New Years around the Historic City


From spectacular seaside fireworks in St. Augustine Beach to a children’s balloon drop in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida’s Historic Coast is ready to usher in 2011 with an exciting array of fascinating, fun and flavorful festivities.

Start New Year’s Eve at 11 a.m. at the Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach where kids can enjoy pizza, decorate cookies, put together a hilarious party hat AND snap, crackle and pop in the Bubble Wrap Room while jumping to jingles from the house band. The big balloon drop takes place at the stroke of noon! Tickets are $5 per person or $15 for a family of four. The CulturalCenter is located at 50 Executive Way.

Kick off 2011 in seaside style at the Beach Blastoff in the City of St. Augustine Beach! Enjoy a blast of flavor, icy sculptures, and fireworks when several of St. Augustine’s favorite restaurants serve up chili for tasting and judging at the Fire and Ice Chili Cook-off from 4 to 8 p.m. After things cool off from the chili – the big fireworks show begins at 8:30 p.m.! Bursting above the Atlantic, the spectacular fireworks display in the perfect way to greet the New Year! Admission is free. Chili tasting tickets are $1 each and beer, wine, champagne, soda, water, t-shirts and novelties will be available. Net proceeds will be applied to improve recreational facilities in St. AugustineBeach. The Beach Blast takes place at the St. Johns County Fishing Pier and Pavilion, 350 A1A Beach Boulevard in St. AugustineBeach.

Celebrate the New Year with a return to yesteryear by visiting a swingin’ stage door canteen in the ’40s! This special presentation of G.I. Holiday Jukebox at St. Augustine’s Limelight Theatre includes a pre-show social hour with catered hors d’oeuvres, an open dance floor and an intermission champagne toast with the stars of the show! The USO show includes music, comedy and tributes to the heroic men and women of the armed forces. Doors open at 7 p.m. for hors d’oeuvres and dancing, the show starts at 8 p.m. and finishes at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are only $50 per person, but seating is limited. For reservations, call 904.825.1164.

It’s hard to beat a New Year’s celebration that features dinner and a spectacular view of MatanzasBay and the fireworks! Beginning at 7 p.m., The White Room, located on the rooftop of 1 King Street in St. Augustine, will be serving a special New Year’s Eve dinner that includes cocktails, entrée and a roof-top view. After dinner, walk over to O.C. White’s in the historic GeneralWorthMansion for a cocktail, dancing and a champagne toast at midnight. For reservations and more information, call 904.824.9056 or email

For a traditional, big time New Year’s Eve party, head over to World Golf Village where the Renaissance Resort will be hosting a Welcome 2011 party featuring entertainment by the Funk Monster Band, dancing, a dinner buffet, desserts, a champagne toast at midnight and a late-night snack station. Tickets are $65 per person. Accommodation packages are also available. The Renaissance Resort is located at WorldGolfVillage, just off I-95 at exit 323 in St. Augustine. For reservations and more information, call 904-940-8000

For something truly different, ring in the New Year aboard the Pirate Ship Black Raven! On this piratical adventure there will be music, a cash bar, seagoing tomfoolery — but, keep an eye on the horizon as the Black Raven sails for the enemy’s camp. There may be sword fights and cannon fire! Tickets are $50 per person (adults only) and include food, champagne toast, and pirate show. The Black Raven departs at 10:30 p.m. from the St. Arrrrgustine Municipal Marina, located at 111 Avenida Menendez. Reservations are required. For more information, call 877.578.5050.

There are delicious New Year’s Eve dining specials at numerous outstanding restaurants on Florida’s HistoricCoast. For example, enjoy an authentic six-course French dinner prepared especially for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day by Chef Jean-Stephane Poinard at his award-winning Bistro de Leon in St. Augustine. To end 2010 or begin 2011 with a real Italian dinner, head to Amici’s in St. Augustine Beach for their special New Year’s menu or check out Cafe Atlantico’s five-course New Year’s Eve dinner. One of St. Augustine’s all-time favorite restaurants, The Raintree, also has special three and four-course dinners especially selected for New Year’s Eve. For outstanding dining with European style, don’t miss the holiday menu at Le Pavillon. And for exquisite dining in one of the most beautiful oceanfront settings in all of Northeast Florida, select from the New Year’s Eve menu at The Reef.

At no additional charge, St. Augustine’s spectacular Nights of Lights provides a glowing backdrop for New Year’s Eve adventures while the Winter Wonderland at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre remains open through January 2 with outdoor ice skating, an ice slide, great fun and real snow each night. (Admission is free, small fee for various activities.)

Of course, there’s no better way to start the New Year than a special getaway to one of Ponte Vedra’s elegant resorts, a weekend stay at one of the AncientCity’s bed and breakfast inns or a family stay at any of many great accommodation choices ranging from $65 to $367 per night. To explore all the options for an unforgettable New Year’s Eve vacation on Florida’s HistoricCoast, simply call 1.800.653.2489.