A Nights of Lights Guide

About Nights of Lights

Each year St. Augustine hosts a spectacular holiday light display featuring over 3 million twinkling lights in Historic Downtown. Tourists and locals alike gather in the Nation’s Oldest City to enjoy the modern twist on a historic Spanish tradition. Years ago, Spanish settlers in the City would place a single white candle on the sills of their window showing their respect and love for Jesus. The City keeps this tradition alive in grand fashion by lighting up St. Augustine each holiday. In its 25th year, Nights of Lights will start on November 17, 2018, and continue throughout February 3, 2019.

Where to Stay

A white house decorated in Christmas lights.

Photo by 44 Spanish Street which is one of the St. Augustine Historic Inns in St. Augustine, Florida.

The best places to stay during the Nights of Lights are also some of the most beautiful and historical sites on Florida’s Historic Coast. With prime locations in Historic Downtown, the St. Augustine Historic Inns offer an unparalleled combination of luxury, history, and comfort. The exquisite Inns are each in the heart of the Nights of Lights and only a short walk from restaurants, attractions, and shopping destinations. Here, history meets modern amenities and the two join together to create unforgettable memories. Furthermore, many of the innkeepers and employees are locals themselves, providing each guest with insider knowledge that any traveler would appreciate.

Enjoy your stay in one of the Real BnB’s of St. Augustine featuring jacuzzi tubs, unparalleled views of bayfront, and special sweetheart packages.

How to Get Around

The skyline of Nights of Lights in St. Augustine, Florida

Photo by Schooner Freedom Charters of St. Augustine, Florida.

One major benefit of booking your stay with SAHI is each Inn’s proximity to downtown. In fact, you won’t have to sit behind the wheel of a car at all! Outside the entrance of each Inn leads you to the heart of downtown. After you explore the City’s light display with your own two feet, get off the beaten path with the following experiences.

Go back in time on a horse and carriage ride.

Years ago, horses were a dependable way of transportation. In the 21st century, there are few things more romantic than sitting in a carriage with your loved one and taking in the truly unique views of this historic city; a few million twinkling lights, Spanish architecture, and a bayfront location ought to be the perfect combination for a night remembered.

Enjoy the cool breeze and sights from Matanzas River.

Our Spanish founders may have found settling just behind the Matanzas River practical for trade, war, and resources. Today, Matanzas is loved by nearly anyone who gets to sail it – especially during the Nights of Lights

Follow the food, eat your way through the City.

Along with history, art, and attractions, St. Augustine boasts a truly wonderful lineup of restaurants. It may seem as if there aren’t enough meal times in the day to try them all, but a three-hour Corks and Forks Walking Tour will certainly help you cross a few restaurants off your bucket list.

What to Bring and Wear

North Florida is a popular Summer and Winter destination because of its year-long mild climate. If you’re visiting the Nights of Lights at night, grab your favorite cashmere scarf and a light jacket to keep warm. But, during the day you may only need a long sleeve shirt and long pants. Of course, you’ll want to bring a comfortable pair of walking shoes – the City was voted the most walkable city in Florida by TripSavvy. Additionally, you won’t need much to enjoy our famous holiday light display. Just be sure to bring a camera and a little cash for a warm treat!

Enjoy the Great Views!

The Old Town Trolley tour during the Nights of Lights, in front of the Lightner Museum.

Photo by OldCity.com

It’s hard to believe that some views are better than others in a City decorated from palm trees to rooftops in dainty white lights and holiday décor. But this is the case for a select few locations!

Take in a twinkling skyline from the lighthouse.

Although the City is walkable, that doesn’t mean expanding your horizons beyond won’t be worth your trouble! In fact, the view of Nights of Lights from atop the Lighthouse is so popular that each year they host a Luminary Night where they invite visitors to check it out for themselves! Don’t worry, if you aren’t in town for this event you can catch a glimpse during one of their Sunset Moonrise Tour.

Watch the city come alive from the grounds of the Castillo.

Located front and center of Historic Downtown is the 323-year-old fort, the Castillo de San Marcos. The Castillo has a waterfront location and grounds that are lush and vast, making it a perfect place to spread a blanket and people watch during the holidays.

St. Augustine Historic Inns


Sharing and re-posting this blog is encouraged. Please credit St. Augustine Historic Inns when sharing. Disclaimer: Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information on the blogs of St. Augustine Historic Inns. Photo credits: 44 Spanish Street Historic Inn, Schooner Freedom Charters, OldCity.com.

Synthia Nadal
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