Celebrate Christmas at the St. Augustine Nights of Lights

Nights of Lights is undoubtedly one of St. Augustine’s most illuminating and magical events of the year. It draws massive crowds, big events for families, and lots of seasonal attractions.

To experience the Nights of Lights in action in St. Augustine, you must visit during the fall and winter season. Read on to find out what you can expect during this amazing event during your St. Augustine vacation.

The Festival

The essence of the big event is actually quite simple. For about two months in the fall and winter, the historic district of St. Augustine is covered in about three million sparkling white holiday lights. It creates an alluring and incredible atmosphere for visitors. The St. Augustine Christmas lights hang high in the trees, on buildings, and throughout the parks. 

During the Nights of Lights celebration, restaurants stay open late, special activities open up, and all-year attractions offer special events, discounts, and more. The entire city gets in on the excitement and adventure of this epic, majestic, and cherished seasonal event. 

The exact length of the event changes every year. The upcoming 2022 Nights of Lights runs from November 19rd to January 31st 20203. 

st augustine wreath
Photo from Shutterstock


So aside from the lights, what kinds of attractions can you enjoy?

Firstly, we highly recommend getting a bold overview of the area via one of the trolley or train services. There are two main trolleys in the city- the Old Town Trolley and the Red Train. Both offer exemplary trips throughout the city. You can also acquire day or week-long passes with unlimited stops to easily jump from one attraction to another.

The top attractions specific to Nights of Lights include the courtyard Christmas tree and the Casa Monica. The courtyard is right across from the famous hotel, and it is the centerpiece of the festivities. At around 30 feet tall, the tree illuminates with big bold colors and bulbs. Draped lights hang over the courtyard and the pavilion.

The Casa Monica glows lovingly under the evening sky. It is a sight to see for the Nights of Lights. The exterior of the Lightner fills lights in the gardens, making it a must-see attraction. The Lightner is thankfully right across the street from possibly the most iconic site in the whole city- Flagler College. This once-hotel turned college is a spectacle, a grand castle that looms high over the historic district.

We also suggest going up against the Matanzas River and taking a photograph of the St. Augustine cityscape. Many of the restaurants sparkle by the water light.

Finally, the Bridge of Lions itself glows triumphantly during the festival. We suggest taking a quick walk across the bridge into or out of the historic district. It is about a mile in total and is one of the most impressive sights in the city. You can admire the Black Raven, a recreated pirate ship decked out in holiday lights, as well as the St. Augustine Marina, filled with sailboats and yachts- many often decorated for the season. 

Plan Your Vacation

Whether you are looking for a vacation home or rental condo in St. Augustine we have you covered. Our team at Saint Augustine Vacation Rentals is devoted to ensuring that you have the most enjoyable vacation as possible! For more information on Saint Augustine, other attractions in the area, and our full selection of St. Augustine condo rentals contact us today!

Top Places to Visit

Many attractions and places to visit can be appreciated throughout the entire year, but most offer these special adjustments to accommodate the holiday ambiance. 

We strongly suggest a romp through and around the Castillo de San Marcos historic fort. While lights usually stay away from the immediate waterside and the fort itself, it still shines during the season as it overlooks the city and water. The grounds around the floor become a pristine place to admire the bayfront. There is also a small pavilion right up against the water and right by the historic district side of the Bridge of Lions. It makes for a dazzling photo opportunity.

There’s also a really popular minigolf course at the St. Augustine Marina. It is one of the top places to see if you want to admire the sights and enjoy a quick game with the crew.

You can also take a quick dip into the St. Augustine Pirate Museum. It is right along Avenida Menendez, the road that lines up with the Bayfront. 

With all the many sights and sounds of St. Augustine, during the Nights of Lights season or not, you are never short of amazing and fun opportunities for everyone. Check out all our St. Augustine rentals, including many St. Augustine beachfront rentals!