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Last minute traveller with No Must Sees, best villages??

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Hello - My husband and I (late 50's) are travelling to Ireland for 9 days - May 25 to June 4. Spending the last 2 nights in Dublin.
I know, I know, I KNOW I am supposed to have a "must see / must do" list. But we don't!
Most people would have booked everything by now ...
We just enjoy the travel adventure and meeting new people / seeing new scenery / enjoy the countryside and let life and circumstances take us on a remarkable journey. We have no preconceptions and have always enjoyed people wherever we travel.
We'd like to stay in smaller villages where we can walk to the local pubs / restaurants / live music at night. During the day we like to do some tame hiking, and try anything new that suits the day. We don't want to rush from site to site, castle to castle, etc.
We have rental car that we are picking up from the Dublin airport May 25th in the morning (after a longish flight from Canada) and we will arrive back in Dublin on June 2 and stay for 2 nights.
Questions - looking for an interesting route with perhaps 3 nights per place. Day trips should be less than an hour one way or we could move onto the next place.
- Any idea of a route that would fit the bill ?
- Any highly recommended towns / villages?
- Recommended area to stay in Dublin?

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