Nights of Lights
St. Augustine’s venerable Nights of Lights
kicks off a dazzling holiday season with the lighting of the downtown historic district after sunset in mid-November. Taking in the soft, magical glow of more than 3 million white lights adorning the former Ponce de Leon Hotel (now Flagler College
) and the Hotel Alcazar (now the Lightner Museum
and City Hall) is an unforgettable experience – which is why it’s considered one of the top light displays in the world. Events continue for 10 weeks (until the end of January), most taking place in downtown St. Augustine and along Matanzas Bay. There are also holiday light displays at the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum and on St. Augustine Beach.
Holiday Festivities in St. Augustine
Enjoy holiday decorations and luminaries on the grounds of the historic St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum
during Luminary Night on the first Wednesday in December. Other December festivities include the annual Holiday Regatta of Lights, when you can watch sailboats, shrimp boats and other watercraft decorated for the season parade along Matanzas Bay; the Annual Garden Club Christmas Tour of Homes; and the Annual Bed and Breakfast Holiday Tour.
Holidays on St. Augustine Beach
St. Augustine Beach celebrates the holidays with sand, saltwater and the sparkling lights of the Christmas tree on A1A Beach. And the soon-to-be “old year” goes out with a bang during the Beach Blast Off on New Year’s Eve, with live music, food and fireworks on the beach.
Holiday Shopping in St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra
Finding the perfect gift for your loved ones this holiday season is easy. From antiques and eclectic treasures from local artisans to major designer brands, shoppers will delight in choices to fit every taste and budget
. Art galleries, antiques stores and boutiques in St. Augustine’s historic downtown are great spots to find local treasures. If you’re on the hunt for something truly special, give the resort boutiques and upscale shops in Ponte Vedra Beach a try.
Outlet Shopping in St. Augustine
Just 15 minutes outside the historic district are two high-end outlet malls: St. Augustine Outlets
and St. Augustine Premium Outlets
. Savvy and stylish shoppers can find gifts from Gucci, Michael Kors, Coach, Converse and Tommy Hilfiger. Both shopping centers, located on the east and west sides of I-95 at Exit 318, offer everyday savings of up to 65 percent off retail prices on premium brands.