St Augustine Lights – Plan your visit >>

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One of the spectacular events in Florida, USA, is the St  Augustine Festival of Lights. These valued holiday lights performances and displays run from the 18th day of November until the 31st day of January in the historical place of St. Augustine.

During the lights display for this festival, the majority of the businesses downtown are open so that you can avail of their products and services. Their shops are available for viewing of the lights display and decorated buildings.

St. Augustine Nights of Lights
Festival highlights

There is a wide array of selections for specialty tours, which you can choose for a great experience. You can choose to take a walk, or use an electric cart tour.

Trolleys and trains are also available for special seasonal tours so that you can go to the stunning areas in St. Augustine. You can do a lot of things once you visit this place for the festival. There are some photo opportunities which you can do or avail in the downtown areas.

You can even take selfies with the dazzling lights at the bayfront as your background. You may also use the Christmas tree with holiday gifts that surround it as a background for your photoshoot. If you want to consider this for your photoshoots, then you can this place at the center of the Plaza de la Constitucion.

St Augustine Lights Dates (2023-24)

The Nights of Lights in St. Augustine usually starts with a lights display. There’s a night ceremony on the 1st Saturday of the holiday season. This year (2023-2024) it will run from Nov 18, 2023 to Jan 31, 2024.

St. Augustine Nights of Lights is a winter holiday celebration where every historic business downtown and the people themselves participate by decorating with dazzling lights their buildings. This stunning light display continues to glare, which becomes more prominent every year as a holiday season destination for tourists and visitors from any part of the world.

How to Get there?

If you wish to visit St. Augustine for the Festival of Lights, you can also use private vehicles so that you can go to the best places nearby. For those who commute by going to St. Augustine, there are also some free shuttles or rides for transportation.

There’s a free transportation for you to go and visit the center of downtown. These free ride shuttles are always available from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm every Saturday of the holiday season. However, you may still check online if ever there are some changes to the schedules for their free rides.

If you liked this festival, you can also check out these amazing lights festivals:

Tampa Zoo Lights

Suwannee Lights Festival

What to Expect?

Here are some of the things and events which you can expect from this festival:

Light-up Night – The commencement of the Festival of the Lights always begins with this ceremony. There are different kinds of festivities, like musical performances, where the lighting display will also occur.

Colonial Night Watch Weekend – This celebration and parade encourage you to be there at the Castillo De San Marcos for the honor of the British influence on St. Augustine from 1763-1784.

Augustine Christmas Parade – This parade is composed of different types of cars, horses, marching bands, floats. Santa Claus also travels downtown for the Mission Nombre De Dios.

Annual Villa Candlelight Tours – You can have a tour with the stunning Villa Zorayda, which showcases attractive decorations and displays for the holiday season.

Holiday Regatta of Lights – Victory III encourages visitors and guests to brighten up waters as part of the holiday season parade.

Castillo Holiday Open House – This place provides an opportunity to have an interaction with more than 300 years of history, complete with cannon firings and reenactors.

Annual B&B Holiday Tour – This tour during the weekend lets you see over 20 inns and 11 properties of cultural heritage decorated with Christmas season themes.

St. Augustine Ballet’s Nutcracker – This is a classical production by some professional dancers and students in the city. You and your family can opt to watch their performances as well.

Actual Cost to Visit

Visiting St. Augustine for the Nights of Festival is not that costly. The event itself is free. What you need to prepare is extra money for your food allowance and the payment for the hotel accommodation, especially if you want to stay in this place for how many days. Of course, it is good to stay here for some days so that you can experience the enjoyment as you witness every event for the festival.

The festival also offers special tours such as St. Augustine City Tour, which costs $25 for adults and $15 for children aged 5 to 11. There’s also a Carriage Rides Tour, which costs $150 for 1 to 4 people. For more information on special tours and prices, visit the festival’s official website.

The place is a perfect vacation for you and for your loved ones. Since it is a local winter holiday season, you should expect that the weather is quite colder than the previous months. With this type of weather condition, it is advisable to suit yourself with thick clothes.

You also need to bring jackets, scarves, and other types of clothing to make you warm and comfortable during your visit here.

Top-Rated Hotel Near The Nights of Lights

It is also good to choose the best hotels for your accommodations during your visit to St Augustine night of lights. You may consider the following hotels for accommodations:

1. George Inn – This hotel is one of the luxurious hotels in Florida. It gives you the opportunity to stay in the center of the historic city and just adjacent to the beautiful places for the festival of lights.

2. World Golf Village Renaissance St. Augustine Resort – This is a perfect for you since it has complete amenities and facilities. It also includes 2 golf courses on the site, free Wi-Fi, tea/coffee making facilities, and many more.

3. Red Roof Inn Plus+ – This is one of the best and affordable hotel accommodations that you can choose for your family. This is just adjacent to the historic places of the city. In fact, it’s only a 3-minute drive from St. Augustine’s outlets.

Best Restaurants

Choosing an ideal hotel is not the only thing that you need to consider when visiting St. Augustine night of lights. It is also essential if you will explore the best places or restaurants where you can eat delicious foods. Some of your options are the following:

  • Carmelo’s Marketplace – This is one of the best restaurants in St. Augustine. It offers a wide variety of pizzas, Italian cuisines, and foods for vegetarian. You may consider this place if you are looking for unusual foods to satisfy your appetite.
  • Casa Benedetto’s Ristorante – It is one of the top-rated restaurants in St. Augustine that offers a wide array of food selections. It provides local cuisines, Southern- Italian, Sicilian and Italian foods. They also have some foods for those vegetarians.
  • Uptown Scratch Kitchen – This is also a perfect choice for you if you want to eat something delicious that is budget-friendly. They offer Italian, American, and South American Cuisines. They also have foods for special diets, which include gluten-free options and vegan options.

More Things To Do In The Area

1. St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum

Location: 100 Red Cox Dr, St. Augustine, FL 32080

Description: This iconic lighthouse and museum offers a stunning panoramic view of the city. The 219-step spiral staircase leads you to the top, where you can gaze out over the ocean and the historic city.

Activities:

  • Climb the lighthouse for a bird’s-eye view of St. Augustine.
  • Explore the maritime museum to learn about the history of the region.
  • Participate in one of their nightly ghost tours for a spooky thrill.

2. Castillo de San Marcos

Location: 1 S Castillo Dr, St. Augustine, FL 32084

Description: This 17th-century Spanish stone fortress stands as a testament to the early colonial history of Florida. The massive coquina walls have witnessed centuries of battles and sieges.

Activities:

  • Walk the scenic grounds and take in views of the Matanzas River.
  • Attend one of the live reenactments or cannon firings.
  • Explore the rooms and exhibits that delve into the fortress’s storied past.

3. St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park

Location: 999 Anastasia Blvd, St. Augustine, FL 32080

Description: Home to a wide array of reptiles, birds, and other animals, the Alligator Farm is both educational and entertaining. This accredited zoo is one of Florida’s oldest tourist attractions and offers a unique experience.

Activities:

  • Watch live alligator feedings and wildlife shows.
  • Wander through the different habitats, from swampy areas to a beautiful aviary.
  • For the adventurous, try the Crocodile Crossing, a zip line that goes over the park’s alligator and crocodile enclosures.

If you want to be relaxed and enjoy a holiday season, then you may opt to visit the St. Augustine Festival of Lights and experience the spectacular events in the city. A holiday tour with your family in the city could be considered as one of the best moments in your life.

The holiday season is indeed an excellent time to enjoy with your families. Here in America’s Oldest City, experience unique holiday activities that will diffidently boost your Christmas spirit.

The Annual St Augustine Night of the light is set to brighten up the holiday spirit once again in the Ancient City. The city is lighted up with 3 million sparkling lights to bring good holiday vibes to the citizens and tourist who wants to spend their holidays in the city. Experience the glow of the city’s season and get ready to be amazed by the wonderful lighting display.

The light show display will stretch 20 blocks. Take an amazing ride with your family and friends on the Old Town Trolley Nights of Light tour. During the Night of Lights, St Augustine experience the glow of the holiday seasons.

The place is illuminated by millions of tiny white lights that create a wonderful atmosphere in the city, and it’s free of charge. However, if you want to experience more amazing displays, you should try their drive-thru lighting display to cost you less than $100.

The trolley ride or train tour will cost you less than a hundred dollars. The price varies on the number of guests, 1-4 guests is $59 only. There are several ways to enjoy your holiday in the city, and one of them is taking a trolley ride that lasts for about 80 minutes.

White lights engulf the city with a wonderful display of light that will bring holiday joys to everyone. The Spanish colonial structures in the city are once again. There are many places you can visit to see incredible Christmas lights display. Below are some places you might want to consider.

Regardless of how you spent your vacation here, these two places are famous tourist attractions and a perfect option to see a magnificent Christmas light display.

The Plaza de la Constitucion is the central park in downtown St. Augustine. This historic place was used in various events, including the Nights of lights. During the holidays, this place is a tourist holiday hotspot. It’s decorated with Christmas lights and Christmas trees and decorations, making for a fun vacation photo option.

Suppose you’re visiting Florida’s ancient city. Make sure to take a walk or ride over the famous lion’s bridge. Be amazed by the wonderful view of the river. The flickering lights that reflect in the water are a must to see.

Spend your night admiring the river, and the calm breeze is a great way to enjoy. This spot is another great option to see an amazing display of holiday display of lights. It’s a perfect place for anyone who wants to chill and relax.

Yes and No 🙂

Yes, there are places that you can park your vehicle for free, but please read this first. Parking fees rate are $3.00 per hour, with parking sessions only limited to three hours for on-street places and 4 hours on parking lots. It’s not free to park between 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. When it’s 5:00 pm, you don’t need to feed the parking meters.

Please note that some on-street parking and parking lots doesn’t have meters you have to pay in the paying stations. You can park your vehicles in these places. King Street/Cathedral, Trinity Parish Lot, Castillo de San Marcos Lot, Toques Place Lot, Lightner Museum Lot, Charlotte Street Lot. Also, during the holiday’s special events, you can park your vehicle for free in San Marco Lot, 301 San Marco Ave, and St. Johns County Health Department, 200 San Sebastian View.

The Christmas season in St. Augustine is an amazing place to enjoy your holiday vacation. The city during the holiday season is illuminated with millions of white light.

You can see the glow from the city’s sidewalks to the rooftops over the lion’s trail bridge that stretches about 20 blocks in the St. Augustine’s Historic District. You can do many amazing things in the city, including you can take a trolley ride.

This activity offers a comprehensive tour of the town. If you don’t want to spend any cent, then you can sit by the water in Matanzas river and get ready to be amazed by the amazing seawall lighting display that reflects the crystal clear water of the river. St. Augustine also has some amazing places where you can eat or drink.

If you want to experience more fun-filled activities, you should try renting an electric car and see the amazing city to yourself. Or you can do sky tours, but this activity is for the faint of heart. Although it’s not cheap, you can definitely enjoy the amazing St Augustine light display from above.

Liked St Augustine Lights? Here are 2 more festival of lights in Florida:
Festival Of Lights Fort Myers
Cape Coral Festival Of Lights

Sources: https://www.visitstaugustine.com/event/nights-lights

https://floridashistoriccoast.com/nights-lights/

https://visitstaugustine.com/article/ultimate-survival-guide-to-st-augustine-nights-lights

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