Time to start making plans! Nights of Lights is one of the most popular events of the holiday season. Visitors have come from all over to see millions of tiny white lights decorate historic buildings, inns and shops from the rooftops to the landscaping. And this year is no exception.
Nights of Lights 2023
This year, the lights will be on display from Saturday, November 18, 2023 through Wednesday, January 31, 2024. Of course, there are many ways to take in the lights with a leisurely stroll along the bayfront and the historic district. But you won’t want to miss the holiday cheer and fun, not to mention stunning views of the lights, with a variety of special holiday tours this year. Here are just a few of our favorite ways to experience Nights of Lights.
Downtown Saint Augustine Nights of Lights Photography Tours
Downtown St. Augustine's Nights of Lights features millions of tiny white lights that create a magical atmosphere and great photo opportunities. Join Patricia Bean photographer and tour guide at prime locations with photo tips and instruction to learn holiday light photography. Bring your camera/cellphones and come away with bright, sharp, beautiful photographs.
Old Town Trolley Tours
Old Town Trolleys' Nights of Lights Tour is one of the classic ways to see the lights in St. Augustine. Seats will be sold by the entire row (up to 4 people) and by advance reservation, eliminating waiting in lines or walk-up sales. The price for a full row is $69.99. Reservations and ticket-purchasing options are available online. 10 W. Castillo Dr., St. Augustine. 904-829-3800
Red Express Tours
Take an enchanting trip through St. Augustine’s spectacular Nights of Lights aboard one of Ripley’s festive red trains, free magic-viewing glasses included. Santa’s Red Express Train Tours depart from Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium each evening at 6 p.m. Reserve your row for $65.99 each, rows can accommodate up to four (4) people. Reservations and ticket-purchasing options are available online. 19 San Marco Ave., St. Augustine. 904-824-1606
St. Augustine Scenic Cruise
If you’ve never seen the lights from the water, here’s your chance to be dazzled. Hop aboard the Victory III and take in the magical lights as you view the downtown displays while you cruise along the Matanzas Bay. Tours run nightly from the St. Augustine Municipal Marina at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $26.95 per person. 111 Avenida Menendez, St. Augustine. 904-824-1806 x210
Schooner Freedom Charters
Enjoy the sunset and a spectacular display of historic downtown St. Augustine aboard the Schooner Freedom. This popular sail is perfect for getting into the holiday spirit with your loved ones. As the twinkling lights glow over the sunsetting sky, this evening sail is surely an adventure not to be forgotten. Reservations are highly recommended. Sails 7 days a week and departs the St. Augustine Municipal Marina at 4:15 p.m. Tickets are $70 per person. 111 Avenida Menendez, St. Augustine. 904-810-1010
Florida Water Tours
A guided Nights of Lights cruise along the historic bayfront is just what you’ve been wishing for, especially when it includes complimentary 3D glasses and hot chocolate. The 5:15 p.m. Florida Water Tours sunset cruise is 90 minutes and suitable for all ages. The 7 and 8:30 p.m. cruises are 75 minute cruises and accommodate adults and children over the age of 7. Please note that children under 7 are not permitted on the evening cruises. Tours are $39-$49. 107 Yacht Club Dr., St. Augustine. 904-827-7728
The Tasting Tours
If you’re a foodie, there’s no better way to indulge in the holiday spirit during Nights of Lights than The Tasting Tours. Wine & Carriage Rides are available for Groups or Private reservations. And they are in the holiday spirit with other tour offerings including: Nights of Lights 'Bah Humbug' Ride with Scrooge, and the Nights of Lights Grinchmas Ride.