I am busy planning my next trip to Ireland. I hope to come in mid-June and stay about three weeks, if possible. I want to focus on County Mayo, since it is The Gathering and that is where my grandfather is from. I plan to travel to Crossmolina, perhaps for a few days, to see if I can find out anything about my heritage and track down any distant relatives. I wonder if I am related to anyone from Hopkins butcher shop in the middle of town, as that is my surname and my grandfather's surname.
That being said, for the remainder of my itinerary, I'd like to wander the beautiful coast and find lovely, lively, relaxing places with good scenery, colorful local characters and traditional music. I'm looking for places that could cater to those over 50 who still like to act like kids. Here are some of the places I was thinking of visiting and perhaps staying for three days apiece: Enniscrone, Belmullet, Achill Island, Louisburgh, and Inishbofin Island. I might add a day or two at Westport, depending on how long I stay at the other places. Would the locations I mentioned suit my tastes? Are there any I should stay longer at, or some I should skip or spend less time at? Are there any that I have missed?
Is Inishturk worth an overnight visit or longer? What about Clare Island? From what I've read, it doesn't seem like there is too much there and may be more suitable for a day trip.
I will probably round out my trip in the Connemara or Galway area before heading back to Shannon Airport.
Does anyone have any suggestions for me? Keep in mind, I love beaches, traditional music pubs and colorful, local characters. My favorite places that I have been to in Ireland so far are Dingle, where I loved the bohemian vibe, and Clifden. Also, I'd like to mention that I am a single woman traveling alone.
Thanks a lot for any advice!