Nights of Lights 2020-21
Every Night from Nov. 14, 2020 to Jan. 31, 2021 at Plaza de la Constitucion
The 27th 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 14, 2020, to January 31, 2021, in historic St. Augustine. During the seasonal display, 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, 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.
Check out our complete list of Nights of Lights tours and all the other holiday events happening in St. Augustine.
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 usually begins with Light Up! Night ceremony on the first Saturday of its season. Due of precuation made necessary by the Coronavirus pandemic, this ceremony will not be held this year.
This is the local winter holiday celebration in St. Augustine where each historic downtown business and many residents participate by lighting up their buildings. The 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.
Some of the most elaborate light displays can be seen at Flagler College, the Lightner Museum, and on side streets like Cordova St. and Orange St. The main plaza, called the Plaza de la Constitución, features lights draped around every tree, with a huge Christmas tree in the center where photos can be taken. The pedestrian-only main shopping area, St. George Street, is also beautifully lit up.
A frequent award-winner for their light display is the Tini Martini Bar inside the Casablanca Inn. Visitors and locals can dine on their outdoor patio among the glowing bulbs. The view of the bayfront from the Bridge of Lions is a favorite for many, and a guaranteed photo opportunity.
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 over 450-year history and illuminate the beautiful cityscape for lasting holiday memories.
The city of St. Augustine has been celebrating this event for 26 years.
Things to Do
Looking for things to do in St. Augustine during Nights of Lights 2019-20? This event 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
- St. Augustine Eco Tours
- Scenic Cruise Tours
- Florida Water Tours
- St. Augustine Sailing
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 provided a free park and ride shuttle service on the busiest dates in November and December 2019 for visitors who have come to see the lights. The shuttle operates from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on most of these days, with pick-ups approximately every 20 minutes.
The shuttle service begins on Light-Up! Night, November 23, 2019, which is the opening night of the 2019-20 holiday lighting event. The shuttles for that day run from 4:00 to 11:00 p.m. The shuttle continues on Friday and Saturday of the 2019 Thanksgiving Weekend (November 29 and 30) and then every Saturday in December (December 7, 14, 21, and 28, 2019), with operating hours from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. There is an extended holiday service available as well on the three days after Christmas (December 26, 27, and 29) from 5:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. The Saturday service on December 28 will run on a normal Saturday schedule, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
The shuttle brings visitors to the Visitor Information Center at 10 S. Castillo Drive from two locations north of the city:
On Light-Up! Night (November 23) ONLY from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., an additional shuttle will run on Anastasia Island, from the following locations to the east end of the Bridge of Lions.
To view a Google map of parking and drop-off locations, visit here.