You’d almost expect Scarlett to glide down the marble steps of the massive Georgia capitol and flow down a tree lined street on her way back to Tara. But wait, this is the new South! The impressive gold dome now presides over a contemporary city, rebuilt, reworked, and a mecca for bright young people who have created a vibrant culture. Outside of the city, you can still take the byways and backroads of rural Georgia, where porch sittin’ is a pastime. Along the coast, you can enjoy sitting on a quiet island, birds chirping, sun streaming down, and waves gently lapping. Much of the contrast comes from one of the more unusual historic stories in the United States. The flags of many nations have flown over the state, starting with the Spanish, who wrested control from the Native Americans in 1526. They gave way to the French. Georgia was officially founded as the last of the 13 American colonies, by the English in 1732, when a “proper colonial town” was established at Fort Augusta. Scottish Highlanders followed. The United States gained control in the Revolutionary War, after which Louisville served as the capitol for a time. American rule was broken when the Confederacy took over in 1861, later returning the state to the US. Unlike many colonial cities that just grew up, Savannah was consciously designed to be a beautiful place, with homes facing one another around 24 squares. Macon is old school and Old South, where white columns still grace many homes on tree-shaded streets. A necklace of “Golden Isles” are strung along Georgia’s coast. Cognizant of how important their rich history is, Georgians have carefully preserved an amazing amount of their original heritage and authentic buildings. You’ll discover quaint towns where historic districts look like they did 200 years ago, forts where the battles and changes of flags occurred, churches where the colonists worshipped and more. You’ll leave Georgia, as so many others have, that it is a truly extraordinary place.