Nights of Lights 2018-19
Every Night from Nov. 17, 2018 to Feb. 3, 2019 at Plaza de la Constitucion
The 25th Annual Nights of Lights dazzles the city as some three million lights adorn every corner of the historic district for two months.
This award-winning holiday lights display runs from November 17, 2018, to February 3, 2019, in historic St. Augustine. During Nights of Lights, businesses downtown stay open later, letting you dine in view of the lights and browse the shops of the decorated buildings. The trains and trolleys offer special seasonal tours that take you through the best areas of Nights of Lights, and there are also a variety of specialty tours -- everything from walking to horse-and-carriage tours, and even tours to see the lights from the water and from the air.
For a complete list of Nights of Lights tours and all the other holiday events happening in St. Augustine, visit here.
There are plenty of photo opportunities throughout the downtown area, from the dazzling lights along the bayfront, to the Christmas tree placed in the center of the Plaza de la Constitución with holiday gifts surrounding it. From dusk until dawn, the lights bring holiday cheer to vacationers and locals in St. Augustine.
Nights of Lights begins with Light Up! Night on Saturday, November 17, 2018. For more information and a full schedule of events, check out the profile page for Light Up! Night Lighting Ceremony.
Nights of Lights is the winter holiday celebration in St. Augustine where each historic downtown business and many residents participate by lighting up their buildings. The Nights of Lights celebration was chosen in 2011 and 2012 by National Geographic as one of the ten best holiday lighting displays in the world. The dazzling display continues to dazzle, becoming more and more popular each year as a holiday destination for vacationers from all over the world.
Especially significant light displays are visible at Flagler College and the Lightner Museum. The main plaza, called the Plaza de la Constitución, features lights draped around every tree. There's also a Christmas tree in the center where photos can be taken. Another business known for their light display is the Tini Martini Bar and Casablanca Inn. Visitors and locals can dine on their outdoor patio amongst the glowing bulbs. The view of the bayfront from the Bridge of Lions during Nights of Lights is a favorite for many, and a guaranteed photo opportunity.
History of Nights of Lights
Nights of Lights in St. Augustine traces its origins back to the traditional Spanish practice of displaying a white candle in windows during the Christmas holidays. Candles in the window allude to the fact that Mary and Joseph could find no inn that would give them shelter. When the Spanish put candles in their windows, they were symbolically making room in their homes and hearts for Jesus. It also reflects the welcoming attitude of the holiday season, showing that guests are welcome to the home. The stunning lights reflect the city's 450-year history and illuminate the beautiful cityscape for lasting holiday memories. The city of St. Augustine has been celebrating Nights of Lights for 25 years.
Things to Do during Nights of Lights
Looking for things to do in St. Augustine during Nights of Lights 2018-19? St. Augustine's Nights of Lights features millions of tiny white lights that create a magical atmosphere in the nation's oldest city. From roof shingle to doorway entrance, the buildings of downtown will glow in holiday cheer. Vacationers can walk through the Plaza de la Constitución during Nights of Lights and stare up at the glowing lights in the trees, and wander through the brick streets of downtown while taking in the beautiful and magical sights. Visitors can snap photos with outdoor displays, like the holiday tree in the center of the town plaza or grab some hot cocoa from a local restaurant.
Check out these local tours during Nights of Lights. There are many more tours and all kinds of events happening this year.
- Old Town Trolley Famous Nights of Lights Tour
- Ripley's Red Train Nights of Lights
- St. Augustine Eco Tours Nights of Lights Tours
- Scenic Cruise Nights of Lights Tours
- Florida Water Tours Nights of Lights Tours
Please note that some tours do not start until the night after the Lighting Ceremony, and while some run nightly, others run only on weekends.
Free Park & Ride Shuttle on Busiest Nights
The City of St. Augustine provides a free park and ride shuttle service on the busiest dates in November and December 2018 for visitors who have come to see the lights. The shuttle operates from 1 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. with pick-ups approximately every 20 minutes.
The shuttle service begins on Light-Up! Night, November 17, 2018, which is the opening night of the annual holiday lighting event. The shuttle will continue on Friday and Saturday of Thanksgiving Weekend (November 23 and 24) and then every Saturday in December (December 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, 2018).
The shuttle brings visitors to the Visitor Information Center at 10 S. Castillo Drive from two locations north of the city:
• St. Johns County Health Department, 200 San Sebastian View
• Parking Lot at the northern end of San Marco Ave, 301 San Marco Ave.
On Light-Up! Night (November 17) ONLY from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., a shuttle will run on Anastasia Island from the following locations to the east end of the Bridge of Lions.