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Florida Travel News: America’s Oldest City Bathed in Spanish-Influenced Holiday Glow

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International Travel

Published
12/05/08
Florida Travel News: America’s Oldest City Bathed in Spanish-Influenced Holiday Glow

(St. Augustine, Florida) – In late November, a single flick of a switch brought the 15th annual edition of the Nights of Lights to life creating a magical holiday atmosphere in St. Augustine, Florida - the Nation’s oldest city. Lit by the gentle glow of more than two million tiny white lights, the historic buildings, plazas and narrow, brick-paved streets have been transformed into an enchanting destination where lasting holiday memories can be easily made for the entire family.

In a manner befitting the Nation’s Oldest City, this inspiring display of light is based on the tradition of the town’s original Spanish colonists who placed a white candle in their windows to brighten the nights during the Christmas holidays. The Nights of Lights, reflect in the waters of Matanzas Bay, outline the colonial city, and sparkle along the beaches to include the picturesque lighthouse and create a holiday wonderland in a place with real history on every street corner.

The Nights of Lights is on display nightly through January 31 and during that special time a dazzling array of special events and activities await visitors. Nighttime tours of ancient buildings and inns led by storytellers in period clothing, rollicking train and trolley tours through the festive streets, holiday shopping, art walks featuring more than 20 galleries on the first Fridays in December and January, luminaries in the town plaza, holiday concerts – even a Christmas parade – are among the special events to be added to the memory books of visitors and residents alike.

In addition to the Nights of Lights, this year’s Winter Wonderland at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre is sure to be popular with young and old alike. Visitors are able to enjoy outdoor ice skating, a 100-foot ice slide, sleigh rides, winter games, an elf village, performances of The Quiltmaker’s Gift, lighted nature trails, Santa, s’mores on an open fire and much more. The Winter Wonderland is open to the public through January 4 each Monday through Friday evening from 6 to 10 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Admission is free to Winter Wonderland, ice skating is only $8 (skate rental is $2) and tickets for sleigh rides are $10 for adults and $4 for children. The St. Augustine Amphitheatre is located at 1340 A1A South on Anastasia Island just south of the Lighthouse. For more information on Winter Wonderland, call 904.471.1965 or go to www.staugamphitheatre.com.

For more details on the Nights of Lights, including a complete listing of nearly 50 related events in St. Augustine, a map of their locations, a photo slide show and trip-planning information, simply go to: www.NightsofLights.com .

To plan your visit or to find out the latest on festivals and events in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and The Beaches, go to the Visitors and Convention Bureau’s website www.Getaway4Florida.com or call 1.800.653.2489.

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