embraces our native language and performing arts .
Fungi : A wild Dolphin that for over 2 decades swims in Dingle bay and delights boaters as he frolics in the water around them.
Tralee : A wide variety of Shopping In this vibrant town which bustles with extra verve during the International Rose of Tralee Festival every August.
Dingle : Packed full of tiny colorful shops many owned by world renowned artists who craft their unique collectible wares in in dingle, pottery, jewelry, leather goods, hand carved stone, to hand knits and hand woven rugs.