St. Augustine Nights of Lights Preview
Sunny Florida may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of holiday cheer, but the famous St. Augustine Nights of Lights celebration is one of the Sunshine State’s loveliest and most enduring displays of seasonal festivity.
For nearly 30 years, this city-wide festival has brought together countless local structures with millions of brilliant, twinkling holiday lights in a communal show of fellowship and goodwill. Here’s what to expect from the 2021 event.
A Heartfelt History
While Nights of Lights is a fairly contemporary event within the city (especially given our rich and lengthy history), the traditions it’s based on are not. St. Augustine’s rich past and Spanish-settled heritage has resulted in a number of old-country touches having been imported to the local culture, and the ceremonial candle being burned in windows during the holidays has long been one of the most treasured. So much so that it grew and evolved over a few hundred years into the festive spirit we still celebrate today as Nights of Lights.
The Nights of Lights festival is far from simply a lighting event, or even a singular display — it’s a two-month long city-wide celebration of the holiday spirit. Beginning on November 20 (and running through January 31), more than 3 million lights will sweep and glimmer their way across the city’s thoroughfares, streets, and structures. The effect is so impressive that National Geographic once named St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights one of the Top Ten Holiday Lights Displays in the World.
Since Nights of Lights is one of the most popular and well-attended events in the area all year, St. Augustine truly pulls out all the stops in order to offer the best of the city to visitors. Stores stay open later to accommodate shoppers looking cross names off of their shopping lists beneath the warm glow. Restaurants and bars also extend their hours. The overall effect is one of unhurried warmth, and hospitable fellowship. It truly is peace on earth every year.
Grand Guided Tours
Many of the region’s famous train and trolley tour companies offer special routes during Nights of Lights in order to afford city guests and locals alike optimal views of the display’s most breathtaking sections. Several local walking tours also highlight the history of the festival, as well as linger under the most charming areas. Of course, you’re also welcome to chart your own course through the celebration in order to take in all the brilliant beauty.
Events and Adventures
St. Augustine’s local events calendar also kicks into high gear during the festival. Many live venues offer full calendars of concerts, comedy and other festive performances for visitors to take part in. City Hall will serve as the entertainment epicenter when the festival begins, hosting shows from big bands and orchestras playing holiday standards. Of course, the local nightlife scene also comes alive after dark, with club music always on tap to dance the night away.
A Stellar Stay
When you visit St. Augustine during the Nights of Lights festival, St. George Inn offers the ideal accommodation. Our beautiful boutique hotel is located just steps from all the magic, so you’ll be close to all of the city’s most popular areas and attractions. A chilled glass of holiday cheer from our own Bin 39 Wine Bar truly brings out all the warmth of the lights. And our charming, comfortable spaces offer the perfect rest. Be sure to take a look at our Special Offers page to select the travel package that’s right for you, and we’ll see you at the celebration!