The 20th century was not kind to this magnificent estate. It took more than 30 years to restore the Palladian house to its former glory after being abandoned and then gutted by fire. The gardens, however, remained gorgeous, with classical statuary, a shady grotto made of petrified moss, a peaceful Japanese garden, and a massive, over-the-top fountain from which statues of winged horses rise. Landscaper Daniel Robertson designed the gardens between 1745 and 1767. Legend has it that thanks to crippling gout, he oversaw the work while being carted around in a wheelbarrow, sipping port as he went. When the bottle was dry, work was done for the day. The whole thing is impressive enough that in 2014 National Geographic magazine named Powerscourt the third-greatest gardens in the world. At the estate's garden center you can learn everything there is to know about the plants that thrive here, and even pick up seeds to take home (although beware of Customs rules for such things). A few rooms of the house are open to the public 1 or 2 days a week, but a unique new addition is open daily, year-round: Tara’s Palace, an elaborate and detailed 18th-century palace built in miniature. Displayed in a small museum devoted to historic dollhouses, it took a team of craftspeople 2 decades to complete. And 2018 saw the addition of the Cool Planet Experience, a high-tech visitor center aimed at teaching children about human-made climate change and how the world might combat it. The estate also has a playground and gift shops. If you feel energetic, follow the well-marked path over 7km (4 miles) to the picturesque Powerscourt Waterfall—the highest in Ireland at 121m (397 ft.); you can also drive here, following signs from the estate. Powerscourt is only about 20km (12[bf]1/2 miles) south of Dublin.