Historic City News readers are invited to see the nation′s oldest city at its holiday best through the “Holiday Insider’s Tour of St. Augustine” presented by the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, Inc.
Register by November 26, 2010 and start your holiday season with an incomparable weekend; being held Friday, December 3, 2010, through Sunday, December 5, 2010.
You will begin your event-filled weekend with a waterfront reception overlooking the restored Bridge of Lions and a trolley excursion under millions of white lights at the Annual Night of Lights Celebration.
Florida Trust for Historic Preservation Insider’s Tours give participants the opportunity to visit historic properties and sites typically not accessible to the public.
Participants will enjoy private tours of a beautifully-restored residence, the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum, Flagler College and experience an exclusive tour and dessert reception at the new St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum followed by the Grande Illumination British Night Watch.
A brunch at the Casa Monica Hotel and an optional gardens tour of the city completes the weekend.
RECEPTION AT HILTON ST. AUGUSTINE HISTORIC BAYFRONT HOTEL
In 2006, the Florida Trust recognized the Hilton St. Augustine with an award for outstanding infill design in a historic district. This hotel, overlooking the Matanzas River, combines modern accommodations in a historically-compatible design.
NIGHT OF LIGHTS CELEBRATION TROLLEY TOUR
The Annual Nights of Lights Celebration traces its origins to the Spanish tradition of displaying a lighted white candle during the Christmas holidays. Millions of white lights will be on display around the nation′s oldest city.
HOME TOUR: ESTES HOUSE, 15 BRIDGE STREET
The Estes House is a contributing building in the St. Augustine Town Plan National Historic Landmark District. The house was built as an elaborate frame vernacular residence with wraparound porch. In the early 1960s as St. Augustine prepared for its 400th anniversary, a number of Victorian-era properties, including this one, were modified with Spanish colonial facades. For many decades the property was used as apartments, with alterations completely obliterating the architectural design and interior features. Ronni and Tom Heinrich purchased the property in the summer of 2006 and, using the historic property tax exemption, rehabilitated the house. The exterior retains the Spanish colonial changes while the interior reflects the Victorian era in which the building was constructed.
ST. AUGUSTINE LIGHTHOUSE AND MUSEUM TOUR
St Augustine is the site of the oldest aid to navigation in North America. A Spanish watchtower, built in the late 1500’s was the predecessor of the present St. Augustine Lighthouse. The original watchtower became Florida’s first lighthouse in 1824. However, by 1870, the tower was threatened by shoreline erosion and construction began on the current lighthouse. The new tower was completed in 1874. The group will have lunch at the museum.
EXCLUSIVE TOUR AND DESSERT RECEPTION AT THE ST. AUGUSTINE PIRATE & TREASURE MUSEUM
St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum, the Ultimate Pirate Experience….Come aboard an immersive and emotional high sea adventure you’ll never forget at St. Augustine’s newest attraction. Explore the Golden Age of Piracy with one of the world’s largest collections of authentic pirate artifacts immersed in an interactive, realistic setting.
GRANDE ILLUMINATION BRITISH NIGHT WATCH PARADE
The British Night Watch is an event commemorating the British Period of St. Augustine, 1763 to 1783. Every night, the town was secured by guards marching by lantern light to lock the gates, but on special occasions, it was made festive by involving the entire population in a candle or lantern lit parade. The Grande Illumination British Night Watch Parade is a reenactment of that parade.
TOUR OF PONCE DE LEON HALL
Opened in 1888 and a National Historic Landmark, the Hotel Ponce de Leon was an elite resort destination in St. Augustine. The first major poured in place concrete building in the nation, the Ponce stands as the only structure in the world to reflect the talents of architects Carrere and Hastings and Bernard Maybeck, interiors and 79 stained glass windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany, electricity by Thomas Edison, and murals by George Maynard and Virgilio Tojetti. Since 1968 the renamed Ponce de Leon Hall had served as the centerpiece of Flagler College, one of the nation′s most beautiful college campuses.
BRUNCH AT THE CASA MONICA HOTEL
Built in 1888, the Casa Monica is a Moorish Revival Castle boasting intricate balconies, an arched carriage entrance, hand painted Italian tile, and five majestic tower suites. The highly-popular Sunday Brunch includes a mixture of Southern favorites, seafood, and a carving station.
A special rate of $199 for Friday and Saturday and $159 for Thursday and Sunday is available at
Hilton St. Augustine Historic Bayfront Hotel, 32 Avenida Menendez; St. Augustine, FL
Phone 904-829-2277. Click here for the hotel website.
Please ask for the Florida Trust Room Block and you are encouraged to make your reservation early.
Received by November 26, 2010
Received after November 26, 2010
Sponsored by Flagler College, Hilton St. Augustine Historic Bayfront Hotel, St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum, Pirate & Treasure Museum of St. Augustine, Old Town Trolley Tours of St. Augustine, and TCH Consulting Group, Inc.