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There is nothing like St. Augustine any time of the year. I think the best time to visit is during the holiday season. This town comes to life! Everything is lit up including the palm trees.
First, why is St. Augustine such a great way to spend the Christmas holidays? So many reasons!
From the best light displays with tiny white lights that shine brightly to the best holiday lighting displays you may ever see, this city pulls the holiday spirit from even the grumpiest Grinch.
The city of St. Augustine shows out for the holidays but the historic district shines bright all year long. Castillo De San Marcos, downtown St. Augustine over to the Bridge of Lions, there is so much to see and do.
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Halloween is another big time of year in this beautiful city. Experience haunted cemeteries the Old Jail to haunted hotels. From October through the end of January, there is no better place to be. Read about Halloween here: St. Augustine Haunted Houses
This article though is all about Christmas in St. Augustine. Let’s dig into all the best things to do in St Augustine during the holidays.
Below are the best Christmas Tours and lights In St. Augustine this year, so you can plan your holiday getaway to the nation’s oldest city.
How To Get To St. Augustine
St. Augustine is quite easy to reach. The nearest airport is Jacksonville and there are many beautiful nearby beach towns including Ponte Vedra Beach. These nearby towns are also lit up to celebrate the holidays which makes it a nice drive.
Best Christmas Nights of Lights Tours In St. Augustine (Saint Augustine)
The best way to see St. Augustine in my opinion is taking the Old Town Trolley Tours. These trolleys not only have a guide onboard to point out all the best places to see but also give you the history of the city of St. Augustine.
You can get complete information including pricing here: Old Town Trolley Tours Definitely, a must if you have not visited St. Augustine yet.
The information alone is so worthwhile and what better way to see a town than with a local? They offer the trolley year-round, but for Christmas, the holiday cheer is ramped up even more with the Old Town Trolley’s nights.
Annual Nights of Lights
St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights is something people return to every year. It is an annual event that is fun for the whole family. The special events get better and better each year.
You can enjoy this holiday tradition in many ways including by trolley, carriage ride, or by water.
Get Your Guide provides some of the most up-to-date information on the Nights of Lights from a walking tour to a pirate ship cruise. If this is your first time visiting, you can get the guide here: Get Your Guide St. Augustine Florida
Nights of Lights by Water in St. Augustine FL
St. Augustine glows when you see it from a boat on the water. One of the best tours are Florida Water Tours Nights Of Lights Boat Cruise
Two options available. One for adults only and another cruise that’s great for those traveling with kids. Get complete information including pricing here: Water Tours Nights Of Lights Boat Cruise
Another one to take a look at is Adventure Boat Tours – Nights of Lights by Water in St. Augustine. You can enjoy a public tour with others on a boat that will hold up to 32 people or opt for a private boat tour that will hold up to 6 people.
Enjoy cruising along the Matanza River where you will see the ancient city lit with twinkling lights. You will pass by the Bridge of Lions and the fort as well.
Get complete information including pricing and booking details here: Nights of Lights by Water in St. Augustine FL
See The Best Nights of Lights Display By Walking
Keep in mind, St. Augustine is a walkable city near the historic district. It may be easier for you to see the Christmas lights and hear the live music simply walking around the town.
St. George Street in the downtown area is fully lit up in the Christmas spirit. Enjoy the holiday magic by picking up a last-minute gift or two and listening to Christmas music as you stroll along.
St. Augustine Luminary Night
If you are in town early in December, be sure to take advantage of Luminary Night.
This is an annual tradition hosted by the St. Augustine Lighthouse Maritime Museum and in the beginning of the night of lights celebration. More than 2000 luminaries will light up the grounds of the Lighthouse.
Guests are asked to bring a non-perishable food item as a donation. Definitely tops the list of light tours during the holidays! Get more information here: Luminary Night
St. Augustine Boat Parade
Another one to add to the top of your list and one that is enjoyed at Christmas time by visitors year after year.
The Holiday Regatta of Lights is held on the 2nd Saturday of December. It is another one of the great things you can enjoy for free during the holidays in this historic city.
St. Augustine Christmas Parade
Who doesn’t love a parade? St. Augustine’s Christmas Parade starts at 9 a.m. by the Mission Nombre de Dios off San Marco Avenue and winds through the historic downtown streets of St. Augustine.
One more option you might want to consider is to book a private tour.
This gives you a better chance of seeing all of your favorite things, the beautiful historic streets the local businesses have decorated, as well as the historic landmarks like City Gates that bring many to town on your schedule.
The best tour I have found uses electric vehicles which are quiet. That lets you see AND hear everything along the tour. You can get information including pricing here: Private Guided Tour of Nights of Lights
Where To Stay Nights Of Lights St. Augustine
From hotels to quaint BNBs, there are several different options for accommodations. If you are lucky and book early enough, one of the best places to stay is the Casa Monica Hotel.
This is a 125-year-old- St. Augustine landmark that lights up for the most wonderful time of the year. Over 2 million lights hang from the beautiful live oak trees. So many years of history in just this one location. Get information and availability here: Casa Monica Hotel
This is a favorite spot though that books early, so I have placed other options for St. Augustine vacation rentals and hotels below to help you see as much of the holiday lights display as possible.
Helpful Links To Plan Best Christmas Tours in St. Augustine Holiday Vacation
I like to use Booking for booking not only my hotels, but my tickets and rental cars as well. Makes life so much easier with only having to log into one location for my information.
Be sure to grab my travel tips to save you time and money. You’ll also be entered into the weekly drawings.
Denise Sanger lives a life split between her love for fitness and her passion for travel particularly to the BEACH. Denise also has a love of marketing and lives in beautiful Suwannee County, Florida. You can find out more about Denise here: About Denise