Top 10 ways to see the Nights of Lights holiday spectacular in St. Augustine, Fla.

by Brittani Tuttle
nights of lights

Nights of Lights in St. Augustine runs from Nov. 18 through Jan. 31. Photo courtesy of FloridasHistoricCoast.com.

St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights sparkles in the night sky each holiday season with over 3 million white lights strung from sidewalks to rooftops. From Nov. 18, 2017 through Jan. 31, 2018, this city-wide light display will cover the nation’s oldest city in a warm white glow to ignite the Christmas spirit.

Here are the top 10 ways to see and experience the Nights of Lights display:

  1. Special mid-week offers and deals on lodging will be available during Nights of Lights. Stay in a romantic bed & breakfast inn, or get comfortable in a hotel or beachside resort.
  2. Visitors can check out the sights of St. Augustine on foot, by bicycle or pedicab, on the trolleys or trains, or by horse and carriage. This year, the city is offering a free Park ’n Ride Shuttle every day from Nov. 18 through Dec. 24, just in time for the Night of Lights.
  3. Take a trolley tour with the Old Town Trolley’s Famous Nights of Lights Trolley, which runs nightly from Nov. 19 through Jan. 2. For only $12.99 for adults and $5.99 for kids, guests can enjoy the tour, complete with free cider and cookies. Ripley’s Red Trains also offer nightly tours from Nov. 19 through Jan. 6, and provide special glasses to make the lights look even brighter. Tours are $10.99 for adults and $5.99 for kids. On Friday and Saturday nights, Ripley’s will offer even more Christmas hospitality to their tours with a giant marshmallow roasting pit and more. These special tours are $14.99 for adults and $7 for kids.
  4. Take a St. Augustine Eco Tours harbor tour of the Nights of Lights aboard six or 12-passenger boats, giving a peaceful look at the illuminated city. Tickets are $35 per person and depart nightly from the St. Augustine Municipal Marina
  5. Grab a friend or loved one and take a Nights of Lights Wine & Carriage Tour. Indulge in a glass of wine aboard a horse-drawn carriage down the bricked streets of St. Augustine. The Tasting Tours are $49 per person and come with a souvenir wine glass.
  6. The first weekend in December will host the city’s traditional Christmas parade and Colonial Nightwatch, a celebration of the city’s Colonial British Grand Illumination. Visitors can also enjoy the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum’s Luminary Night will take place the first Wednesday in December; the Regatta of Lights, a colorful parade of sailboats, shrimp boats and more will take place on Dec. 9 on Matanzas Bay. All of these events are free, and favorites among locals.
  7. Take a stroll through the self-guided 24th Annual Bed and Breakfast Holiday Tour, with this year’s theme being “Coastal Christmas.” Explore beautiful inns, historic museums and delicious restaurants, all for $25-50 per person.
  8. Enjoy a tour of the Villa Zorayda and the Castillo de San Marcos by candlelight.
  9. View the Nights of Lights aboard the Schooner Freedom on its Moonlight Sail every Friday and Saturday night. Enjoy the excursion, with complimentary soda, water, beer, wine and hot chocolate for $40 per person.
  10. Just take a walk on the bright side! Each weekend in December, Tour Saint Augustine guides will lead a 90-minute tour where guests can learn the city’s history and unique colonial folklore and holiday traditions. Stops on the tour include the Lightner Museum courtyard, Plaza de la Constitución and the Bayfront. Tours begin at 6:30 p.m. with homemade hot chocolate or ice cream, and is $20 per person.

For more information on the events, tours and offers in St. Augustine during the Nights of Lights, visit NightsofLights.com.


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