We thought that it was important to become familiar with Savannah before we went out on our own...we needed an overview. Am I ever glad that we decided to take a tour. We learned so much about the history, the culture, the people, locations, little-known places to see, great restaurants, etc.
Our overview tour was with Old Savannah Tours & Transportation which is locally owned and operated. They have been in business for over twenty years and have experienced, well-informed tour guides. In addition, they offer both overview and on-off tours.
We took the Overview Tour which gave us the history of two and one half centuries (Early Colonial, Civil War, Reconstruction up to Present Times). We were able to see from the outside many mansions, almost all of the squares, the riverfront, the the City Market.
We were able to ask questions, and our guide answered all the many questions asked. Our tour lasted about 90 minutes. We were in an Open Air Trolley. They also have Mini-Buses and Limousines.
Note: Brochure Photo.
Sixteen miles west of downtown Savannah is Savannah International Airport. Seven airlines fly there such as USAir, United Airlines, Delta, and American (my airline!). From the airport, it cost about $15.00 to take a taxi, and limousine service is also available.
If you are staying close to the historic center in Savannah, you don't necessarily need an automobile.
The Intracoastal Waterway weaves through Savannah's marshlands and down the Georgia coast and connects Savannah to cities on the Eastern Seaboard.
Thunderbolt Marina (912)352-4931
There is a Savannah Greyhound-Trailways Bus Depot at 610 West Oglethorpe Avenue (912)233-7723. Connections to many regional and major cities are available
Amtrak passenger trains make six stops daily at Savannah's terminal that is located west of downtown. There are direct service to some cities on the Atlantic Seaboard and connections to all major cities.
Oh, I almost forgot....Amtrack offers package deals to Savannah if you pay for fare and place to stay on their list. Call: 800-USA-RAIL to obtain the rates and schedules.
1-95 north-south connects Savannah with the rest of the East Coast.
1-16 goes West out of Savannah to MACON where you meet up with I-75 to Atlanta.
We visited Savannah via automobile.
+Old Town Trolley tours are great, we went on one in Key West Fl. , the tour will take an hour and a half. The drive will give you a guided tour through old Savannah and give you all the history of 200 years that surrounds you. The trolley is comfortable and they do a great jjob with the tour. This trolley will take you to the old riverfront shops.
Discount coupons are on the link below.
Parking in Savannah is a little tricky..No matter where you go you usually HAVE to pay to park..It's best to buy the parking ticket stubs that are sold at certain meters placed through out the city..The time for these stubs vary so you have to be careful..You don't want to buy one for two hours and then spend 6 hours walking around shoping and site seeing. :-) The other practical thing to do is to just go park in one of the parking garages near the Market district, it's pretty centrally located so that you can either go one way from there to all the squares or head in the opposite direction to River st..which is just a few blocks away..Also a good thing to remember is that you do NOT have to pay for parking on the weekends..We found that out AFTER we had been paying. DOH! :-)
Old Town Trolley
Though somewhat expensive, we took the Old Town Trolley for a tour around Savannah as a way to get oriented and to see most of the sights at once with a little bit of an overview.
The Old Town Trolley allows people to get on and off if there’s something you want to spend more time at. The tour guide pointed out many historical houses and other sites, and seemed quite informed about the city’s history.
The photo I have said the price is $22 per person for adults, but the Web site said they are $18.50 discounted and I think that’s what we paid; e-tickets are available ahead of time.
I still have a free paper fan they gave us on the trolley, which I kept as a souvenir.
The trolley operates 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily (closed St. Patrick’s Day). There are group and charter rates available. Old Town Trolley also operates in other cities.
There are 14 stops throughout the city (including one very near our B&B)
The Savannah International Airport is just a hop, skip and a jump from Hilton Head Island, actually 45 minutes, so it was an option for our family when visiting South Carolina.
Airlines frequenting the airport include Delta, Continental Express, Northwest, Independence Air, AirTran, U.S. Airways and United Express. Rental cars from Enterprise, Thrifty, Avis, Hertz, Budget, Alamo/National and others have counters in the concourse.
There were very nice shops and several restaurants or snack shops in which to grab a bite to eat. A visitor center is located on level 1 of the terminal building (912-966-3743).
The airport is located at 400 Airways Avenue-- off Exit 104 from I-95.
As thrifty tourists, we have appreciated the free Cat Shuttle of Savannah.
The bus goes almost everywhere in the historic district. The complete route has 30 stops and the bus passes each 20 min. The shuttle stops at 6:30PM and begins around 7AM.
It is one way bus. So you must not be in a hurry.
We forgot something in the shuttle (see picture : Monique has an envelop in hand when she was waiting for the bus). The day after, the driver said "you have forgotten someting in my bus" and gave back us the envelop.
We took several times the shuttle. Each time, there was a man or a woman who talked with the driver. May be the Company paid an employee to amuse the driver and to avoid he was bored by the same itinerary...
In my opinion the absolute best way to see Savannah is to put on some comfy shoes and WALK. Not only will you see a lot more but you'll also walk off all those delicious dinners and lunches that you've probably been having while on vacation. :-) Although if you just aren't the walking for hours type of person you can always hook up with a Trolly or a Horse drawn buggy..WE didn't but they are two very popular ways of seeing all the downtown sites of Savannah.
Go take a romantic carriage ride around old historic Savaanah, you won't ever forget it! This state is full of romance and history. It's a nice slow ride in a pretty white carriage. For more information check the local visitors center.
The trolley is a nice mode of transportation around the inner city. They get you to your destinations stops in little hassle while you can take in the city sites. For the starter getting around Svaannah, this seems like the way to go and later get off and wlak to the places you saw and wanted to go back to.
# The FREE CAT Shuttle serves Savannah's downtown and Historic District and connects to other CAT bus routes and the Savannah Belles Ferry service.
# The Chatham Area Transit Authority (CAT) was established on January 9, 1987.
# CAT currently has a fleet of 52 buses which travel on 18 routes.
Cash Fare Each Boarding........................................$1.00
Weekly CAT Card.......................................................$12.00
*Monthly CAT Pass....................................................$48.00
Available at CAT Offices, 900 East Gwinnett Street, and at CAT Central, 124 Bull Street. The CAT card is valid for multiple rides on regularly scheduled routes during the time specified on the card. The CAT card provides a discount to the frequent rider who regularly transfers.
Note: A ride cannot exceed one round trip per bus.
Booklet of Ten Cash Advance Tickets....................$10.00
Available at CAT Offices located at 900 East Gwinnett Street, and at CAT Central, 124 Bull Street; tickets are not discounted.
Elderly/Disabled Fare: Each Boarding ........................50¢
Elderly/Disabled Tokens.................................20 for $10.00 (Use of tokens is optional)
Note: Elderly/Disabled passengers must show ID card when boarding.
Young Children: Children under 41" tall (height of most fareboxes) ride free. Only two young children per accompanying passenger may ride free.
There are all kinds of tours by various modes around Savannah. You can get a trolly tour in front of the visitors' center and a carriage tour at City Market. I saw lots of tour buses as well, so just about any kind of transported tour you want is available. However my advice is to use your feet. The visitor's center sells a self-guided walking tour that is marvelous and leads you through most of the squares and historic sights in the old town. You can go at your own pace and it is not a hard city to walk. Plus you just see more when you walk - and you can make a coffee, lunch, beer break whenever you feel like it.
Savannah's downtown Historic District is the largest in the United States - There's a lot to explore and to see, and that means a whole lot of walking- why not give yourself a break and see Savannah in style?Rusty owns and operates this pedicab service and has been around for a decade making people smile and giving easy acces to downtown. Parking is tough- they'll drop you off and pick you up again!
WALK!! Savannah’s historic district, squares, downtown and riverfront are all within walking distance. It’s probably one of the most pleasant walks you can talk here in the US. There’s so much to see and photograph, places to stop in or just window shop, signs to read and areas to relax that it seems wrong not to walk it. Granted it’s hot sometimes, but it’s easy to get out of…plenty of shade in the squares and shops to grab a cold drink or ice cream. It’s certainly not a hard city to navigate and it’s unlikely you’ll get lost.
Chatham Area Transit (CAT) provides a free trolley that circulates all around the Historic district. It operates from 7 am to 7 pm Monday- Saturday and from 10 am to 4 pm on Sundays during the warmer months. For the truly frugal this could replace the paid service provide by several companies. Of course on this route there is no colorful commentary, but it's nice to know its there, even if it's only to use the day after you take the full-blown tour to bounce around the many squares. The web site cited below allows you to download and print a route map and a schedule.