Nights of Lights has been listed among the top ten holiday light displays in the world by National Geographic. And for a good reason. 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.
When is Nights of Lights?
Nights of Lights traditionally begins the Saturday before Thanksgiving and continues nightly through January 31st. The 2019-2020 Nights of Lights will take place from November 23, 2019 to January 31, 2020.
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.
What are the best ways to tour the light displays?
Since Nights of Lights covers such an expansive area of St. Augustine, there are plenty of ways to view the lights. Here are 7 brilliant 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 $16.99 for adults, $8.99 for children 3 – 12, and children under age 3 are free. General Admission costs $13.99 for adults, $5.99 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. New this year is the VIP Nights of Lights pass available Fridays – Sundays for priority check-in. VIP tickets are $14.99 for adults and $7.99 for children. General admission tickets are $11.99 for adults and $5.99 for children. The tour begins at Ripley’s 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 also offers Nights of Lights boat cruises, and the Black Raven offers light show views plus an entertaining pirate show.
4. Enjoy A Wine & Carriage Tour
Lights, Carriage and Holiday ‘Cheer’! Join us for the Social Event of the Season! Bring your friends or make new ones! 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!
5. Go On a Guided Tour
Each Sunday 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.