Spring has come early in Savannah this year, and the azaleas have shown their multicolored beauty almost a full month early! The buttery sunshine calling my name, my nephew, Tristan and I decided to finally use the free trolley tickets that Old Savannah’s own, Marcia Banes was nice enough to give our Savannah Dream Team. I parked in the Savannah Visitor’s Center Parking lot because I had to drop off some rack cards for work anyway. We could have parked at Old Savannah’s free parking lot next to the Distillery off River Street across from the Visitors Center but Tristan was curious about what was in the bustling building. We wandered around the large building and as always I was amazed by the wealth of information available. My nephew, Tristan loved the model boats on display and had me take a picture with every single one. He wanted to go to the Savannah History Museum but we had a time schedule to stick to.
We walked over to the and Old Savannah kiosk to start our adventure. A very friendly gentleman named Brian Scott, actually an old friend of mine from College, welcomed us on the trolley by giving us some stickers to wear. Tristan was excited and wanted to sit in the front but I suggested the large seat in the back so we had a better view of everything.
Known among my service industry friends as the “white bus tour” ; locally owned Old Savannah Tours has been voted the Best Tour in Savannah since 2003. It was founded in 1979 and is mostly staffed by Savannah natives who share a passion for the Hostess City. The guides for this unique tour company do not read from a boring script, like the other tours in town, instead they infuse the already interesting history with their personal experiences, including out of the way local favorite restaurants, bars, and bookstores. So every time you board a different trolley you get totally different perspective. They are pet friendly as well, and a very cute french poodle soaked up the sights with his little face out of the window. Tristan especially loved the Characters that get on every few stops and tell their stories. These actors portray various famous Savannah figures from the past and if you’re lucky you might even see Forrest Gump! Tristan loved the Pirate and wanted to talk to him. This company definitely stays true to their slogan of “Bringing Savannah’s History to Life”.
As a local, I am very familiar with the textbook history of the Hostess City but even I learned quite a few things. For example, unbelievably in the original charter for the Georgia colony they outlawed liquor in Savannah??!! That as we all know didn’t last long in our predominantly Irish town.
I was also proud to learn we have the oldest continuously running public school in Georgia, The Massie School. With the largest fleet of trolleys in town, you will never have to wait long if you are on an On/Off tour. It really is a great way to see the city, I noticed details about certain buildings that had escaped my attention before!
We meandered our way back to the Visitor’s center with a new view of our favorite City. The warmth from every employee was impressive and made the already good experience a great one. With a variety of Tour offerings, Old Savannah Tours has something available for every taste. The one I took was the Historic Overview Tour on/off, a ninety minute tour with the option to jump on and off at various points around the city with an unlimited day pass. This is a great way to see multiple Characters and gain many perspectives of our lovely Hometown. This tour can also be done without jumping off for a slightly lower price . For the person in a rush, you can hop on the cheaper Express option which is a jaunt through the city in 70 minutes, and this is perfect for the traveler who has only a limited time.
For the hot natured historians, they offer the detailed Savannah Experience Tour, in an air-conditioned comfort you can explore not only the popular Historic District, but also wander into the surrounding off the beaten path neighborhoods and learn about the rich past that lives there. It last three hours and is a nonstop wealth of information, so set aside some time for this one.
Thrill seekers might like the Grave Encounters tour, that brings the ghosts of the America’s most haunted city to life with tales of the macabre and mystery. For a few extra coins for the ferryman you can even tour the infamous Sorrell Weed House, featured the TV show Ghost Hunters.
The best value in my opinion is the History and Architecture Tour, which includes not only the Historic Overview on/off day pass, and admission to the Historic Telfair Academy, the contemporary art museum the Jepson Center, and a grand tour of the Owen Thomas House. You can see the whole of Savannah and get a free ride to boot!
Finally they offer amazing the Land And Sea Package, which includes the Historic Overview on/off pass AND a river cruise on our own Savannah River Queen, a authentic paddle boat the lazily strolls up and down the River. You choose which comes first but please call ahead to schedule your cruise. They also offer Girl Scout Package tours which is a comprehensive deal which includes a long list of destinations, including the Juliette Gordon Low , Andrew Low house and the Beach. Old Savannah will pick up your troop from the Airport or Amtrak Station!
Private Tours can also be scheduled.
Book your trolley tour now through our concierge at (912)713-7278!