Celebrate the Holidays From All Points of Florida’s Historic Coast
Florida’s Historic Coast sparkles during the holidays. From St. Augustine to Ponte Vedra Beach, St. Augustine Beach to Hastings and Elkton, you’ll find the spirit of the season.
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) the Hotel Alcazar (now the Lightner Museum and City Hall) and across the Bridge of Lions is an unforgettable experience – which is why it’s considered one of the top light displays in the world. Nights of Lights continues through February 3, 2019.
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. Take in Villa Zorayda’s 9th annual Candlelight Tours, and the 6th Annual Holiday Craft and Vendor Event featuring 139 vendors and crafters at the World Golf Village Renaissance St. Augustine Resort.
Holidays in 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.
Holidays in Ponte Vedra Beach
The Palm Valley Boat Parade takes place along seven miles of Intracoastal waterway in Ponte Vedra Beach and is an annual tradition of lighted boats to celebrate the holiday season. In January, the Florida Chamber Music Project evening’s performance features String Quartet in D Major, Haydn; An Exaltation of Larks, Higdon; String Quartet in D minor, K.421, Mozart at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall.
Holidays in Hastings
The Hastings Hometown Christmas parade, beginning at 10 a.m., will take place down Main Street in Hastings starting at the W.E. Harris Community Center. Continue the holiday celebration after the parade at the Hastings Library, for tree decorating, make-your-own ornament, pictures with Santa, live music and more.
Holidays in Elkton
Hosted by SEA (Spuds/Elkton/Armstrong) Community Help Resource Center, the Rails to Trails festival at Armstrong Park is a celebration of our Gullah Geechee heritage and features cultural arts and crafts, food vendors, historical films, heritage corridor discussions, live music and a bike ride.
Shopping in St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra Beach
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 and Uptown shopping district 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.