Free Historic Savannah Shuttle
The City sponsors a free shuttle around the Historical District which runs every 15 minutes from 10:00 to 8:00. Its route is different that the one mentioned in Part I.
Beside the bus route there is also a river ferry service between River Street, Waving Girl statue and the Convention Center on the other side.
Additionally, there is a restored 1930's streetcar, brought from Melbourne, Australia and totally refurbished, making a run up and down the length of River Street. So you can walk down , taking time to stop and browse the stores, and then hop in the tram to make you way back up.
You can print out a route map from the website below.
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Getting around Savannah
You can see Savannah by just about any means of transportation imaginable. I did not see any submarine tour offerings but I did see guides for walking tours, carriage tours, trolley tours, water tours, and bus tours. There are of course car rental outlets and I saw at least one place which rents motorcycles (Harley-Davidsons, even), relatively common in Europe and Asia but rather rare here. Perhaps the best way to get your initial introduction to Savannah might be to take a trolley tour. There are at least three reputable companies which offer trolley tours and their tours are pretty similar. They do get pretty competitive, so please do not pay the full advertised price, especially in the off-season (generally from Labor Day, the first Monday in September, until college spring breaks begin). The best original orientation may probably be obtained by buying an all day "On/Off" package. This allows you to ride a particular provider's trolleys from 9 AM until 4:30 PM and get off or on as many times as you like. The currently advertised price for this option is $23 dollars but I paid only $18 and felt like I could have gotten an even better price had I been willing to haggle. I would suggest that you ride all the way around the first time to help decide where you want to concentrate your time (You will not be able to see everything in one day.) and then get on and off as you desire after that first circuit. Most of the trolley tours are narrated and will give you a very good sense of the history, culture, and architecture of Savannah. Many of the guides/narrators will also point locations where some of the more than 30 "Hollywood" movies made there were filmed, as well as the sites made famous by "The Book" (That is what they call it in Savannah.), Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, by John Berendt. A couple companies also offer nocturnal "ghost tours."
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Yellow Cab Is Your Best Bet!
If you'd like to save money by getting a hotel away from downtown, go ahead! There are lots located on Abercorn and White Bluff streets, down by Hunter Army Air Field and the Oglethorpe Mall. And then if you don't want to find parking while downtown on River St, because you WILL get a parking ticket if you're not vigilant, call a cab! They're fast and reliable, usually there within 30 minutes, and run 24/7.
There are many different cab companies, but our favorite is Yellow Cab. The drivers are so nice and helpful. And though they work thru Yellow Cab, they will give you a business card with Yellow Cab's contact info on it, as well as their own personal info, such as their name and cell phone. Since moving here, we have our own personal Cabbie now, and if he can't make it, he calls for us!
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If driving to Savannah, you...
If driving to Savannah, you would probably use I-95 or I-16. 95 runs north and south. 16 comes from Atlanta by way of 75S, gettin on 16 at Macon. We have an international airport, with daily flights fom anywhere. We are also served by Amtrak and Greyhound bus, if you desire.
You will need a car if you want to go to the beach, the civil war forts, or to Savannah Wildlife, just across the river in SC. You can see alligators in their natural state. BE CAREFUL!
There are umpteen bazillion...
There are umpteen bazillion ways to get into the city. The usual channels -- air, train, bus, car -- are all available to get into Savannah. We're very proud of our (quasi) new Airport (Savannah International), but fares in and out of town can be a little pricey, and you'll still have to rent a car or take a cab to get into the city proper. Same story for the train station. It might seem like the train would be a romantic and appropriate way to get into Savannah, and it would be if the train station wasn't number one way out from town, maintaining the necessity of paying for a cab or a car rental, and number two relatively shady-looking, enough so to make you relatively uncomfortable while you're standing there with your bags waiting for your ride to wherever you're going. Driving is relatively easy, but I would recommend seriously watching any lead-foot tendencies you might have when you're getting all excited about making it to Savannah. Chatham County and Georgia State Police aggressively enforce the speed limit around here, and fines are comparatively high, so be careful.
Walking, of course, is the best way to get around once you're in the Historic District proper. Not everything is particularly close though of course, but luckily Chatham Area Transit (CAT is what you'll see it called) offers very good bus service in the downtown area, including a free shuttle in funny looking green buses that goes all over Creation and/or center city Savannah. Regular fare for other routes is 75 cents.
As for driving yourself around, you might want to limit that to a minimum where you can. Parking a car can be QUITE an adventure in the historic district, especially during the tourist season, and I'm willing to bet that parking is not exactly the kind of adventure you're looking for in Savannah. Be careful of where you park, if you manage to find a space -- the city has enough meter maids to conquer Western Europe easily, and since this is Savannah, they're very pleasant and some of them have been known to leave nice little hard candies on people's windshields on top of the tickets, but a parking ticket with a piece of candy is still a parking ticket, and you don't want them.
It's easy to get to Savannah
Interstate 16 goes right into downtown Savannah.
If you have a map, it's very easy to get around here. Even better, park your car and walk! Everything is close together and walking is the best way to see the historic district.
Savannah is a 4 hour ride from...
Savannah is a 4 hour ride from Atlanta Georgia. As soon as you are out of Metro Atlanta the 6 lane highway will change into a very unbussy 2 lane highway heading towards Savannah. Another way in getting to Savannah is by air. There are daily direct flights from Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport to Savannah. The flight duration will take 15 to 20 minutes depending on the type of aircraft you are flying.
We arrived via the trusty...
We arrived via the trusty Honda Civic and after shelling out $850 to have it fixed, left by the same mode. ;)
It's best to just walk around as the city is fairly compact and it is the streets that are the real attraction of this romantic city. Of course, there are boat trips to view the city from the Savannah River, even ones that will take you to Tybee Island with dolphin viewing as well.
Walking is the Best Way to See Historic Savannah
Walking is the best way to experience this city. Don't forget to bring bottled water. You can get maps of the historic district for free in your hotel or at a visitor's center. Just take your time and walk River Street and the historic park squares.
Horse Carriage rides are also available for ~ $20 per person (adult). It is cool to ride around and have the guide give you a short history lesson. Walking is still the best way to see the city in my opinion.
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City Bike Rentals
Savannah is the first city i Georgia to sponsor a bike-sharing program, which has been available since 2013, and is the perfect way to explore the historical city. The whole process is easy to finish at solar-powered kiosks. Presently there are only 2 and the only one right in the touristy area is at Ellis Square (the other one is at the main Transit Center).
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Rent a Car
If you are interested in visiting things off the beaten path, I would highly suggest renting a car to get around for your trip. Places such as Tybee Island and Bonaventure Cemetery are all easily accesible by car, but not necesarily if you are relying on walking through Savannah. We were fine just walking through the historic town, but certain worthwhile restaurants and attractions are a little on the outskirts of the historic center, so if you are interested in visiting beyond the historic center, look into renting a car. Go to Orbitz or any other travel site to find cheap and reliable car rentals.
Savannah is a walking city!
Because Savannah's a walking city, a rental car isn't really needed, unless you want to visit some of the outlying forts and beaches, or perhaps Hilton Head or Charleston in South Carolina. The taxi fare from the airport to the city is about $15 per person, although some hotels offer shuttle services.
Trollies & Buses
You can purchase a tourist pass from one of the many trolley companies in town, about $27.00. It entitles you to on and off privalages at several points of interest.
To get around to locations not on the trolley route, we used the local bus (public transportation) it only cost $1.00 each way.
Savannah Taxi Cab Service
When I was in Savannah, I used a taxi cab service. They don't have a subway because it is a smaller town. Try contacting Savannah Taxi Cab Service. Don't know exactly how much the trip you are asking about would cost, but call them and they can give you an estimate ;)
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