Old Town Trolleys Famous Nights of Lights Tour
November 14, 2020, through January 31, 2021 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 (some three 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 remain 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 ten best places in the world to see holiday lighting displays.
The 27th Annual Nights of Lights begins on the evening of Saturday, November 14, 2020, and runs through Sunday, January 31, 2021. This season will be a little different from the traditional Nights of Lights, due to COVID-19 precautions. This year, there will be no Light-Up! Night opening ceremony, and the lights will go on a week earlier than usual, beginning two Saturdays before Thanksgiving.
Old Town Trolleys Famous Nights of Lights Tour will also be a little different this year, with safety measures in place that will ensure social distancing and increase focus on personal protections. By selling only full rows of seats this year, 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 14, 2020, through January 31, 2021. Operating hours are from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. through the end of December, changing to from 6:00 to 8:00 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 Trolleys 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 8th 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 $15.00 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 on board.
Details on making online reservations for the 2020-21 Old Town Trolleys Famous Nights of Lights Tour will be available soon. Call (904) 829-3800 for more information.
Admission: Tickets are sold for an entire row (up to 4 people) and by reservation only. The price is $59.95 for the row.
When: The Old Town Trolleys Famous Nights of Lights Tour departs every night from Saturday, November 14 through Sunday, January 31, 2021. Tours run from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. through the end of December and then switch to a shorter schedule (6:00 to 8:00 p.m.) in January 2021.
Where: Tours leave from the Visitors Information Center located at 10 West Castillo Drive in St. Augustine, just across from the Downtown Parking Facility.
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Submissions accepted thru October | Winners announced online on October 31, 2020.