The Christmas season in St. Augustine is known for its sensational Nights of Lights holiday display. During Nights of Lights, white lights glow from the sidewalks to the rooftops, over the Bridge of Lions and trail through approximately 20 city blocks in St. Augustine’s Historic District. Taking in the soft, magical glow of more than 3 million white lights is an unforgettable experience – which is why it’s considered one of the top light displays in the world.
When planning a holiday trip to Florida's Historic Coast to view Nights of Lights displays, keep these popular holiday events in mind:
Luminary Night at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum is a family-friendly tradition with activities for all ages. Visit with Santa, enjoy yuletide refreshments, and see the lighthouse’s spectacular holiday decorations and lighting displays. This year's event will take place on December 6, 2023.
New this year, Lighthouse Illuminations! See 21 different themed Christmas Trees on select nights at St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum. This year's event takes place November 22, 2023 through January 13, 2024.
Experience St. Augustine's annual Christmas Parade with floats, marching bands, cars, horses and the arrival of Santa. The parade starts at 9 a.m. by the Mission Nombre de Dios off San Marco Avenue and continues through the downtown streets of historic St. Augustine. This year's event will take place on December 2, 2023.
Colonial Night Watch
In this event, historical interpreters recreate 18th century combined Spanish, British, French, colonial militia and Native American military arts, culture and lifestyles throughout the day at the Colonial Quarter and Castillo de San Marcos. The St. Augustine Colonial Night Watch Torchlight Parade is at 7 p.m. from the Castillo to the Governor's House Cultural Center & Museum. This year's events will take place on December 2, 2023.
Holiday Regatta of Lights
Typically held on the second Saturday in December, this annual holiday tradition features boats decorated with brilliant lighted displays. The regatta will light up St. Augustine’s Matanzas Bay between the Bridge of Lions and Castillo de San Marcos. This year's event will take place on December 9, 2023.
Noche de Navidad and Las Posadas
Celebrate Las Posadas commemorates the journey that Joseph and Mary made from Nazareth to Bethlehem at Mission Nombre De Dios. The tour begins at 3 p.m. for Las Posadas and the Living Nativity and Eucharistic Adoration. Eucharistic Adoration is not a performance, people will come and go during the time it is open. This year's event will take place on December 16, 2023.
Holidays in Ponte Vedra Beach
Celebrate the holiday season with the lighted boat parade in Ponte Vedra Beach. The parade route is seven miles of the Intracoastal and starts one mile south of the Palm Valley Bridge and travels north. This event takes place on December 2, 2023.
The Ponte Vedra Concert Hall rings in the season with special holiday concerts. A Choral Christmas presented by UNF Choirs kicks off the season with their acclaimed ensembles the Chamber Singers, Osprey Treble, and Coro Profundo. Peter White Christmas 20th Anniversary Special featuring Mindi Abair and Vincent Ingala is sure to be a magical night of Christmas classics and smooth jazz hits.
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 Main Street Market until 3 p.m. at the newly restored old Ford Building, 301 N. Main St., Hastings. This events takes place on December 9, 2023
Holidays in Elkton
See light displays dance along with Christmas tunes at Christmas on the Farm at Sykes Family Farms. Enjoy a hayride through this ¾ miles drive thru Christmas light display at Sykes Family Farms. 2023 Date TBD.
Holiday Shopping in St. Augustine & 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 is the St. Augustine Premium Outlets. Savvy and stylish shoppers can find gifts from Michael Kors, Coach, Converse and Tommy Hilfiger. St. Augustine Premium Outlets is located on the west sides of I-95 at Exit 318, offer everyday savings of up to 65 percent off retail prices on premium brands.
Discover more special events or tours during Nights of Lights.