Walk down the cobblestone streets of Georgia’s first city in Savannah, a place filled with southern charm and one of the largest historic districts in the country. Disconnect from the world at Georgia’s Cumberland Island National Seashore which remains preserved in natural beauty with wild horses roaming its beaches. Georgia encompasses two Souths—the Old South of Savannah with its elegant homes, planned squares, and Spanish moss-draped live oaks, and the New South of Atlanta, a bustling high-rise metropolis with enough to keep visitors busy for weeks. For white-columned mansions and romantic visions of the past, look no further than central Georgia. One of the most popular Civil War battlefields is in northern Georgia.
There’s coastline here, too, with lush barrier islands stretching all the way to Florida. The largest state east of the Mississippi River is a labyrinth of geographic and cultural extremes: right-leaning Republican politics in the countryside rubs against liberal idealism in Atlanta and Savannah. Small, conservative towns merge with sprawling, progressive, financially flush cities. Northern mountains rise to the clouds and produce roaring rivers, and coastal marshlands teem with fiddler crabs and swaying cordgrass. Georgia’s southern beaches and islands are a treat, and so are its kitchens, bars, and yes, contradictions.