Nights of Lights
Nights of Lights traditionally begins the Saturday before Thanksgiving and continues nightly through February 2, 2020.
Nights of Lights has been listed among the top ten holiday light displays in the world by National Geographic. During Nights of Lights, St. Augustine glows with holiday magic – from the ground to the rooftops. St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights features millions of tiny white lights that create a magical atmosphere in the Nation’s Oldest City, and it's free of charge.
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When is Nights of Lights?
Nights of Lights begins the Saturday before Thanksgiving and continues nightly through February 2nd. The 2019-2020 Nights of Lights will take place every evening from November 23, 2019 to February 2, 2020. Light-Up! Night! kicks off the display on November 23.
Where can you see the lights?
White lights drape the city’s unique Spanish Colonial architecture and glow from the sidewalks to the rooftops, over the Bridge of Lions, along historic buildings, public spaces, hotels, restaurants, and inns throughout approximately 20 blocks of the Nation’s Oldest City’s historic district.
The top two spots to visit for the best views and Nights of Lights selfies are:
1. The Plaza de la Constitución
Get the perfect holiday selfie in front of the Christmas tree in the center of the plaza. There are also live music performances in the plaza on weekends and throughout the holidays.
2. The Bridge of Lions
Walk the bridge to gaze back at the sparkling reflection of the lights along the water.
Is Nights of Lights free?
Yes, this is a free event open to everyone. There's no need to order tickets to enjoy the displays.
What are the best ways to see the light displays?
Since Nights of Lights covers such an expansive area of St. Augustine, there are plenty of ways to view the lights.
The Top 8 Ways to See Nights of Lights
1. Tour the Lights by Trolley
Climb aboard the Old Town Trolley’s Famous Nights of Lights Tour. Tours depart nightly beginning at 6 p.m. from the Visitor Information Center. New this year is a Fast Track Pass for priority check-in. The Fast Track Pass costs $18.99 for adults, $11.99 for children 3 – 12, and children under age 3 are free. General Admission costs $13.99 for adults, $6.99 for children 3-12 and children under age 3 are free.
2. Tour by Train
Get on track for Nights of Lights on the Ripley’s Big Red Christmas Train Nights of Lights Tour. A VIP Nights of Lights pass available Fridays - Sundays for priority check-in. VIP tickets are $15.99 for adults and $8.99 for children. General admission tickets are $12.99 for adults and $6.99 for children. The tour begins at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum.
3. See the Sparkle from the Water
Nights of Lights shines from the water, too. St. Augustine Eco Tours harbor tour of the Nights of Lights provides a peaceful way to experience the illuminated city aboard 6 or 12-passenger boats. Take in the view of Nights of Lights from the sea aboard the Schooner Freedom on the ship’s Sunset Sail. Florida Water Tours, Scenic Cruise and Red Boat Water Tours also offer Nights of Lights boat cruises, and the Black Raven offers light show views plus an entertaining pirate show.
One of The Top 10 Holiday Light Displays in the World! National Geographic
4. See the Lights from Above
For a completely different perspective, climb 219 steps to the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum. The sight of the entire city dressed in tiny white lights is a view to behold. Or, enjoy a bird’s eye view of St. Augustine during Nights of Lights aboard Old City Helicopters. It’s a breathtaking view unlike any other
5. Enjoy A Wine & Carriage Tour
Step aboard an old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage and meander the historic streets on this 45-minute group ride. Enjoy the sparkling scenery as well as a bottle of delicious boutique wine to share! Ride Includes: VIP Boarding, complimentary wine to enjoy on the carriage ride and souvenir wine glasses. The Tasting Tours offers nightly excursions starting at $49 per person. Private Carriage Rides are also available, as well as ‘family oriented’ Roadster Rides with the Grinch!
6. Go On a Guided Tour
On most Fridays and Saturdays in December and January, Tour Saint Augustine guides lead a 90-minute walking tour where participants can enjoy St. Augustine’s history while learning about unique colonial folklore and holiday traditions amid the backdrop of the glow of the city’s white lights. Sites include the opulent Lightner Museum courtyard, Plaza de la Constitución, and the enchanting Bayfront. Beginning with homemade hot chocolate or ice cream, the tours start at 6:30 p.m. and are $20 per person.
7. Take A Group Tour by Luxury Golf Cart
Small groups can book a Nights of Lights tour with St. Augustine City Tours. Enjoy St. Augustine's Nights of Lights in the comfort of a luxury 8-seat golf cart, attended by a knowledgeable tour guide. Appreciate the sights and sounds in a personal and interactive manner. $15 over 12 years of age, $5.99 ages 5-12, free under 5 years old.
8. Cuddle Up For A Romantic Ride
Enjoy a romantic horse and carriage tour. Tours depart from the Bayfront near the Castillo de San Marcos daily. Rates vary from $125 for a group of 4 and up. Reserve your carriage with Southern Carriages or with Country Carriages.
What events take place during Nights of Lights and the Christmas season?
Tens of thousands of people visit this city-wide holiday display each year, but not just for the stunning lights. There are also plenty of events that go on during the Nights of Lights on Florida's Historic Coast. Don't miss out on the annual holiday boat parades in Palm Valley and Matanzas Bay, Luminary Night at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum, the Christmas Parade, or candlelight tours at Villa Zorayda. For more detailed listings of events during the holiday season, please click below:
Where can I park during Nights of Lights?
Parking is at a premium during the peak days of Nights of Lights. Find more parking information and transportation information. To avoid the peak crowds, try visiting midweek. You may also hop on a trolley or train to enjoy the lights without worrying about parking.
Is there a free Park & Ride Shuttle for Nights of Lights?
Don't worry about parking and traffic. Ride the FREE Nights of Lights Park and Ride Shuttle, offering transportation into the heart of downtown during one of the busiest seasons of the year. The shuttle will operate for Light-Up! Night on Saturday, November 23rd and throughout the holiday season for Nights of Lights. See below for more details:
Free Nights of Lights Park & Ride Shuttle
Dates: Saturdays in December, plus Sunday, December 29 from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Additional Dates: Thursday, December 26 and Friday, December 27 from 5 to 11 p.m.
Where to Park: St. Johns County Health Department, 200 San Sebastian View
The San Marco Lot, 301 San Marco Ave.
Drop-Off / Pick Up: Visitor Information Center, 10 S. Castillo Dr.
Are there special hotel deals for Nights of Lights?
From romantic bed & breakfast inns to familiar hotels and beachside resorts, special mid-week offers and lodging deals are available during Nights of Lights. Plan your mid-week stay to take advantage of the great deals during Nights of Lights.