Old Town Trolley's Famous Nights of Lights Tour
Nightly Nov. 20, 2021, through Jan. 29, 2022 at Visitor Information Center
Old Town Trolleys Famous Nights of Lights Tour has become one of the most popular ways to see St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights. This holiday spectacle of traditional white lights (more than 3 million of them) has its roots, like everything in St. Augustine, in history. For the nearly 250 years that St. Augustine served as the capital of Spanish Florida, residents would place a lighted candle in their windows to mark the holiday season.
Now, the lights are electric, but they are still white, and they are dazzling to see as they decorate the wonderful old buildings, historic homes and bayfront vistas in the Nation’s Oldest City. National Geographic magazine included St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights in its recent list of the 10 Best Places in the World to See Holiday Lighting displays.
The 28th Annual Nights of Lights begins on the evening of Saturday, November 20, 2021, and runs through Monday, January 31, 2021. The annual Light-Up! Night begins at 4 p.m. Saturday, November 20, 2021, with a performance by Showtime USA presenting a wide variety of holiday musical favorites. Showtime’s performance will be in front of St. Augustine’s City Hall, 75 King St. At 5:30 p.m., the All Star Orchestra takes the stage with great swing and big band sounds all in grand holiday style at the historic Plaza de la Constitución Gazebo. During the Light-Up! Night ceremony, which begins at 6:30 p.m. in the plaza, the switch to the Nights of Lights is flipped to illuminate the city. The concert continues after the ceremony until 7:30 p.m.
Old Town Trolley's Famous Nights of Lights Tour will also be a little different this year. By selling only full rows of seats, and only by reservation, the tour will involve significantly less contact with other people outside one’s own party. There will be no walk-up sales, and, therefore, no waiting lines. Plexiglass dividers are set up between the trolley rows, and the rows are disinfected after every tour.
The trolley tours depart every night from Saturday, November 20, 2021, through January 29, 2022. Operating hours are from 6 to 9 p.m. through the end of December, changing to from 6 to 8 p.m. in January. The tour departs from the Visitor Information Center at 10 West Castillo Drive. It is 30 to 45 minutes long and makes no stops along the way.
A Holiday Tradition
For many residents and visitors, Old Town Trolley's Famous Nights of Lights Tours has become a part of their family holiday tradition during the annual Nights of Lights festival, offering a convenient and fun way to see the best of the lights and join with their tour guide and fellow passengers in impromptu caroling all along the way. Most of the tour highlights are still offered, including complimentary magical viewing glasses (which turn the lights into glittering snowflake or star shapes) a chance to vote in the 10th Annual Light Up the Night Contest, where guests help to decide which three businesses will be this year’s winners for the best light displays in St. Augustine.
Parking is always available for a fee of $15 a day at the City of St. Augustine’s Downtown Parking Facility.
Face masks are recommended, but not required. For wheelchair and scooter reservations, a minimum of 24 hours notice is recommended. Assistance animals, such as registered seeing-eye dogs, are the only animals that are allowed onboard.
Admission: Tickets are $69.95 for an entire row (up to 4 people) and by reservation only.
When: Nightly from Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, through Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022. Tours run from 6 to 9 p.m. through December 2021 and from 6 to 8 p.m. in January 2022.
Where: Tours leave from the Visitors Information Center located at 10 West Castillo Drive in St. Augustine, just across from the Downtown Parking Facility.