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Glowing with holiday charm, St. Augustine lights up from the ground to the rooftops for its annual Night of Lights event. If you visit America’s oldest city during this time, you’ll encounter millions of tiny white lights scattered throughout the city that help to create a magical and festive atmosphere that the entire family can enjoy.
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Held between November 19th, 2020 through January 31st, 2021, the free event was once selected by National Geographic as one of the top 10 best holiday light displays in the world. The tradition has origins in the Spanish tradition of putting white candles in the windows throughout the Christmas season, but St. Augustine takes it up a notch with an array of brightly lit displays.
Some of the best places to see the elaborate light displays is at Flagler College, the Lightner Museum and along the side streets, such as Cordova St and Orange St. It all centers around the main plaza, called the Plaza de la Constitucion, where towering trees are draped in illuminating displays and a huge Christmas tree is set up for picture-perfect selfies.
Walk along the pedestrian-friendly shopping street St. George, then see the award-winning light display at the Tini Martini Bar inside of Casablanca Inn. Alternatively, stroll near the Bridge of Lions to admire the glistening bayfront.
Many businesses downtown stay open later so that you can dine in view of the lights and browse the decorated buildings. However, you can also book an overnight stay in this charming city in order to soak up the sparkly atmosphere that makes this city so special. Both kids and kids at heart love wandering past the city’s historic landmarks and dazzling displays and warming up with a cup of hot chocolate.
There are many ways to get around St. Augustine during this time. You can take a ride on the Old Town Trolley’s Famous Night of Lights Tour, hop on a train with Ripley’s Red Trains Nights of Lights Tours, or enjoy the sights by old-fashioned horse and carriage.
If you want a bird’s eye view of the action, head to the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum. Here, you can climb up 219 steps and take in gorgeous views of the Night of Lights displays below. You can also see the spectacular displays from the water by booking a tranquil boat tour with Scenic Cruise.
Explore St. Augustine’s charming streets on foot to discover an array of hidden treasures and enjoy the festive atmosphere, as many of the displays are within convenient walking distance of each other.
Night of Lights Event:
Dates: November 14th, 2020 – January 31st, 2021