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Land in Dublin - where to stay outside of Dublin first two nights?

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we land in Dublin around 3pm on a Saturday in early May and are having a difficult time deciding where to stay the first two nights (we're coming from a week in Spain, so no jet leg to contend with and can drive a short bit).

We'd planned to stay 2 nights in Dublin and then make our way to Kilkenny for 2 nights before heading west, but Dublin accommodation options aren't looking great at this point (cost, availability, or too loud of a location since we'll have 2 young children with us). My husband and I have both been to Dublin a few times before so won't be heartbroken to skip the city this visit.

If you were to land and head out of town a bit and stay, where would you go? I'd love to visit Powerscourt but am really open to a locale outside of Dublin that provides good day trip options before heading to Kilkenny.

(side note: the drive from Dublin to Kilkenny straight off would be too much, right? Or should we just do that and make base camp in Kilkeeny for 4 nights instead of 2?)

Thanks!!

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