From the sightseeing perspective, Savannah is a walker’s dream and a driver’s worst nightmare. Traffic crawls along due to trolleys, carriages and all those squares, so if you’re in a hurry you’d best stay home. But walking comes with caveats. When you stroll — not walk — the streets of Slow-vannah,keep your eyes down. Many of the streets in the Historic District are constructed of ballast stones from the ships that sailed into the port in the 1700s. The early settlers who laid the surfaces did their best for smooth pathways, but the earth’s settling has left some uneven and treacherous bumps on the sidewalks. Rubber-soled shoes can become slippery, too. Pay special attention to the ramps leading down to River Street and stay clear of the stone staircases that descend from the Bay Street bluff. Instead, use the glass elevator located next to the Hyatt Regency Savannah.
Unless you’re staying outside the Historic District and need transportation to downtown, you likely won’t need a taxi. Yellow Cab of Savannah has cabs that are wheelchair accessible; reserve in advance.
Savannah Bike Rentals offers electric ($40 for four hours) and traditional bikes (starting at $15 for four hours). CAT (Chatham Area Transit) Bikes is the state’s first bike share company. Join online prior to your visit for a 24-hour pass ($5) or a seven-day pass ($20).
This is the classic way to get around — especially for those who have difficulty walking. Drivers can be amusing characters, sharing ghost stories and historical tales (some true, some iffy). For short jaunts, fares are called “Tips for Trips,” with a $10 minimum increased in voluntary $5 increments. Or hire a driver for your stay ($150 per day) and you’ll make a new friend for life.
If you’re in a wheelchair or electric scooter or use a walker, be cautious at street corners for drop-offs. Popular River Street is made of stones and thus bumpy and uneven, but if you cross River Street to the walkway at the edge of the river, the sidewalks are smooth all the way to the end.
Barrier-free shops, restaurants and public restrooms are not plentiful around town. The Accessibility Guide to Savannah’s Historic Districts provides detailed information on accessibility to museums, historic sites, restaurants, tours, transportation and more.