Tis’ the Season for Nights of Lights! Whether you’re a longtime local or a first-time visitor, chances are you’re familiar with Nights of Lights. Each year, the Ancient City is covered with millions of twinkling lights to celebrate the season, bringing visitors from around the world to view the award-winning display. This year marks St. Augustine’s 29th year of Nights of Lights, beginning November 19, 2022 and continuing nightly through January 31, 2023. Wondering how to include Nights of Lights in your holiday festivities? We’ve got you covered. Check out our ultimate guide to Nights of Lights.
St. Augustine, Florida’s Nights of Lights originates from the Spanish practice of displaying a candle in the window throughout the Christmas season. Traditionally, candles in the window reflect a welcoming attitude of the holiday season and a warm invitation for guests entering the home. Today, the sentiment remains, as the twinkling lights throughout the city represent a warm welcome for those who visit throughout the holiday season.
A Sparkly Tradition
A tradition beloved by so many, St. Augustine has been featured as one of the “10 Best Holiday Lighting Displays in the World” by National Geographic Traveler. While the main attraction can be found amidst the trees in The Plaza de la Constitución, Nights of Lights stretches throughout the Ancient City, with millions of white lights covering popular attractions including The Lightner Museum and Flagler College as well as many local businesses throughout King Street, St. George Street, Aviles Street, Avenida Menendez and more.
How to Celebrate
Attend the Opening Ceremony
Watch as the lights illuminate the city for the first time this year at the 29th Annual Nights of Lights festival, Light-Up! Night. This family-friendly event will take place on Saturday, November 19th at 4pm, and will include a variety of lively performances of holiday favorites from Showtime USA and All Star Orchestra. The lighting ceremony will begin at 6:30pm in The Plaza, where attendees can watch as the switch is officially flipped to light-up the city.
Take a Nights of Lights Tour
See the lights up close and personal when you take a guided tour of the city! With various options to choose from, there’s plenty of ways for you to take in the view this year. Here are some of our favorite Nights of Lights Tours:
Enjoy Dinner & Drinks with a View
The best part about Nights of Lights is how easy it is to find the perfect view. Head over to River & Fort and enjoy a delicious meal as you take in the view from their rooftop. Enjoy an evening cocktail at the fan-favorite Tini Martini Bar overlooking the Bayfront – known for their decked-out balcony, you’ll become one with the lights! If martinis aren’t your drink of choice, don’t fret. There are plenty of places to enjoy a delicious cocktail with a view, including Meehan’s Irish Pub, The Forgotten Tonic, Casa Reina Taqueria & Tequila, and more. Prefer to see the lights up close? Take an evening stroll with a cup of homemade hot cocoa in hand from The Kookaburra Coffee shop, located in the heart of downtown.
See the Lights for Yourself When You Stay at The Local
Need a place to stay while you visit St. Augustine, Florida during the Night of Lights festival? The Local – St. Augustine is perfect. With the best location in the city, we’re conveniently located just minutes from St. Augustine’s historic downtown. Reserve a room today!