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Savannah is the cradle of the Georgian state. It's here that colonial settler James Oglethorpe first marked down roots for the English crown; here that General Sherman took control of the Empire State of the South for the Union back in 1864. Today, Savannah has been bred into a bustling and youthful hub for the arts. It's packed with top museums and boasts the winding cobbled walkways of River Street – expect concession stands and hickory-scented Southern BBQ stalls there. The multicultural residents also imbue the place with life, with St Paddy's parades and film festivals dotting the calendar throughout the year. Meanwhile, thanks to an unusually peaceful changeover of control in the internecine struggles of the American Civil War, the city managed to cling onto many of its handsome historical relics. That means gilded antebellum mansions pop up on the street corners, and elegant plantation homes - with less-than-elegant stories to tell - lurk beneath the willow forests nearby. It also means the town hosts timeless plazas and streets, ranging from Crawford Square of the 1840s to Chippewa Square of Forest Gump fame.