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September 1, 2020

St. Augustine Evenings of Lights Ideas & Tips

One particular of the major holiday break celebrations in all of Florida is the St. Augustine Nights of Lights. This annual occasion takes put ever 12 months and is made up of the full city remaining lit up with thousands and thousands of lights. From November to January, you can see and knowledge this gorgeous display for totally free!

Of training course, this helps make the event very common and pretty hectic to show up at, primarily on weekends. To fully encounter the St. Augustine Evenings of Lights, you will want to prepare ahead. This information will enable you with every little thing, from figuring out a lodge to how to practical experience the displays.

st augustine nights of lights

Locale and Environment

Right before finding into logistics, I want to set the scene for why this party is so magical. If you haven’t been, St. Augustine is a historic city with cobblestone streets on the waterfront. With mild displays and Christmas decorations included to it, it tends to make the St. Augustine Evenings of Lights a getaway show as opposed to any other.

The lights are spread out about the historic district so significantly so, that you would have a challenging time masking it all on foot. This is in part owing to the sum of decorations, but also thanks to the crowds. Plan for it to be extremely congested as you tour, in particular in the principal areas. It nonetheless is a entertaining, holiday break environment, but I just want to anxiety the crowds, and the problems driving and parking, to anybody going to.

nights of lights

Strategies to Take pleasure in Evenings of Lights

There are several strategies to knowledge the St. Augustine Evenings of Lights all through your stop by. The apparent way is to merely stroll all over and take in the sights. If you are keeping the evening in a resort inside of strolling length to Flagler College and the main plaza, this is unquestionably an simple way to do it. For even more motels and people just viewing for the evening, you are likely to want to discover a parking location and not transfer your car or truck in the early afternoon or consider an Uber.

There are also a lot of distinct tours you can choose also. The most well-known are the trolley tours where by you can ride about and get off at different stops. There are two possibilities to opt for from, possibly the Old Town Trolleys or the Ripley’s Pink Trains. They each get comparable routes by town, participate in Xmas music and give out refreshments. They are essentially very very affordable at less than $20 for each person. However, I have heard to splurge for the quick track tickets due to the fact traces to get back on the trolley can be really very long on weekends. This looks like the way to go if you never want to walk a great deal and like jolly tunes.

st. augustine plaza nights of lights

You can also get a boat tour and see St. Augustine lit up from the h2o. You really don’t get as considerably of a view of the lights from below, but it can be a entertaining way to get into the holiday spirit. A lot of providers provide them which includes Florida H2o Tour and St. Augustine Eco Tours. These tours are typically about an hour a prolonged and contain a narrative guidebook and some refreshment. It is a uniquely Floridian Xmas working experience for guaranteed!

If you want to make your Evenings of Lights expertise passionate, you can even get a horse drawn carriage! This way you can trip about city with your cherished a person and leisurely take pleasure in the lights. There are choices with Previous Town Trolley, St. Augustine Carriage and even a wine tasting carriage tour. This is the most costly choice at close to $150 for a carriage trip, but surely the most magical!

st. augustine lights

Our Expertise

In 2019, my household and I visited the weekend following Thanksgiving to practical experience the St. Augustine Evenings of Lights. We made the decision to continue to be at The Holiday Inn St. Augustine, because I desired to use details, and also, we were being bringing our pup, Charlie. Ideally, it is greater to remain somewhere suitable on the major avenue in 1 of the bed and breakfasts, so you can be in strolling distance to the lights. These fill up speedy and can get pricey, so e book early!

Another matter you want to do early is eat meal. Most restaurants do not acquire reservations and have long waits on these crowded weekends. We had put in the working day at Castillo de San Marcos and then examining out breweries and identified ourselves hungry all over 7 PM. This was a oversight for the reason that all the dining establishments experienced hour lengthy waits by then! We eventually received into The Floridian for a pretty out of doors meal, but it was significantly later than expected.

On the other hand, after we concluded dinner, we had a lovely practical experience strolling all-around and having in the lights. We started at Flagler College, then invested time at the Plaza de la Constitucion and then walked alongside A1A for a watch of the water and the town. Sooner or later, we got to Odd Birds Bar and stopped for a refreshing cocktail, whilst hot chocolate works equally as well. We also received a late-evening snack at Costeau’s Waffle Bar to close the day. We experienced taken an Uber from the lodge and had no challenge receiving 1 again without the need of surge pricing about 11 PM. I absolutely suggest this if you are not in walking length.

odd birds st augustine

Unique Occasions All through Evenings of Lights

All over the season, St. Augustine hosts distinctive activities to celebrate this festive time of calendar year. This begins with the Mild-Up ceremony which generally happens the Saturday ahead of Thanksgiving. At the time it gets dim, the countdown for flipping the swap of the lights begin though the All Star Orchestra performs Xmas music. It is a single of the most enjoyable days of the holiday break time listed here!

Then Mid-December, the yearly Regatta of Lights requires position in which boats big and modest are adorned and form a parade along Matanzas Bay. Irrespective of whether you watch from the shore or a boat, it is a exciting way to see the land and sea festively lit up. The last occasion of the time is the Beach front Blast Off into the new yr. This requires position on the St. Augustine Beach Pier on New Year’s Eve and involves dwell tunes, foods and consume stands and fireworks. All of these events are free to working experience and fun for the full loved ones!

st augustine christmas

Know Ahead of You Go: St. Augustine Nights of Lights

If you are searching for a unique vacation practical experience in Florida, traveling to St. Augustine for the Nights of Lights is a person of the finest possibilities. The climate is usually really great for Florida and everything feels so festive all through December. If you are a community, you can practical experience a good deal of Nights of Lights in a couple of hours, but people from out of city ought to in all probability approach to remain the night time. It is well worth it for a holiday break vacation like no other! Here’s a number of things to maintain in brain:

  • The St. Augustine Lights occur on at 5:30 PM just about every day from the Saturday ahead of Thanksgiving till the conclusion of January.
  • The variety 1 thing to recall is that it is incredibly tricky to locate parking in Historic St. Augustine this time of 12 months. If you plan to park in the spot to see the lights, I would endorse executing it midday and then not transferring your car until finally you prepare to depart. Parking tends to be about $15 for the day at most places in the region.
  • It is much far more preferable to get a shuttle from outdoors of town, consider an Uber or Lyft to see the lights or continue to be in a resort in just walking distance.
  • Dining establishments also get really crowded, so consume dinner early if you can to stay clear of lengthy waits for a desk. For cafe suggestions, verify out this St. Augustine foods guide.
  • If you do not like crowds, it is improved to appear for the duration of the weekdays or in the course of the thirty day period of January.
  • If you system to e-book a tour, do it in advance due to the fact many weekends fill up.
  • Make confident to wander about the plaza, Flagler College or university and together the waterfront so you get a wide variety of sights of the lights!

nights of lights guide

There are a great deal of fun Christmas points to do in Florida, but Nights of Lights is one particular of the ideal! Have you seasoned this annual occasion? For more getaway strategies, check out my Central Florida Christmas manual.

For additional thoughts for issues to do in St. Augustine, examine out my St. Augustine Bucket Checklist on Etsy!

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