NIGHTS OF LIGHTS IN ST. AUGUSTINE FLORIDA
This year, Nights of Lights “turns on” November 18, 2017, and continues nightly through January 31, 2018.
St. Augustine’s annual Nights of Lights glows with holiday magic – from the ground to the rooftops. Selected by National Geographic as one of the 10 best holiday lighting displays in the world, St. Augustine’s Night of Lights features millions of tiny white lights that create a magical atmosphere in the Nation’s oldest city. Tracing its origins to the Spanish tradition of displaying a white candle in the window during the Christmas holidays, the spectacular lighting reflects the city’s 451-year history and illuminates the beautiful setting for lasting holiday memories.
Nights of Lights can be enjoyed on foot or aboard one of the trains, trolleys, carriages or vintage cars that run every evening from November 21 through end of January.
Nights of Lights traditionally begins the Saturday before Thanksgiving. This year, Nights of Lights “turns on” November 18, 2017, and continues nightly through January 31, 2018.
During Nights of Lights, St. Augustine glows with holiday magic – from the ground to the rooftops. Selected by National Geographic in 2011 and 2012 as one of the 10 best holiday lighting displays in the world, St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights feature millions of tiny white lights that create a magical atmosphere in the Nation’s Oldest City.
The best way to experience Nights of Lights is to plan an overnight stay so you can soak up the sparkly, festive atmosphere and enjoy all the dining, tours, and entertainment this award-winning holiday celebration has to offer.
Nights of Lights can always be enjoyed on foot, by bicycle or pedicab, on the Old Town Trolley’s Famous Nights of Lights Tour or the Ripley’s Red Train, or by horse and carriage.
Free Park & Ride Nights of Lights Shuttle
The City of St. Augustine will once again offer a free park and ride shuttle on the peak dates of the Nights of Lights. Starting on Light-Up! Night, November 18, the opening night of the annual holiday lighting event, the free park and ride shuttle will continue on Friday and Saturday of Thanksgiving Weekend (November 24 & 25) and then every Saturday in December.
The shuttle will operate from 1 p.m.-11 p.m. from two parking locations north of the downtown: the St. Johns County Health Department, 200 San Sebastian View, and the San Marco Lot, 301 San Marco Ave.
Parking throughout the event is available for a fee in the St. Augustine Downtown Parking Garage, located off Castillo Drive.
Nights of Lights Events by Location
St. Augustine’s annual Nights of Lights takes place during the holiday season and features events throughout the area. Here we tell you what’s going on where (and offer tips on how to best enjoy the celebration).
Downtown St. Augustine
Each year, the Nights of Lights get their official kickoff on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. On that evening, a Light-Up Celebration is held in the town’s Plaza de la Constitucion. This includes the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree, followed by the flick of a switch that illuminates 3 million tiny white lights.
The first weekend in December features a Christmas parade and the annual Christmas Tour of Homes presented by the St. Augustine Garden Club, while the following weekend features the seagoing Regatta of Lights and the two-day Holiday Tour of Inns.
Parking is available at the Historic Downtown Parking Facility – best of all, the events are within convenient walking distance of each other. And while you’re out and about, warm up with some hot chocolate. Whetstones Chocolates on King Street and Claude’s Chocolates on Granada Street offer decadent handcrafted versions of the drink.
St. Augustine Lighthouse
At 6 p.m. on the first Wednesday in December, the grounds of the historic St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum are opened to the public for Luminary Night. The Keeper’s House is beautifully decorated as it was in the Victorian Age, Santa comes to visit with the children, and the walking paths and grounds are lit with thousands of luminaries.
Climb to the top of the tower for a spectacular view of the luminaries below and the lights of St. Augustine across the bay. Get there early and park in the lighthouse parking lot – otherwise it can be a hike.
St. Augustine Beach
In late November, Surf Illumination comes to the seaside town of St Augustine Beach. In a special ceremony, the city’s Christmas tree is lit and the area surrounding the ocean pier sparkles to life with thousands of tiny white lights.
On Dec. 31, Beach Blast Off comes to the pier. Live music, food and fireworks on the beach create a great way to greet the new year. The seawall behind the Cultural Center is a great vantage point. For the best parking, get there early and use the public lots along A1A.