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Florida holidays 2013: St. Augustine Nights of Lights

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This year head to St. Augustine for a special holiday that you’ll remember for many years to come. This is the 20th year of St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights, a magical celebration of the season that was named by National Geographic in 2011 & 2012 as one of the ten best holiday lighting displays in the world! St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights feature millions of tiny white lights covering the unique architecture of the nation’s oldest city. The origin is from the Spanish tradition of displaying a white candle in the window during the Christmas holidays. It’s a wondrous sight that runs until February 2, 2014. There are horse drawn carriage rides, incredible fine dining restaurants, boats dressed for the holidays on the pier, and folks wishing you “Happy Holidays” every way you turn.

One of the best ways to enjoy the Nights of Lights is a ride on the Holly Jolly Trolley. The trolleys are decked out with holiday lights and decorations and play festive, sing-a-long music as they shuttle around the town. Tours leave from the Visitors Information Center at 10 West Castillo Drive. They run continuously nightly departures from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. until January 4, 2014.

Cost: Adult: Sunday-Thursday: $9
Adult: Friday & Saturday: $12
Child (6-12): $4
Call for group bookings: 904-829-3800.

If you’re still in town on December 31, don’t miss the Beach Blast Off at the pier. It includes live music, ice carving, a chili cookout and fireworks (at 8:30 p.m.) on the beach. The kids can have a blast at the Kids Zone featuring 10 inflatables, face painting and Human Hamster Balls, while mom and dad enjoy beer and wine and more than 30 food vendors. What a terrific way to bring in the New Year, and admission is free.

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