Westport is county Mayo's premier tourist destination, popular with holiday makers from all over the World and Ireland, it is considered one of the liveliest and most charming towns in the West of Ireland.
In 1842, William Makepeace Thackeray, the famed English travel writer, visited Westport and wrote of the town:
"The most beautiful view I ever saw in the World... It forms an event in one's life to have seen that place so beautiful that is it, and so unlike other beauties that I know of. Were such beauties lying on English shores it would be a World's wonder perhaps, if it were on the Mediterranean or Baltic, English travellers would flock to it by hundreds, why not come and see it in Ireland!"
Today's visitors come for several reasons. Some of the most important being the magnificent scenery; the plethora of pubs and restaurants in the town; blue flag beeches and Croagh Patrick.Its proximity to Connemara, Achill, Clew Bay and Croagh Patrick, and numerous hotels and guest houses, make it a popular base for holidaymakers to tour the region.
Westport is also well known for sea-angling and freshwater fishing is popular on nearby Loughs Mask and Carra and on the Eriff river. Westport House and its Pirate Adventure Park is a particular draw for families, many of whom stay at the caravan and camping park which belongs to Westport House. Westport has an 18-hole golf course, popular with visitors. A nearby 9-hole course has an attached guest accommodation.