Festive Nights of Lights tours by land, sea, and sky.
November 18, 2023 through January 31, 2024 | After Dark
During the holiday season, the City of St. Augustine becomes a festival of twinkling white lights as it hosts the annual Nights of Lights display. The festivities start at Light Up Night on Saturday, November 18, 2023, and continue through January 31, 2024.
The wonderland of lights begins at the Plaza de la Constitución, with its holiday tree in the center and every live oak strung with hundreds of white lights. St. Augustine's Historic District — bed and breakfasts, museums, restaurants, historic sites, and shops all sparkle with millions of twinkling white lights. Rachael Ray Magazine named St. Augustine's Nights of Lights as one of the nation's "twinkliest," and National Geographic Magazine listed it as one of the "Top 10 Cities in the World for Holiday Lighting Displays."
There are many ways to view the Nights of Lights, including walking in Historic Downtown and visiting pubs, restaurants, and ice cream shops. For those who want a different perspective on the lights, numerous tours are offered throughout the season, some every night and some just on select nights. Some choose to walk one day and take a tour (or two) on another, experiencing the lights and the festive atmosphere with song, ice cream, a skilled train or trolley conductor, in an open carriage, or with the Grinch.
What: A 30 to 45-minute ride through Historic Downtown aboard an Old Town Trolley; includes magic glasses, an entertaining driver, and seasonal songs on the speakers, plus cider and a cookie after the ride.
Admission: $69.99 for a row with up to four people. Children aged three and under may sit on an adult's lap and ride at no charge.
When: From November 19, 2023, through January 28, 2024, starting at 6:00 p.m.
What: A 45-minute ride in an open-air cart, with no set route, can be booked for a private group of up to 10 people or a row of three people. The guide offers insights into Nights of Lights and St. Augustine's history. 3-D glasses are included, and the driver plays holiday music on the sound system. Dogs are welcome.
Admission: $75.00 for a row of three. $200.00 for a private tour of up to 10 people.
When: Nightly, on the hour, between 6:00 and 9:00 p.m., from November 18, 2023 through January 31, 2024
Where: This tour has two different departure points: next to the Casa Monica Hotel, at 95 Cordova Street, and at the City Gate, 1 St. George Street.
What: This one-hour tour aboard the Victory III offers covered seating on the first level and open-air seating on the top level. Complimentary hot cocoa and cookies are included. Leashed dogs are welcome.
Admission: $28.70 per adult and $14.38 for children aged 4 - 12.
When: 6:30 p.m. each evening, from November 18 through December 31, 2023, and on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through January 27, 2024.
Exceptions: There are no tours on Thanksgiving and Christmas and Mondays through Thursdays after December 31.
What: This two-hour boat tour gives one a spectacular view of the holiday lights and the Historic Downtown during sunset. Experience life on a pirate ship, sing Christmas carols, grab a drink from the bar, and dance with the other crew members on board.
Admission: During the 2023/24 season, $39.95 per person for those 13 and older, $29.95 for those aged three through 12, and $9.95 for those under three.
When: From November 19, 2023, through January 7, 2024, starting at precisely 4:15 p.m. and ending at 6:15 p.m.
What: Offering Nights of Lights tours on one of two multi-passenger vessels — the 45-foot Osprey has a bar on board, and the 35-foot Island Breeze is a BYOB boat that's family-friendly. Each tour includes complimentary 3D glasses. Some cruises are adults only.
Admission: Generally, $39.00 per adult, $19.00 for children aged 3 - 12, and $6.00 for infants through two years old. Some trips, such as the Sunset cruise and the Regatta of Lights cruise, will cost more.
When: From November 18, 2023, through January 31, 2024.
What: This one-hour boat tour aboard an open platform boat that holds 20 people starts in Salt Run and cruises along the waterfront for great views of the lights and goes under the Bridge of Lions for additional views. This smaller boat has a shallow draft and can get close to shore.
Admission: $34.00 for adults and $15.00 for children under 8.
When: Just after sunset and again at 7:30 and 9:00 p.m., from November 20, 2023 through January 31, 2024
Exceptions: There are no tours on Thanksgiving and on December 9, 24, 25, and 31.
What: This 90-minute BYOB Nights of Lights water tour is aboard a 35-foot pedal-powered party boat featuring festive music and auxiliary power. There are 12 cycle stations and room for an additional 12 passengers.
Admission: $42.00 per person plus tax. $885.00 for private parties.
When: From November 18, 2023, through January 31, 2024, with cruises starting at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Where: Departing from the Beaches Marina at 250 Vilano Road in St. Augustine. The Beaches Marina shares a parking lot with Beaches Restaurant.
What: Private or shared charter cruises on a luxury sailboat. Cruises can include meals, dessert, wine, and sparkling wine.
Admission: Tickets start at $99.00 per person for a shared Nights of Lights tour. Three private charter packages range from $594.00 for a one-hour dessert cruise to $1685.00. and more for a three-hour cruise with a four-course dinner. All cruises can accommodate up to six passengers.
When: From November 18, 2023, through January 31, 2024. Schedules vary.
What: Intimate boat excursions for 6 - 12 passengers, depending on the vessel: a 6-passenger sailing catamaran and a 12-passenger power boat. Both boats are open-air vessels with no cover. Multiple tours are offered each night beginning at 4:14 p.m. Tours leave the dock at 4:15, 5:00, 6:30, and 8:00 p.m. and last from 1 to 2 hours, depending on the cruise.
Admission: Adult prices range from $40.00 to $65.00; children's tickets range from $30.00 to $35.00.
When: From November 18, 2023, through January 31, 2024. Multiple tours are offered each night beginning at 4:14 p.m. Tours leave the dock at 4:15, 5:00, 6:30, and 8:00 p.m. and last from 1 to 2 hours, depending on the cruise.
St. Augustine's Nights of Lights festival traces its origin to the Spanish tradition of displaying a white candle in the window during the Christmas holidays. The tradition continues in 2023, with more than three million white lights twinkling on the historic buildings and landmarks along the bayfront and throughout the city's brick streets.