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Fishing for Holiday Fun in St. Augustine

If you’re an ocean and outdoor water sports lover you have probably heard of the historical beach town of St. Augustine, Florida. While this popular destination is bustling during the summertime, the pleasant weather makes it an ideal getaway during winter months too.

Not only are there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor water activities, winter here also boasts one of the most fabulous and festive lights displays in the world. If you’re planning a trip to this charming southern city — and we certainly hope you are — here are some of Saltsy’s favorite ways to enjoy St. Augustine during the holiday season.

st. augustine nights of lights festival
Photo courtesy of visitstautustine.com

Historic St. Augustine Holiday Nights of Lights Festival

Visiting the nation’s oldest city during the wintertime is a must, if only to experience its holiday Nights of Lights festival in downtown St. Augustine.

In 2011, this festival was named as one of National Geographic’s Top Ten Cities for Christmas Light Displays in the world, and the town’s efforts only get better every year.

Best of all, St. Augustine gives visitors ample time to check out their incredible displays! Lights twinkle from late November until the end of January, so there’s plenty of time to experience the holiday magic.

view of holiday lights in saint augustine from water
Photo courtesy of visitstautustine.com

The Best Ways to See the Lights

Looking for the best way to experience the best holiday lighting displays while you visit the St. Augustine area? Whether you’re looking for something simple to something a little more adventurous — or, ahem, gift-worthy — here are our suggestions:

  • Experience the city on foot. Sometimes simplicity is the best choice. An evening stroll through this walkable city offers mesmerizing views. The historic St. George Street is a pedestrian-only area that makes it safe and fun to explore the Old City.  
  • Take to the water. The ocean offers a front-row view of the bay and Bridge of Lions where the main lighting displays twinkle. There are several options to experience the Nights of Lights by water, ranging from a simple boating experience to luxury private sailing yachts with food and drinks provided. 
  • Take a drive around town. If you like cruising in the comfort of your own car — perhaps with Jimmy Buffett’s Christmas Island on repeat — driving through St. Augustine provides a fantastic feast for the eyes. Heavier traffic may be in your favor as you can take your time appreciating the light displays!
  • Observe from above with a helicopter tour. If you are up for an adventure and would enjoy a unique perspective of the light festival, consider booking a First City Helicopter Tour. You and two others will have a memorable bird’s eye view of the millions of lights and see the full picture of how the people of St. Augustine celebrate the holiday season.
  • Visit the downtown restaurants and bars. Immerse yourself in one of the best light displays in the city by sipping on a delicious cocktail at the famous bay-front Tini Martini Bar. You can also enjoy the delicious cuisine and eat your way through the local hotspots with a view by having dinner at A1A Ale Works or Raintree Restaurant.
  • Take a classic trolley or train tour. Sit back, relax, and get the scoop on all of St. Augustine’s historic hot spots as a professional guides you by trolley. The Old Town Trolley Tours include special 3D viewing glasses, cookies, apple cider, and ample caroling, so you feel as festive as the city looks!

Daytime Adventures: Fishing at the Guy Harvey Resort

When the sun comes up and the holiday lights go down, rest assured there’s still plenty of fun to be had in St. Augustine. While we love the historic tours and shops during the day, what’s a trip to Florida without a little fishing?

If you’re hoping to embrace this fun Florida pastime while you’re in town, the Guy Harvey Resort at St. Augustine Beach is the perfect place to stay to elevate your visit. It’s 10 minutes away from the Nights of Lights displays, and offers an impressive array of daytime beach activities, photography workshops, eco-adventures, and of course, fishing.

Whether you’re a casual angler wanting to throw a line off the famous St. Augustine pier, or you’d like to embark on a more thrilling offshore adventure, this resort offers it all in easy-to-book packages with local outfitters.

st. augustine nights of lights festival
Photo courtesy of Park Ave Magazine

What Are You Waiting For?

There are so many exciting things to do in St. Augustine. If Santa doesn’t gift you a trip to the Sunshine State this holiday season, then now is a great time to start planning your Christmas adventure for next year! We can’t wait to hear about your favorite finds in this fun, festive, fishing city!

notebook with map of saint augustine on front

The Perfect Custom Travel Journal

Plan your trip to Saint Augustine in Saltsy style with our custom map notebook! Personalizable, packable, and oh-so-memorable: SHOP HERE.

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Author: saltsy

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