Thanksgiving Events In St. Augustine

The cool air gives off a different vibe in St. Augustine. This historic little city is one of the top fall vacation destinations in North Florida. This is made even more apparent when you look at all the significant holiday events happening downtown.

Below is an overview of how you can enjoy your St. Augustine Thanksgiving holiday. The city delivers everything you have come to love about this family holiday, from the fun places to eat to the significant events.

The Nights of Lights

The Nights of Lights is one of the city’s biggest spectacles and can’t be missed. It attracts tens of thousands of visitors to historic St. George Street each year.

In short, the city coats the trees, authentic classic architecture, and everything in between with bright lights. They glow gloriously along the Matanzas River. Visitors walk through the shops, ride the horseback carriages, and explore the central historic area. Local restaurants and shops will decorate while also offering special deals for the occasion.

Local businesses offer various services around the event, including Nights of Lights biplane tours, sailboat trips, private shuttle services, wine tasting tours, and ghost adventures.

Nights of Lights is the holiday event, and it continues all season long. Come down for all the celebrations that center around this spectacle. There’s nothing like it anywhere in the U.S., and each night is captivating.

It begins on November 19th; the celebration starts at 4 pm and contains music, a light-up ceremony, and more. You can use the Plaza de la Consticion, the town courtyard, for your GPS location. This is 1 Cathedral Street, St. Augustine, FL, 32084.

Thanksgiving Event Dining

Come on out for an excellent Thanksgiving dinner and save the hassle of prepping it yourself. Many of the local restaurants offer more than just a meal. They make the holiday an authentic experience. Some of the restaurants confirmed for 2018 include the Raintree Restaurant, La Pentola, Columbia, and the Sawgrass Clubhouse.

These restaurants require reservations. They also offer a limited original menu with a special holiday event menu. Hours vary for all holiday St. Augustine restaurants, but most close by 8 p.m. Barley Republic, the Irish bar, will stay open late, with a big musical event and a limited holiday menu going to 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

table full of thanksgiving food
Photo from Unsplash

Holiday Art and Craft Festival

On Nov 24th and Nov 25th, Francis Field will welcome various vendors with crafts, local art, fun activities, and more. The 53rd annual event has always preceded the big kick of the holiday season. It helps debut some local artisans and give ado to returning veterans from the St. Augustine Art Association. Find eclectic work in glassware, pottery, fiber art, photography, etc. Face painting, kid’s crafts, international food, live music, and beer and wine will be featured at the big event.

There is a $2 donation and admission fee. It begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. on each day. Francis Field is located at 29 W. Castillo Dr. Use this address, or the nearby parking garage, in your GPS.

The Christmas Parade

Ushering in the Christmas holiday season is a wild and wonderful Christmas Parade. This St. Augustine staple is going again for its 64th year and is one of the grandest annual parades in St. Augustine.

The parade begins at 27 Ocean Ave and heads a few miles south to the Visitor’s Center at 10 West Castillo Drive. San Marco Ave is expected to remain closed for the parade, so plan your parking ahead of time. The main garage by downtown will fill up fast, but trolley services will run throughout the event.

It will feature antique cars, giant holiday costumes, a marching band, crazy decorations, horses and carriages, and a colossal float featuring Santa Claus.

It is free to see the festival. This time-honored local tradition begins at 9 a.m. on Dec 1st.

santa in a christmas parade
Photo from Unsplash

Plan Your Visit!

Are you ready to have your best Thanksgiving yet? Book your trip to St. Augustine today and prepare for numerous outdoor festivities, delicious food, and incredible vacation rentals!

More To See

St. Augustine holidays are ambitious and beautiful, and Thanksgiving is no exception. We love to focus on the spectacle of lights and the season’s magic, even if we rarely get snow. Escape the winter at home for a much warmer holiday in St. Augustine.