Barbara Golden, spokesman for St Augustine, Ponte Vedra and the Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau, announces some changes and offers some advice for residents and Historic City News readers, who will want to participate in the annual Light Up Night activities tomorrow (Saturday).
The millions of tiny white lights can be experienced on guided tours, trolley and sightseeing tram, carriage rides and even by water. Take advantage of the many available offers and deals like discounted mid-week rates and added value packages at the city’s popular B&B inns and hotels.
“One of Florida’s most popular holiday events will begin sparkling a little earlier this year,” Golden said. “Without the usual fanfare and lighting ceremony, the lights will come on at 6:00 p.m. Saturday, November 14, adding a brilliant glow to the ancient city’s beautiful skyline.”
Golden reports that there are multiple events, virtual and in-person, for all to enjoy during this magical time of year. The VCB is asking guests who are participating in the events, to please be safe and follow CDC guidelines. Wear a face mask, wash your hands frequently, and practice 6′ safe distancing.
“These white lights drape the city’s unique Spanish Colonial architecture and glow from the sidewalks to the rooftops, over the Bridge of Lions, along historic buildings, public spaces, hotels, restaurants, and inns throughout the Nation’s Oldest City,” Golden explained. “We are open for business on Florida’s Historic Coast and there are some cool things happening this week.”
With those precautions in mind, here are the Top 8 Ways to enjoy Nights of Lights this year:
- Tour the Lights by Trolley – Climb aboard the Old Town Trolley’s Famous Nights of Lights Tour, departs nightly beginning at 6 p.m. from the Visitor Information Center.
- Tour by Train – Get on track for Nights of Lights on the Santa’s Red Express Tours. The reserved tours are each evening at 6 p.m. and depart from Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum.
- See the Sparkle from the Water – Nights of Lights shines from the water, too. St. Augustine Eco Tours provides harbor tour of the Nights of Lights, Schooner Freedom offers a Sunset Sail, the Black Raven offers light show views plus an entertaining pirate show, while Old Town Cycle Cruise, Florida Water Tours, St. Augustine Scenic Cruise, St. Augustine Boat Tours, Pia & Me Charters, and Red Boat Water Tours each offer special Nights of Lights boat cruises.
- See the Lights from Above – For a completely unique perspective, climb 219 steps to the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum. Or enjoy a bird’s eye view of St. Augustine during Nights of Lights aboard Old City Helicopters.
- Enjoy a Wine & Carriage Tour– Enjoy a fun evening with The Tasting Tours. Step aboard an old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage and enjoy the sparkling scenery as well as a bottle of delicious boutique wine to share. They also offer fun ‘family oriented’ Roadster Rides with the Grinch!
- Go On a Guided Tour – On most Fridays and Saturdays in December and January, Ancient City Tours guides lead a 90-minute walking tour amid the backdrop of the glow of the city’s white lights.
- Take A Tour by Luxury Golf Cart – St. Augustine Land & Sea Tours offers a Nights of Lights tour in the comfort of a luxury 8-seat golf cart, attended by a knowledgeable guide.
- Cuddle Up for a Romantic Ride – Enjoy a romantic horse and carriage tour. Tours depart from the Bayfront near the Castillo de San Marcos daily. Reserve your carriage with Southern Carriages or with Country Carriages.
There are several safe distancing events along with virtual event options, and plenty of outdoor adventures available for your participation. Visit the VCB website, www.FloridasHistoricCoast.com for a list of open businesses, updates on events, and current promotions.