Nights of Lights has been listed among the top ten holiday light displays in the world by National Geographic. 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, and it’s free of charge.
Nights of Lights begins before Thanksgiving and continues nightly through the end of January. The 2020-2021 Nights of Lights will take place every evening from November 14, 2020 to January 31, 2021. Due to Covid-19, the ceremony called Light-Up! Night! will not take place in the Plaza de la Constitucion. The lights will simply be turned on November 14.
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 8 Ways to See Nights of Lights
1. Tour the Lights by Trolley
2. Tour by Train
Get on track for Nights of Lights on the Ripley’s Big Red Christmas Train Nights of Lights Tour. 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. Florida Water Tours, Scenic Cruise 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. It’s a breathtaking view unlike any other
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 $49 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, 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.
7. 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.
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 Southern Carriages or with Country Carriages.