As one of Florida’s top beach destinations, St. Augustine is viewed by many as the perfect summer destination. However, they may not know that the winter is also a wonderful time of year to visit the nation’s oldest city! With fabulous holiday celebrations and spectacular warm weather, you’ll never run out of exciting things to discover and experience. Here is a quick look at some of the best things to do in St. Augustine in December to get you started on planning your winter escape.
Planning a visit to St. Augustine, Florida soon? Then you won’t want to be without our free Vacation Guide! This handy vacation planning tool is filled with our area’s top activities and attractions, including even more things to do in St. Augustine in December. From dining to beaches, you’ll find it all in the pages of our complimentary guide.
The Most Fun Things to Do in St. Augustine in December
1. St. Augustine Nights of Lights
Now in its 25th year, the Nights of Lights Festival is one of the most highly anticipated events of the winter season. Each year, over three million Christmas bulbs are strung throughout the city of St. Augustine to create a wonderland of dazzling lights. The award-winning festival runs from mid-November to the end of January. During the event, many downtown shops and restaurants will stay open later than usual so you can dine and shop into the night while admiring the spectacle of Christmas lights.
2. St. Augustine Christmas Parade
Kick off your holiday season with this time-honored tradition! The St. Augustine Christmas Parade begins at the Mission of Nombre de Dios and ends at the St. Augustine Visitors Center, marching through the roads of the historic city and spreading holiday spirit to the hundreds of spectators who line the streets to watch. Christmas decorations will adorn all the floats, carriages, and cars in the parade, creating the perfect opportunity to stunning pictures. Afterward, stop by the Plaza de la Constitución to get your photo taken with Santa Claus!
3. Luminary Light at the St. Augustine Lighthouse
This family-friendly event is a must for those who love history and the holiday season. In early December, you’ll be invited to gather on the grounds of the historic St. Augustine Lighthouse for a wide variety of activities, holiday crafts, yuletide refreshments, and live music. You’ll also get a close up look at the lighthouse’s Christmas decorations and lighting displays. However, the main event of the evening is climbing the tower to enjoy the view of St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights from one of the best viewing spots in the city.
4. Surf Illumination
The Surf Illumination event is ideal for families and those who want to view the city’s Christmas tree being lit for the first time! In mid-November, come by St. Johns County Pier Park for a full day of family fun and holiday cheer. You’ll enjoy activities such as special Christmas shopping opportunities among arts and crafts vendors, face painting, photos with Santa, and more. At dusk, the crowds gather to watch the illumination of the Christmas tree.
5. Enjoy the Beaches
St. Augustine is home to some of the most beloved beaches on the Atlantic Coast. During the winter months, Florida still enjoys fairly warm weather and fewer crowds, making for a perfect day at the beach! Whether you just want to lay out in the sand and soak in the sunshine or enjoy a romantic horseback ride on Crescent Beach, you could spend a full day enjoying everything our incredible shorelines have to offer.
Book Your Winter Getaway With the Victorian House
If you’re planning a visit to St. Augustine in December, you’ll want a unique place to stay! We invite you to relax and unwind with us at the Victorian House. Nestled between two of the city’s most historic streets, our elegant bed & breakfast is the epitome of the romance of a bygone era. Guests of the Victorian House are treated like family and enjoy cozy guest rooms, a hot breakfast each morning, and highly-appointed amenities to make you feel at home.