Florida’s Historic Winter Wonderland
— The Magical Nights of Lights Kick off the Holiday Cheer in St. Augustine —
ST. AUGUSTINE, FL – November 14, 2016 – (HISPANICIZE WIRE) – Historic and charming, St. Augustine, Florida, is ranked among the top small cities to visit in the United States. The allure of warm, brick lined streets, stunning Spanish Colonial architecture, centuries old plazas, majestic moss-draped oaks, tantalizing cuisine and refined style, St. Augustine’s storied past and culturally diverse present make it the perfect place to experience some holiday cheer! Ranked by Condé Nast Traveler’s 2016 Readers Choice Award as the #9 Best Small Destination in the country, St. Augustine is especially enchanting and festive in the winter with magical decorations, seasonal tours and unique gift shopping opportunities!
It may not snow in Florida’s Historic Coast, but the Nation’s oldest city is still a winter wonderland during the holiday season. For more than 20 years, the annual Nights of Lights celebration begins November 19th and run through the last weekend of January. It is a sight to see! During Nights of Lights, St. Augustine glows with holiday magic – the city’s 144-square-block historic district is lit by more than 3 million white lights from the ground to the rooftops. Historic buildings, museums, local business, the Bridge of Lions, the city’s bay front walkway, hotels, bed & breakfast inns and private residences all take part in the sparkly tradition.
Selected by National Geographic in 2011 and 2012 as one of the ten best holiday lighting displays in the world, St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights features millions of tiny, brilliant white lights that create an enchanted atmosphere in this 451-year old city. The festival starts with a countdown in the Plaza de la Constitucion when the lights are officially lit. Holiday music and the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree add to the splendor of one of the world’s greatest holiday light displays.
Tracing its origins to the Spanish tradition of displaying a white candle in the window during the Christmas holidays, the spectacular lighting reflects the city’s vast history and illuminates the beautiful setting for lasting holiday memories.
During Nights of Lights, business downtown and restaurants stay open later, letting you shop and dine in under the holiday glow. The Old Town Trolley’s Famous Nights of Lights Tour takes you throughout the best areas of Nights of Lights. See the remarkable display from the water with tours aboard the Schooner Freedom and The Osprey. Grab your friends and family and take an after dark wine and carriage ride with the Tasting Tours.
After enjoying an evening in this fairy-tale winter wonderland, nothing gets you in the Holiday spirit like finding the perfect gift for your loved ones. From antiques and eclectic treasures from local artisans to major designer brands, holiday shoppers will delight in choices to fit every taste and budget. Art galleries, antique stores and boutiques in St. Augustine’s historic downtown are great spots to find local treasures. The Saint Augustine Art Glass, Rembrandtz Gallery and Butterfield Garage Art provide many gift options for art lovers. If you have a person with a sweet tooth in your world, they will be thankful for your stop at Whetstone Chocolates, St. Augustine’s first chocolate family! Located on St. George’s Street they are famous for their chocolate shells, freshly made fudge, indulgent truffles and dark selection of dark chocolate bars.
If you are in the hunt for something special, time to make last minute plans to explore the 7th Annual Super Scenic 72-Mile Garage Sale on November 19th. From Ponte Vedra to Flagler Beach (10 communities in all), more than 100 vendors set up tables just full of unusual and one-of-a-kind gifts along one of the most beautiful roads in America, the A1A Scenic Byway. Shoppers can caravan along the easy-to-follow route, browse the unique offerings and shop til they drop!
Not to be missed if you are in the hunt for stylish and trendy holiday presents is two of the city’s must-see attractions located outside the historic district, St. Augustine Outlets and Premium Outlets. Just 15 minutes away, these two high-end outlet malls will entice and satisfy savvy and fashionable shoppers who can find gifts from Gucci, Michael Kors, Coach, Converse and Tommy Hilfiger at savings up to 65 percent off retail prices on premium brands.
For a complete list of holiday events, shopping opportunities and for more information, visit http://www.floridashistoriccoast.com.