If you wake up with visions of sugar plums dancing in your head, then St. Augustine is the perfect destination for your next holiday getaway. We may not get any snow, but we have plenty of cheer to go around. From the outstanding annual Christmas events to one of the biggest light displays in the world, St. Augustine has it all! Check out our guide below on how to have the best Christmas in St. Augustine.
Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas in St. Augustine
See the Nights of Lights
You can’t talk about Christmas in St. Augustine without starting with the Nights of Lights. Each year, our wonderful downtown historic district is decorated with three million sparkling bulbs. The event kicks off with the Lights Up! Ceremony, where the switch is flipped for the first time, and everyone celebrates the official start to the holiday season. It takes place at the Plaza de la Constitución, which is just a short five-minute walk from Agustin Inn.
Enjoy a Nights of Lights Tour
One If by Land
Many residents and visitors enjoy conducting their own walking tour of St. Augustine at night in order to see the lights. There are, however, several other options available to anyone hoping to cover a little more ground. One of the most popular options is from Old Town Trolley Tours. The Nights of Lights Trolley Tour typically starts directly after the Lights Up! Ceremony and lasts until the end of the festival. This route departs from the Visitor Information Center, which is around an eight-minute walk from Agustin Inn. It lasts around 30 minutes and departs every 10 or 15 minutes from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! offers another great night tour of St. Augustine. Ripley’s Big Red Christmas Train takes riders on a journey through the city on every night of the display except Christmas. It departs from the Odditorium, which is just a six-minute walk from Agustin Inn. The tours depart from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday and 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Reservations for the Christmas Train are only available on Friday, Saturday, and Sundays.
Two If by Sea
Take to the water with Schooner Freedom! While this company is best known for their romantic cruises (one of which you can book as an add-on attraction with your Agustin Inn reservation), they also offer two special tours during the holiday season. The first is the Nights of Lights Sunset Sail. Watch the sunset and the moonrise during your cruise on the Matanzas Inlet. This excursion departs at 4:15 p.m. and lasts two hours. The second option is the Nights of Lights Grand Illumination, which takes place during the Lights Up! Ceremony. You’ll be able to watch the moment the switch is flipped on from the water. This tour also lasts two hours and
Another excellent option is the Nights of Lights Cruise by Florida Water Tours. This cruise, which takes place on a gorgeous yacht, departs every night beginning on November 17. 2018, at 6:00, 7:45, and 9:30 p.m. Guests of all ages are welcome on the 6:00 p.m. cruise, but the other two are adults-only. There is a cash bar serving beer and wine for those 21 and older.
Watch the St. Augustine Regatta of Lights
We have even more festive events to get you in the holiday mood! The Regatta of Lights (sometimes referred to as the St. Augustine Christmas Boat Parade) is hosted by St. Augustine Yacht Club. You’ll be able to watch exquisitely decorated boats sail down the harbor between the Bridge of Lions and Castillo de San Marcos. We suggest reserving a table at a waterfront restaurant so you can enjoy dinner and a show!
Take the Bed and Breakfast Holiday Tour
The Bed & Breakfast Holiday Tour is a unique annual event that offers visitors and locals the chance to explore some of the town’s best b&bs. Of course, that means that our very own Agustin Inn participates every year! There are typically three days of the tour. In the past, we’ve partnered with the world-class restaurant (and our next-door neighbor) Michael’s Tasting Room to provide snacks and drinks during the tour. Plus, you’ll get access to some of the best museums in town. This event frequently sells out, so purchase your tickets as soon as you can!
Explore Villa Zorayda Museum by Candlelight
Don’t miss the chance to explore the famous Villa Zorayda Museum during their annual Candlelight tour! This special event is only available on select evenings, so you’ll need to plan ahead if you want to attend. One of the first things you’ll see when you walk in is their over-the-top Christmas tree that’s been decorated in Zorayda’s colors (red and gold). From there, you’ll enjoy a candlelit walk through this Spanish-style home. Along with seeing the home, you’ll learn all about the history of Villa Zorayda and the antique collection housed therein. If you’d like a preview of what you’ll learn, read our blog!
Stay at Agustin Inn
Are you ready to celebrate Christmas in St. Augustine? Give yourself the gift of a stay at Agustin Inn! We’ll help you get into the ho-ho-holiday spirit. Plus, you’ll enjoy gorgeous guest rooms, a delicious daily breakfast, and excellent amenities. Plus, you can attend all of these Christmas events easily with our convenient central location. We’re steps away from St. George Street and just a quick walk from all of the above festivities.
Enhance your stay with one of our specials and packages! We make it easy to arrange the perfect date night with your loved one. Whether you’re interested in dinner and a show with our Limelight Theatre Package or a carriage ride with our Ultimate Romance Package, you’ll find it in our selection. Simply add one to your stay and we’ll do the rest!
Check our availability and book today! We look forward to having you.