Nights of Lights has been listed among the top ten holiday light displays in the world by National Geographic. During this festival of lights, downtown 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.
When is Nights of Lights?
Nights of Lights is still on this year! The 2021-2022 Nights of Lights will take place every evening from November 20, 2021 to January 31, 2022.
The festival typically kicks off with Light Up Night on November 20 at 6 p.m.
Where can you see the lights?
White lights drape the city’s unique Spanish Colonial architecture and glow from the downtown 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.
2. The Bridge of Lions
Walk the bridge to gaze back at the sparkling reflection of the lights along the water.
How much does Nights of Lights cost?
Nights of Lights is a FREE event, open to everyone! There’s no need to order tickets to enjoy the display.
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.
2. Tour by Train
Get on track for Nights of Lights on the Santa’s Red Express Tours. 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. Old Town Cycle Cruise, Florida Water Tours, Scenic Cruise, St. Augustine Boat Tours, Pia & Me Charters 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.
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 or Vintage Biplane Rides.
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 $59 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, Ancient City Tours 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.
7. Take A Group Tour by Luxury Golf Cart
Small groups can book a Nights of Lights tour with St. Augustine Land & Sea Tours. Enjoy St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights in the comfort of a luxury 8-seat golf cart, attended by a knowledgeable tour guide.
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 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, or the Christmas Experience at Villa Zorayda. For more detailed listings of events during the holiday season, please click below: