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Contact: Barbara Golden
St. Augustine, Fla. (December 13, 2023) – As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Southeast, Florida’s Historic Coast is ready to welcome visitors every day of the year. With Nights of Lights drawing crowds from around the world, there are many places to worship, eat, and play over the holidays.
Visitors have many spaces where they can gather for community and worship on Christmas Eve and Day. Ancient City Baptist Church in downtown St. Augustine offers Advent Worship twice on Christmas Eve, with a candlelight worship in the evening. Catholic services are offered at the Cathedral Basilica, St. Benedict the Moor, Saint Anastasia Catholic Church, San Sebastian Catholic Church in St. Augustine, and Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Ponte Vedra Beach.
Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown St. Augustine has worship throughout the day on Christmas Eve, beginning at 7 a.m. with the last service ending at 11 p.m., and morning prayer and a worship service on Christmas Day. At Ponte Vedra Beach the Christ Episcopal and St.-Francis-in-the-Field Episcopal Churches both offer a Family and Children’s Christmas pageant, and St.-Francis-in-the-Field also has a traditional candlelit evening service. Methodist service may be found at First United Methodist Church and Ponte Vedra United Methodist Church. Good News Church, the stunning Memorial Presbyterian Church and Ponte Vedra Presbyterian Church each offer special Christmas Eve worship services.
So, where do we eat? St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra, and The Beaches is the place for food lovers, and its restaurants are primed and ready to provide meals to make your holidays unforgettable. Diners looking to eat on Christmas Eve in St. Augustine have some delicious options. Enjoy an evening of casual dining or a more formal holiday meal. There are a host of eateries opening their doors to celebrate both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with their patrons.
Let’s have some fun! Many attractions are open on Christmas Eve, with modified hours. Visitors can enjoy many of St. Augustine’s staple sights on Christmas Day. Wander downtown St. Augustine to enjoy the city’s world-renowned Nights of Lights, while animal lovers can check out the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. Visitors can also tour the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum, explore Fort Mose Historic State Park, the first free black settlement in the country, or go for a very jolly ride on the Old Town Trolley Tours Nights of Lights Tour.
Florida Historic Coasts’ attractions are ready to ring in the New Year! Taste fine spirits at the St. Augustine Distillery, indulge in a carriage ride with the St. Augustine Transfer Company, swim with dolphins at Marineland Dolphin Adventure, hit the water with Florida Water Tours, and more with a wide variety of things to do. Check out a full list of attractions open for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
Celebrate Auld Lang Syne at St. Augustine Beach’s iconic Light Up the Night! Beach Fireworks- its fun and free. One of the best fireworks experiences around, this spectacular show features fireworks off the beach pier over the Atlantic Ocean. Bring a blanket to snuggle under and enjoy the show!
Fun New Year’s Eve celebrations can be found at Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort's fabulous Winter Wonderland-themed party, at Chez L’Amour's live music bash, premium bar and Posh Nosh snacks. And the free Dewey Via performance at St. Augustine’s Colonial Oak Music Park is a local favorite.
Tickets are still available for Venardos Circus's world-class show with Broadway musical-style performances. For a more classic evening, First Coast Opera’s stirring performance of Puccini’s masterpiece, La Bohème.
No matter how you celebrate on Florida’s Historic Coast, you’ll find friends, fun, and lots of joy. Haven’t secured your plans for the holidays yet? There’s still time to plan your trip to St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra, and The Beaches!