Each year, during St. Augustine’s World Famous Nights of Lights Display, hundreds of residents and tourists gather downtown to celebrate the holidays and observe brilliant decorations throughout downtown. Although the city’s beautiful light display is reason enough to travel to the old city, joining a tour will make your experience all the more memorable. On your Nights of Lights tour, you can sip red wine on the bay front, enjoy the best view of the St. Augustine skyline in the air, and learn all about the history and culture of the nation’s oldest city!
December 9th through 13th with various tour options available; Extended Weekend Tour Ticket: Sat/Sun 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm and Monday 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Tour-Lite Ticket: Monday 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm and Tues/Wed 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. 5-Day, Relaxed Tour: Sat/Sun 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Monday 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm, and Tues/Wed 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
The Annual Bed and Breakfast Holiday Tour is ideal for couples, families, large groups, and individuals looking for an off the beaten path experience. Each year the tour is given a theme and each establishment decorates according to their interpretation of the theme; this year the Historic Inns have decided on a Coastal Christmas theme. This self-guided tour presents a unique opportunity to visit several of the historic inns and see each one’s diverse character. In fact, many of the inn’s have a room available for you to tour as you listen to Christmas carols. Each inn will be paired up with a local restaurant who will be offering delicious samples of their food. As a bonus to the tour, enjoy browsing through several local museums, the Government House, the Colonial Oak Music Park, the Art Association Gallery, and Trinity Episcopal Church.
Red Train: Opens at 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Closed on Christmas Day
Old Town Trolley Nights of Lights Tour: Begins 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm, including Christmas night.
These tours were designed for families, large groups, and quite frankly, anyone looking for a good time. The trolley and train set out each night to explore the city limits and give a brief history lesson while riders sip hot chocolate and sing Christmas jingles. Riders of the trolley or train also gain access to very special viewing glasses.These one-of-a-kind glasses are crafted by no other than Santa’s
elves and change the way you view the millions of twinkling lights.
For the Romantic Type…
November 6th through January 1st at 6:45.
Schooner Freedom Charters hosts a variety of sailing tours daily; their sunset and moonlight tours are the perfect occasion for cuddling with your significant other under the Florida stars. As you sip on your complimentary wine or beer take in the St. Augustine skyline and Nights of Lights display!
Horse and Carriage Ride Courtesy of The Tasting Tours
Call to make reservations (904) 325-3911.
The Tasting Tours offers a special carriage ride during the Nights of Lights. In fact, when creating their private carriage ride for two (with wine), they had romance in mind. Step into the horse-drawn carriage that is decorated in Christmas attire, for an intimate Nights of Lights tour. This is one of three special tours they offer during Nights of Lights.
For the Adventurer…
Open daily from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. Closed on Christmas Day.
Adventure is more often an afterthought when it comes time to celebrate the holidays. However, this is untrue of St. Augustine activities – particularly the Nights of Lights tour at Old City Helicopter. Flying miles above the city, this tour will take you on an unforgettable tour of the Nights of Lights and St. Augustine’s skyline. Not only is it the best view of the festival, it is also adrenaline pumping!
Each Saturday, through December 23rd, beginning at 1:00 pm.
This one-of-a-kind tour includes a reusable shopping bag, souvenir wine glass, three wine tasting experiences, and a complimentary dessert and glass of wine at the end of your tour. But the tour itself will take you on a VIP shopping extravaganza. Led by a licensed-guide, travel through Uptown San Marco, a trendy shopping area filled with boutiques, antiques, art, and unique pieces. A few glasses of wine paired with an expert guide will surely have you checking names off your Christmas shopping list!
During the holidays is there anything better then pub-hopping in a charming cobblestone-lined town, under a wonderful display of Christmas lights? I didn’t think so. Here is a list of a few pub crawls happening in St. Augustine this holiday season.
December 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, beginning at 5:30 pm.
This Nights of Lights tour includes four unique beer and wine venues. Wear your ugliest Christmas sweater and gain a chance to win a prize.
November 18th through January 31st, anytime.
With a commemorative t-shirt purchase ($25.00), receive a special (fake) passport card and access to one pint of brew from each of the hosting breweries: Ancient City Brewing, Bog Brewing Company, Dog Rose Brewing, and Old Coast Ales.
Mon, Wed, Thur, Fri, Sat from November 18 through December 23, beginning at 5:00 pm.
While experiencing the historic city’s modern culture via its festive pubs, taverns, and bars, also learn the history, legends, and myths of St. Augustine’s past. Reservations required.
St Augustine Historic Inns
The REAL BnBs
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Photo credits: St. Augustine Historic Inns