The Olde Railway Hotel, The Mall, Westport; 98-25166, http://www.anu.ie/railwayhotel . Has 26 rooms, a restaurant and a bar serving light meals. Doubles $90-$108 in summer, including breakfast.
Clew Bay Hotel, James Street, Westport; 98-28088, http://www.clewbayhotel.com . A family-owned hotel in the heart of town, with a friendly staff and 30 large rooms, some with a river view. Doubles $192, including breakfast.
Granuaile House, near the ferry dock on Clare Island; 98-26250, has six rooms and a lounge with fireplace. Doubles $84. They will serve dinner with advance notice.
WHERE TO EAT:
The Lemon Peel, The Octagon, Westport; 98-26929, http://www.lemonpeel.ie . This airy little restaurant has a bistro feel and a menu ranging from traditional lamb and confit of duck to vegetarian, all beautifully presented. Main courses start at about $18, with starters from $7.
WHAT TO DO:
Westport House & Country Park, 982-7766, http://www.westporthouse.ie . Open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Monday, and daily in June. House and garden tour $13.20.
Mary Gavin Hughes runs a sea-angling service out of Newport, 10 miles north of Westport; tel./fax 98-41562, mobile 86-8062282, http://www.clewbayangling.com . She takes fishermen out in her 36-foot Shamrock I for $480 a day.
TO LEARN MORE:
Westport Tourist Information Office, James Street; 98-25739, http://www.visitmayo.com .
Tourism Ireland, (800) 223-6470, http://www.tourismireland.com .
— Barbara Sjoholm
Barbara Sjoholm is the author of "The Pirate Queen: In Search of Grace O'Malley and Other Legendary Women of the Sea," which will be published next month by Seal Press. Her website is http://www.piratequeen.org .