Originally a plantation colony Kenmare is a small and attractive town set on a deep bay between the Macgillycuddy Reeks to the north and the Caha Mountains to the east. The Irish name for the town is "Neidin" which translates as "little nest" a reference many believe to the "nesting" location of the town between the two mountains. From Kenmare Pier, you will see the beautiful Kenmare Bay stretch for as far as the eye can see which is a spectacular sight on a fine day (fine days can be a rarity in Kerry). One of the most striking features of the town of Kenmare is its colorfully painted houses and shops. The town has won the "Irish Tidy Towns Competition" in 2000 and was runner up in 2003 and 2008. The town library is one of the "Carnegie Libraries" funded by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.
As well as being located on the ring of Kerry the town of Kenmare is also on the ring of Beara another well regarded tourist trail in South West.