Besides the standard narrated Historic District tours, all the trolly tour companies  also offer a number of spin-off tours. Samples include the Pirate’s House Dinner & Ghost Tour, Belles of Savannah, the Evening Haunted Trolley, and multiple Paula Deen tours.
The copious ghost tours, offered by all the companies, can be fun for the casual visitor. But students of the paranormal are likely to be disappointed by the cartoonish, Halloween aspect of some of them.
A standout in the ghost field is the Hearse Ghost Tours (912/695-1578, www.hearseghosttours.com ), a unique company that also operates tours in New Orleans and St. Augustine, Florida. Up to eight guests at a time ride around in the open top of a converted hearse, painted all black of course, and get a 90-minute, suitably over-the-top narration from the driver/guide. Still pretty cheesy, but a hip kind of cheesy.
For those who take their paranormal activity very seriously, there’s Shannon Scott’s Sixth Sense Savannah Ghost Tour (866/666-3323, www.sixthsensesavannah.com , $20, $38.50 midnight tour), an uncensored, straightforward look at Savannah ’s poltergeist population.
Longtime tour guide and raconteur Greg Proffit and his staff offer fun walking “pub crawls,” Savannah Tours by Foot (912/238-3843, www.savannahtours.com ), wherein the point is to meet your guide at some local tavern, ramble around, learn a little bit, and imbibe a lot, though not necessarily in that order. The adult tour is the “Creepy Crawl” ($18) whereas the kid-and-Girl Scout-appropriate tour is the “Creepy Stroll” ($10 adults, $5 Girl Scouts). You may not want to believe everything you hear, but you’re sure to have a lot of fun. The tours book up early, so make arrangements in advance.
To learn about Savannah’s history of filmmaking and to enjoy the best of local cuisine, try a Savannah Movie Tour (912/234-3440, www.savannahmovietours.net , $25 adults, $15 children), taking you to various film locations in town, and a newer Savannah Foody Tour (912/234-3440, www.savannahmovietours.net , $48) featuring 6–9 local eateries.
Storyteller and author Ted Eldridge leads A Walk Through Savannah Tours (912/921-4455, www.awalkthroughsavannah.bravehost.com , $15 adults, $5 children 6–12, free for children under 6) and offers all kinds of specialty walking tours, such as a garden tour, a ghost tour, a historic churches tour, and of course a Midnight tour.
For a more enlightened take than you’ll usually get on a local tour, contact licensed guide Orlando Montoya (912/308-2952, $20) for a personalized walking tour. His regular job is as a journalist with Georgia Public Radio, so expect a higher level of taste and information with this journey.
The unique Negro Heritage Trail Tour (912/234-8000, $19 adults, $10 children) takes you on a 90-minute air-conditioned bus tour of over 30 of Savannah ’s key African American history sites. Pick up the Negro Heritage Tour at the Visitors Center downtown (301 MLK Jr. Blvd.) at 10 a.m. and noon Tuesday–Saturday.
Truly independent travelers might want to use Phil Sellers’ Citytrex (912/228-5608, www.citytrex.com , $15–15), Savannah’s only podcast-based self-guided walking tour. Just go to the website and download a tour offered directly to your iPod or cell phone. Some downloads offer enhanced content such as photos.
To see downtown Savannah by bicycle—quite a refreshing experience—try Savannah Bike Tours (803/760-3143, www.savannahbiketours.com , $15 adults, $10 under 12), two-hour trips through all 19 squares and Forsyth Park with your “rolling concierge” guide. They leave every day at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. from a spot near the corner of Whitaker and West Hall streets. Rent bikes from them or ride your own.