Saint Augustine’s Nights of Lights will add sparkle to your vacation in Florida this Christmas season. This festival of lights lasts the entire holiday season and the month of January, illuminating historic landmarks, shops, restaurants, inns, and B&Bs. Inspired by the ancient Spanish custom of placing white candles in windows as a symbol of welcome to guests, including the Holy Family, during the Christmas season, the city’s 21st century tradition transforms St. Augustine’s historic district with millions of white twinkling lights. You can visit OldCity.com for general information about the various events and entertainment scheduled during Nights of Lights, plus suggestions for dining, shopping, etc.
A wonderful way to get in the spirit of the festival is to wander through the historic district’s illuminated streets on foot. From Casa de Solana on Aviles Street, you are staying only two blocks from the Plaza de la Constitución, the perfect place to begin your experience. You can walk down pedestrians-only St. George Street to reach the heart of the Plaza, with the city’s brilliantly lit Christmas tree, and the branches of the oak trees entwined with sparkling white lights. Flagler College’s lighted façade lies at one end of the Plaza, and the Bridge of Lions at the other. Walking along the sidewalks on the Bridge will give you an elevated view of the lighted treetops, historic buildings and the Bayfront.
For visitors who prefer a guided tour, many are available, including those on foot, by trolley, boat, and even helicopter. Some are offered nightly, while others are weekends only or on special nights. Guided tour prices for adults range from about $14 per person up to $60 or more. A 90 minute Historic Walking Tour, for example, costs $20 per person and describes the city’s history and cultural traditions related to the Nights of Lights. Both Old Town Trolley and Ripley’s Red Train Tours offer special Nights of Lights tours with caroling and refreshments, for$14 per person. Some companies offer special tours to see the lights, such as sunset sails on a schooner, and carriage ride tours with wine. VisitStAugustine.com has links to many different tours.
St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights is a must on your holiday bucket list – National Geographic lists it as one of the top ten cities in the world for holiday lighting displays! Just give us a call or go online and make your reservation at our B&B this holiday season – we’re waiting to welcome you to the Nights of Lights!