Tour d'Trot

 

Tour: Carriage Tours of Savannah
Cost: Group History and Haunted Tours start at $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 5-11. Under 5 are free. The Private Tours begin at $85 per couple and additional fees may apply for more than two people and/or location pick- ups/drop-offs. Weddings and special engagement prices are arranged per party and depend on availability and season. 
Contact: 912.236.6756, www.carriagetoursofsavannah.com
The Skinny: Hitched in the heart of City Market, Carriage Tours of Savannah offers fifty-minute tours both day and night that focus either on the rich history of the Hostess City or the more spooky stories of the most haunted city in America. For the romantics, Carriage Tours offers Deluxe Private Carriages in which formally attired drivers will whisk you to your destination in a beautiful and ornate white carriage straight out of a fairy tale.
Experience: For years now, Savannah motorists have been giving the right of way to countless carriages led by such equine beasts as Billy, Justice, Murphy and Ladybug—all horses owned and cared for by Carriage Tours of Savannah. With carriages ranging in size from the two-passenger, private “Cinderella Carriage” to the twelve-passenger wagon style carriage, each tour is a relaxing ramble that gently trots from square to square, taking in Savannah’s natural and built beauty. “[Much] of the tour information originates from more experienced guides,” explains owner Cara Sandt. “We encourage our new drivers to take as many tours as they can and learn from those who have honed their skills. The basis, however, comes from the city- regulated guide. Every tour, like its guide, has its own personality.” Office Manager Dana Andrews says the tours attract a wide range of riders. “We see all ages of girls scouts and all ages of people in general,” she explains. “We work with the schools and have begun to see real rise in popularity for our private carriages.”

What really makes the Carriage Tours so popular, though, is the team of horses—each with a unique personality. The company’s 14 horses (five Belgians and eight Percherons) endure seven-hour shifts daily and reside in stable facilities just off Wheaton Street on Savannah’s eastside. Eleven of the horses live within the stable itself while three have their own enclosed outdoor stall. The facility even boasts a two-acre field for the horses to enjoy.
Since Carriage Tours of Savannah took to the streets in the late 1970s they have been entertaining tourists and the occasional local with an unusual enthusiasm. After purchasing the company in February 2006, Sandt—a former tour guide—has been a driving force in the city’s ongoing tourism boom. “The atmosphere of our tours is more relaxed and more authentic to the beginning of the city in the 1700s,” says Sandt. “The pace is a bonus
to any guest.”