Nights of Lights Events by Location
St. Augustine's annual Nights of Lights takes place during the holiday season and features events throughout the area. Here we tell you what's going on where (and offer tips on how to best enjoy the celebration).
Downtown St. Augustine
Each year, the Nights of Lights get their official kickoff on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. On that evening, a Light-Up Celebration is held in the town’s Plaza de la Constitucion. This includes the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree, followed by the flick of a switch that illuminates 3 million tiny white lights.
The first weekend in December features a Christmas parade and the annual Christmas Tour of Homes presented by the St. Augustine Garden Club.
The following weekend features the seagoing Regatta of Lights and the two-day Holiday Tour of Inns.
Plenty of parking is available at the Historic Downtown Parking Facility – best of all, the events are within convenient walking distance of each other. And while you’re out and about, warm up with some hot chocolate. Whetstones Chocolates on King Street and Claude’s Chocolates on Granada Street, offer decadent handcrafted versions of the drink.
St. Augustine Lighthouse
At 6 p.m. on the first Wednesday in December, the grounds of the historic St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum are opened to the public for Luminary Night. The Keeper’s House is beautifully decorated as it was in the Victorian Age, Santa comes to visit with the children, and the walking paths and grounds are lit with thousands of luminaries.
Climb to the top of the tower for a spectacular view of the luminaries below and the lights of St. Augustine across the bay. Get there early and park in the lighthouse parking lot – otherwise it can be a hike.
St. Augustine Beach
In late November, Surf Illumination comes to the seaside town. In a special ceremony, the city’s Christmas tree is lit and the area surrounding the ocean pier sparkles to life with thousands of tiny white lights.
On Dec. 31, Beach Blast Off comes to the pier. Live music, food and fireworks on the beach create a great way to greet the new year.
The seawall behind the Cultural Center is a great vantage point. For the best parking, get there early and use the public lots along A1A.
Tours & Other Displays
The Annual Nights of Lights holiday spectacular centers mostly around the historic district of downtown St. Augustine. However, there are plenty of other locations around Florida's Historic Coast where you'll see amazing holiday displays, including A1A in St. Augustine Beach, World Golf Village and World Golf Hall of Fame, Vilano Beach and the TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse.
To see the more than 3 million white lights that illuminate St. Augustine's historic district, take the Holly Jolly Trolley, Ripley's Red Train Nights of Lights tour, horse and carriage ride, the Gold's electric car tour, the Nights of Lights Wine & Carriage tour offered by the Tasting Tours, the Nights of Lights Biplane tour, the Schooner Freedom Nights of Lights tour, or the the Holiday Traditions Plaza Stroll tour by City Walks.