Start making plans for your visit to see one of the best holiday displays around the world. Nights of Lights in St. Augustine is celebrating its 27th year and it arrived early so more visitors can enjoy the spectacular lights safely. The lights will be on from November 14th through January 31st, giving everybody some extra weekends to include them in their holiday plans because the Holidays have arrived on Florida’s Historic Coast.
Here’s an insider’s guide to viewing the lights. While there won’t be any shuttle service taking visitors from satellite parking to the downtown area for safe distancing reasons, visitors are urged to use the parking garage and walk to town. The great thing about Nights of Lights is that the displays are best viewed just by walking around the ancient city.
A walk along the bayfront to catch the dazzling lights from the historic inns and restaurants on Avenida Menendez is breathtaking. Stop in for a celebratory cocktail outdoors at the Tini Martini Bar. Or have a classic creole dish in the courtyard at Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille. You’ll find St. Augustine the perfect place to get into the holiday spirit and enjoy the outdoors as well.
From the Bridge of Lions, head west to the Plaza de la Constitucion, the center of town, where the mighty oak tree limbs and the Gazebo are draped with tiny white lights. As you walk along the plaza, head to one of the crowning jewels of the season, the Lightner Museum, covered from the rooftop to the landscape with festive lights, as is the Casa Monica Resort & Spa. Across King Street, Flagler College’s architectural towers and stately palm trees are an Instagram favorite. The amazing decorations at Villa Zorayda Museum, also on King Street, should not be missed. A sure way to see that the Holidays have arrived on Florida’s Historic Coast.
Of course, you might also want to catch the all holiday fun from a trolley or train. This year, safety protocols have been implemented to make sure that you and your group have the best and safest experience possible, whether by land or sea. Visitors are urged to buy tickets in advance with Old Town Trolley Tours and Santa’s Red Express Tours. This way, there’s no waiting on long lines and your seat and row are reserved for a specific time. For additional safety, there won’t be any hopping on or off, so visitors will get to see all of the displays around town from start to finish.
If you haven’t experienced the lights from the water, this might be the year to do that. There are a variety of boats and private charters that can accommodate families and small groups. And all have instituted safety protocols to make sure there’s social distancing between groups and parties. There is something truly magical about seeing the lights reflected in the water. It’s double the spectacle and ten times the fun.
However you choose to see the Nights of Lights displays, there are so many opportunities to capture the brilliance to share with friends and family who may not be traveling with you. If you need some ideas on where to capture the best photos and selfies, we’ve got you covered with some great suggestions on perfect spots to photograph the lights in town. Enjoy, because the Holidays have arrived on Florida’s Historic Coast. Be sure to tag them at #NightsofLights and #FloridasHistoricCoast.