Right off the bat I’m going to tell you there is no “best” trolley tour in Savannah…you just need to decide on the ideal option for your particular situation! Today I’m going to break down your choices and help you decide which is right for you. I’ve also included some Savannah trolley tour reviews and lots of helpful input from members of my private Facebook group!

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If you’re new around here…first of all, welcome! Thanks for stopping by. My name is Erin, and I authored the Savannah First-Timer’s Guide. I love sharing my photos of Savannah, and I’m happy to help new visitors plan their trips.

If you want to skip to a particular section of the post, you can use this handy table of contents to do so…

Savannah Trolley Tour Options

I’m only going to focus on the three main tour companies, and I’ll review them in alphabetical order: Kelly Tours, Old Savannah Tours, and Old Town Trolley.

The last two offer Hop-On/Hop-Off options, while Kelly tours currently does not. ALL of the tours are narrated. I’m saving the ghost trolleys and special trolleys for a later post.

COMPANY

HOP-ON

HOP-OFF

DURATION

PARKING

PERKS

COST

PURCHASE TICKETS

KELLY TOURS

NO

1 Day

Savannah Visitor
Center Lot

Includes the Starland District, Free Shuttle Use for 2 Days

$12-35

KELLY TOURS

NO

90 Minutes

1 Free Lot + SAV Visitor Center Lot

Convertible Rooftop Offers Better Photo Ops,
Tour is More Personalized

$13-$39

OLD SAVANNAH TOURS

YES

1 Day

2 Free Lots + SAV Visitor Center Lot

Characters to Illustrate History, Free Shuttle, Small Pets Allowed

$13-$35

OLD SAVANNAH TOURS

NO

100 Minutes

2 Free Lots + SAV Visitor Center Lot

Characters to Illustrate History, Free Shuttle, Small Pets Allowed

$13-$28

OLD TOWN TROLLEY

YES

1 Day

2 Free Lots + SAV Visitor Center Lot

GPS
Tracking, Free Shuttle, Frequent Stops

$15-$38


OLD TOWN TROLLEY

YES

2 Days

2 Free Lots + SAV Visitor Center Lot

GPS
Tracking, Free Shuttle, Frequent Stops

$30-$60


Should You Do a Savannah Trolley Tour?

My personal opinion is that Savannah is best seen by foot. The Historic District is small and very walkable, and you’ll notice so many more details when you’re strolling through the squares.

However, I realize many people have mobility issues or prefer not to walk for hours on end — especially in Savannah’s soul-sucking humidity — so I totally understand the lure of the trolleys!

If you’re not into walking for hours on end, one of the top reasons I suggest a trolley tour is because I think it’s better to let someone else do the driving on your first day in the city.

Hear me out…

Savannah isn’t always the easiest place for newcomers to navigate; it’s filled with notoriously bad drivers, one-way streets, cyclists, and SCAD students rushing to class. There are also 22 squares (tiny parks you have to detour around when you’re driving) that newcomers just can’t seem to figure out.

The solution? Let a tour guide shuttle you around! That way you can get familiar with the layout of the Historic District while enjoying a narrated overview of the city.


Hop-On/Hop-Off Tours vs. Non-Stop Tours

One of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make when selecting a tour is whether to do the Hop-On/Hop-Off option or the 1.5-hour non-stop tour instead.

If you’re not in any rush and are operating on Savannah time, aka: as slow as a Southern drawl, my suggestion is to purchase the Hop-On/Hop-Off ticket and then ride it all the way around once without hopping off. That way you’ll get a good overview of the Historic District and can make note of the attractions you want to see most.

Then, on your second loop around, “hop off” to visit the attractions you noted. Walk around to explore the nearby squares and anything else that catches your eye before “hopping” back on at one of the next stops.

I always suggest newbies take one of the trolleys and take the whole tour before doing the on and off. I suggest they bring a pen and circle on the map the things they want to see/stop at after the first go-round.

Lori M.S. via my Savannah First-Timer’s Guide private Facebook group

If you’re super short on time, I vote for a non-stop tour instead (especially if you’re just doing a day trip). The uninterrupted tours are faster, since you won’t waste precious time waiting for others to board.

Once you’ve done the uninterrupted tour and determined what interests you most, make a beeline to those spots on foot or take the free DOT shuttle to get there. You can also download the Downtowner app to request a free ride within the Historic District.

Related Post: The Ultimate One-Day Trolley Tour of Savannah’s Historic District

Perks of Both Tours

Both the Hop-On/Hop-Off tours and the non-stop history tours offer…

  • A narrated history of Savannah
  • Restaurant and sightseeing suggestions from your guide
  • Breaks from the heat to enjoy a nice breeze
  • A respite from the rain or cold on bad weather days (the trolley windows can be closed)
  • An easier way to cover a lot of ground for seniors, families lugging babies around, or anyone with mobility issues

We took the trolley tour this past weekend & LOVED it! We learned so much! Riding in the breeze felt much better than walking in the hot sun. 😂 We did a good bit of walking too, but really enjoyed riding the trolley.

– member of my Savannah First-Timer’s Guide private Facebook group

All three tours offer accessibility-friendly options, such as storage for wheelchairs, scooters, and foldable baby strollers. If you have specific special needs you’re concerned about, be sure check each company’s individual website or call them directly.

Most of the trolleys run year-round — even on holidays! St. Patrick’s Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day are the two primary exceptions, since there are large parades downtown on those days.

Hop-On/Hop-Off Trolley Perks

  • Pick and choose where you “hop off”
  • Skip certain attractions if you aren’t interested
  • Use the trolley to rest your feet for short periods of time while between landmarks
  • You’ll have a variety of drivers, so you’ll get a different take on the history from each one

Non-Stop History Tour Perks

  • Faster than the Hop-On/Hop-Off, since you won’t have to repeatedly wait for passengers to load and unload
  • Better for enjoying an uninterrupted historical narration of Savannah

Hop-On/Hop-Off Trolley Tour Map

The routes that Old Savannah Tours and Old Town Trolley Tours take for their Hop-On/Hop-Off tours are very similar. To show you just how similar they are, I created a map of Hop-On/Hop-Off locations:

Old Savannah Tours icons are blue and Old Town Trolley icons are orange. You can click on each stop to read more about it.

They practically overlap in every instance! I even spaced them slightly apart when they did overlap, just so you could see each icon.

The main differences are that Old Savannah tours goes to the Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters and to Telfair Academy, while Old Town Trolley goes to Davenport House instead. Old Town Trolley also drops by their Welcome Center at the end of their tour.


Savannah Trolley Tour Reviews

Even though I try not to play favorites, I do make every effort to support local businesses on this site! For that reason, I usually recommend Old Savannah Tours to my readers. They were the original trolley tour company in Savannah and are still locally owned.

All three companies employ locals, though, so they’re all helping support the people who live here. You can’t go wrong with any of the tours!

Now…since each trolley company has its own individual strengths, let’s dive into what makes each one unique.

Kelly Tours (Grayline)

Even though Kelly Tours doesn’t offer a Hop-On/Hop-Off tour, they’re still a fantastic option. If you purchase either of their uninterrupted tours, they offer unlimited pick-ups and drop-offs both on the day of your tour and the following day on their smaller free shuttle service.

The smaller shuttle bus is enclosed and air-conditioned, which is a huge perk during the heat and humidity of Savannah’s summer months. (Trust me on that!)

We did Kelly Tours; booked through our concierge. Picked us up in a shuttle, took us to the start of the 90-minute tour, dropped us off where we wanted to revisit, and shuttled us to wherever we wanted that day and the next. Highly recommend.

Karen H. via my Savannah First-Timer’s Guide private Facebook group

Their uninterrupted tours aren’t scripted. The guides visit the Historic District, the Victorian District, and the Starland District, so you’ll get a good overview of the downtown area if you choose Kelly Tours.

A few highlights of their uninterrupted tours include drives past River Street, City Market, Forsyth Park, the Starland District, and the beautiful Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist.

The Savannah Theatre marquis sign at dusk in the background and a historic brick sidewalk and lamppost in the foreground
Blue and white Kelly Tours trolley parked in front of the Savannah Theatre marquis sign

If you’re trying to decide between the regular Non-Stop Narrated Trolley Tour or their 360° Panoramic Tour, note that the 360° tour is smaller and more personalized. It’s in a Mercedes Sprinter with a convertible top, so they’ll remove the top on nice weather days and you’ll get a fantastic view of the city. NOTE: You might want to pack a hat to avoid sunburn on the top of your head!

Photo Tip: If you’re a photographer or Instagrammer, the 360° Panoramic Tour would be a great option for you. The convertible roof is ideal for photographing churches and the architectural features of the city.

FAQs About Kelly Tours

Do they have a free shuttle?
Yes. As mentioned, their free shuttles will not only pick you up and drop you off at your hotel within the Historic District on the day of your tour, but the driver will also deliver you to various points of interest the following day.

Do they have free parking?
Some. They offer a very limited number of free spots behind their Welcome Center on a first come/first serve basis. You’ll probably end up parking at the Savannah Visitor Center, which is just steps away.

Are the trolleys air-conditioned?
Sort-of. Technically they are, but since the trolleys are open-air, you won’t be able to feel the A/C much. The free shuttles have A/C, though!

Can you board anywhere?
No. The trolley departs from the Savannah Visitor Center, so you’ll need to meet there. If you opt for their 360° Panoramic Tour, it’s a smaller and more personalized tour, and they’ll pick you up at your hotel.

What time does the last tour of the day depart?
The last tour departs between 3 and 3:30 in order to return to the Savannah Visitor Center by 5 pm.

Purchase Kelly Tours Trolley Tickets


Old Savannah Trolley Tours

Aside from being locally owned, what sets Old Savannah Tours apart are the costumed character actors who board the trolleys. The most popular person to board is usually Forrest Gump, but there are quite a few other characters, too. The characters board the both the Non-Stop Narrated History Trolley and the Hop-On/Hop-Off option.

Old Savannah tours are my very favorite. I love the characters at certain stops that give a narrations about that stop. It is also pet friendly. The Old Savannah Tours trolley and Old Town Trolley seem to stop at the same stops. It really depends on who your tour guide is. We’ve had great tour guides on both trolleys, but we just love the period dressed actors on the Old Savannah Tours trolley. 

Lori M.S. via my Savannah First-Timer’s Guide private Facebook group

Regarding Lori’s point above, the tour stops are very similar. The main difference is that Old Savannah Tours stops at the Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters, while Old Town Trolley goes to Davenport House instead. Old Savannah Tours also goes to Telfair Square and near the Waving Girl Statue on River Street.

We used Old Savannah Tours. It’s a good way to see a large portion of the main areas. And the costumed actors were an unexpected bonus! All in all, we heard 4 different drivers and their personal take on the narration, which was fun.

– Savannah First-Timer’s Guide private Facebook group member

The guides on Old Savannah Tours don’t follow a written script, so you’ll get fresh information each time you hop on a trolley. They hire personable guides who do their best to make the tours entertaining. Another perk is that they usually have a separate driver and guide (vs. one driver who does double-duty driving and narrating).

We just did the Old Savannah Tours (white trolley) and I would highly recommend it. Our guide was amazing – very interesting and entertaining. I noticed walking around today and yesterday that it seems like the other tours (the green) just have a driver that is the guide. We had a separate driver and guide, and I think I prefer that. We noticed that our driver was very skilled, and it seems like it can be frustrating driving through the Historic District. I’m glad the driver could focus on driving and the guide could focus on the tour.

MaryJo D.H. via my Savannah First-Timer’s Guide private Facebook group
A white trolley with Old Savannah Tours written on its side is parked in front of an old church with red doors and a newly wedded bride and groom walk towards the trolley
The Old Savannah Tours trolleys are white and wood-toned and have the most classic look.

FAQs About Old Savannah Tours

Do they have a free shuttle?
Yes. Old Savannah Tours offers a free shuttle that will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel within the Historic District. You can call to arrange for the shuttle after you’ve purchased your ticket.

Do they have free parking?
Yes, they have two lots, and both are very close to the Savannah Visitor Center. The larger lot is located at their Welcome Center, which is at 215 W Boundary Street. The second lot is at a former bank building located at 255 Montgomery Street (directly across the street from the Savannah Visitor Center). Parking at both free lots is limited and on a first come/first serve basis. If they run out, park at the Savannah Visitor Center.

Are pets allowed?
Yes. Small dogs under 25 pounds are welcome on the Old Savannah Tours trolleys.

Are the trolleys air-conditioned?
No. They’re open-air, so you’ll feel a breeze, but no icy cold A/C.

Can you board anywhere?
You can, but it’s best to board at Stop #1 (the Savannah Visitor Center). They’ll provide a sticker there that allows you to hop on and off at each of the stops.

NOTE: If you board elsewhere first, you won’t have a sticker and you’ll have to stay on the trolley until you reach the Savannah Visitor Center to obtain one. You can hop on and off anytime after that, but not before.

What time does the last tour of the day depart?
The final tour of the day departs the Visitor Center at 4:30 pm, so you need to arrive at no later than 4:15 pm. If you’re out in the Historic District and want to “hop on” to ride back to the Visitor Center, you need to do so by 4:30 pm. After 5 pm, Old Savannah Tours uses their white trolleys for ghost tours.

Purchase Old Savannah Tours Tickets

By the way, I’ve created a super helpful one-day itinerary based around the Old Savannah Tours Hop-On/Hop-Off trolley tour!


Old Town Trolley Tours

Old Town Trolley Tours trolleys are tracked by GPS, so you can check their app to see when the next one is arriving. To do this, download the “Old Town Trolley mAPP” on your device.

They’re the only trolley company that offers this feature, and it’s very handy! You’ll know when to position yourself at the stop so you won’t miss a trolley and have to wait for the next one.

They also operate the largest number of trolleys in Savannah, so they usually have the shortest wait times. If a particular stop is overly crowded, they can send a backup trolley out to lessen the wait time.

We walked everywhere on Day 1 and purchased a 2-day trolley pass for the next two days. It is nice to be able to rest and ride and just listen and then walk. We did the Hop-On/Hop-Off Old Town Trolley. Very enjoyable. Just remember that they go in numerical order for the stops. Plan accordingly. Sometimes the buses are full, and you may have to wait for the next bus for about 8 minutes. 

Savannah First-Timer’s Guide private Facebook group member
An orange and green trolley with an Old Town Trolley Tours logo on the side
Old Town Trolley tours are easy enough to spot! You’ll see their orange and green trolleys throughout the Historic District.

FAQs About Old Town Trolley Tours

Do they have a free shuttle?
Yes. You can arrange for complimentary pick-up and drop-off at your hotel within the Historic District.

Do they have free parking?
Yes. Guests can park for free in the Old Town Trolley lot , which is across the street from the Visitor Center (Stop #1). The address is 234 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. They offer additional parking a few blocks away at their Welcome Center, which is located at 214 W Boundary Street (Stop #15).

Are pets allowed?
No — unless they’re service animals.

Are the trolleys air-conditioned?
No. They’re open-air, so you’ll feel a breeze, but no icy cold A/C.

Do the 2-day passes have to be used two days in a row?
No. If you purchase a 2-day pass, you do not need to use them on consecutive days.

When is the last tour of the day?
During April, May, and June, the final tour of the day departs at 5 pm, which means the last drop-off at the Visitor Center is at 6:30 pm. The final drop-off is closer to 5 pm during the remaining portion of the year (August through March).

Purchase Old Town Trolley Tickets


A Note on Parking….

The tour companies all offer free parking, but each lot only has a limited number of spaces. They’re usually on a first come/first serve basis.

All of the companies are located in the vicinity of the Savannah Visitor Center, which makes a great place for overflow parking. The first hour of parking at the Visitor Center is free. It costs $1 per hour thereafter. Make note that you’ll need to have your car out by 8 pm!

The Visitor Center has bathrooms, free WiFi, a snack center, and gift shop. The Savannah History Museum is also located in the same building.

A Note on Tipping….

Tipping isn’t included in any of the tour prices, so it’s always nice to tip your driver at the end if they do a good job. I’m impressed with how well they navigate the narrow streets of Savannah while dodging pedestrians AND keeping up with the historical narration. Kudos to them!

I would definitely include a tip if they make the extra effort of picking you up and dropping you off at your hotel.

We did Old Savannah Trolley Tours. Great tour, we just stayed on the trolley. We also got to bring our furbaby with us on the tour, which was a plus! They also provided transportation to and from our door without additional cost. We tipped the driver, of course.

Sherri H. via my Savannah First-Timer’s Guide private Facebook group

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This site was recently nominated as a “Best in Georgia” business for 2021. If you find it helpful and would like to vote, it’s in the “Hotel & Travel” category under “Vacation Destinations”.

Savannah Travel Guide Info

If you’re planning a trip to Savannah and need additional help, here are a few resources I’ve created…

  • Savannah First-Timer’s Guide – My ebook includes all of my best insider tips in one place. It’s the only resource you’ll need when planning your trip to Savannah! You’ll also gain access to my (very active) private Facebook group with your purchase. In it, you’ll be able to pick my brain about your travel plans and can read trip reviews from others who have recently visited.
  • Savannah FTG Free Resources Library – Get a free printable list of 50 Things To Do On-Foot in the Historic District (no car needed!), plus more fun goodies.

Not Ready to Go Just Yet?

Stick around! Here are some more helpful posts you might be interested in reading…

If you have any questions about these Savannah trolley tour reviews, feel free to drop them in the comments below!

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