Tour de South: 5 Ways to Tour the Historic City of Savannah
Tours by horse, pedestrian, pedicab- even ghost- are the best ways to see all that Savannah has to offer.
You'll also learn a whole lot about its storied history along the way, even if you're a local. Here are a few of the different tours Savannah has to offer.
1. Carriage Tours
Not the first but among the best, Savannah Historic Carriage Tours offers a nice selection of its dark green and natural wood carriages ranging from its elegant two-to three-person Victorian-style open-air carriage and two- to four-person white carriage perfect for weddings and special occasions, to its six-person open-air carriages for private tours, and the eight-person canopied wagons. They’re all pulled by handsome, gentle tall and stout Percheron Geldings. And you’ll find the carriage masters to be amiable founts of information.
2. Segway Tours
Segway tours offer a nice intermediate alternative between the large-scale trolley tour and the walking tour, with the added fun of riding on what is essentially a high-tech ground-level stand-up scooter. Which, by the way, you shouldn’t be worried about mastering. It’s easy and the things are made to maintain the proper balance no matter what. For my money, Segway Tours of Savannah is the best, offering great guides on 60- and 90-minute Historical Squares Tours, as well as tours of three historic cemeteries.
3. Trolley Tours
A very familiar sight in Savannah, trolley tours provide a convenient hop-on/hop-off way to get the lay of the city and be dropped off at some of the must-see historic houses and other points of interest. Old Town Trolley Tours, a Historic Tours of America company, claims to have significantly more trolley cars than any other trolley service in town, which allows them to provide the most frequent service and thus shorter waits for visitors hopping back on to continue the circuit. My personal experiences suggest this is true. Also, Old Town Trolley’s Ghosts & Gravestones night tours offer exclusive stops no other company can offer. Plus, securing a Historic Tours of America Hometown Pass means locals can ride for free, though that kind of benefit isn’t exclusive to Old Town Trolley.
4. Haunted Tours
Savannah is one of the most haunted cities in the nation, perhaps the world. No wonder darkness brings out people dressed like undertakers and ghouls as the ghost tour guides begin to gather their slightly trembling minions in the city’s squares and streets. But it may be the company that eschews such theatrics – Blue Orb Savannah Ghost Tours – that offers the best ghost tour in the city. Blue Orb tour guides chill your blood with well researched true stories, really good storytelling, and a certain macabre sensibility that’s somehow quite agreeable. Both Blue Orb’s popular adults-only Zombie Tour and its Savannah Shadows Tour, the latter based on the Savannah Shadows book of ghost stories written by Blue Orb Savannah Ghost Tours Founder Tobias McGriff, are chillingly thrilling.
5. Culinary Tours
Savannah Taste Experience offers up some tasty tidbits of Savannah’s flavorful culinary landscape but also, particularly with its flagship First Squares Food Tour, its cultural and historic landscape, as well. I think most people will appreciate both elements. The former is enough for a pretty good overview, the latter, through small portions, amounts to a good light lunch including a taste of dessert. Among the First Squares’ six stops are Tondee’s Tavern, Pie Society and Savannah Bee Company. Another tour maybe even more appealing for its more substantial fare and off-the-beaten-path quirkiness is STE’s Famous & Secret East Side Food Tour. It also has six stops and includes Smith Brothers Butcher Shop, Zunzi’s and Walls’ BBQ.