St. Augustine Holiday Lights makes world’s top 10 list

When selecting a home, people are attracted to local events and “things to do.” In northeast Florida, the variety is abundant. In fact, St. Augustine is among National Geographic magazine’s best 10 locations in the world to see holiday lights. There’s still time left to check them out.

The Night of Lights kicked off in November ends on Jan. 31, 2017.

The other U.S. city named by National Geographic is Callaway Gardens, Ga.

The St. Augustine festival is 21 years old and features 2 million white lights. They sparkle on the waterfront and down the side streets, with lights strung across the park. It’s a public-private partnership rooted in history.

According to visitstaugustine.com, “Nights of Lights in St. Augustine traces its origins back to the traditional Spanish practice of displaying a white candle in windows during the Christmas holidays. Candles in the window allude to the fact that Mary and Joseph could find no inn that would give them shelter. When the Spanish put candles in their windows, they were symbolically making room in their homes and hearts for Jesus. It also reflects the welcoming attitude of the holiday season, showing that guests are welcome to the home. The stunning lights reflect the city’s 450-year history and illuminate the beautiful cityscape for lasting holiday memories. The city of St. Augustine has been celebrating Nights of Lights for 21 years.

Here’s the National Geographic’s top 10, in no particular order:

St. Augustine, Fla.

Callaway Gardens, Ga.

Vienna

Brussels

Hong Kong

Madrid

Copenhagen

Kobe, Japan

Medellin, Colombia

Gothenburg, Sweden