How you can see St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights on Ripley’s Red Train

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Any regular reader of this blog knows my family loves holiday lights.  And some of the best holiday lights we’ve ever seen are in St. Augustine, Florida.  So we were excited this year to be in St. Augustine on New Year’s Eve Eve.  There was still time left to see the Night of Lights in St. Augustine, Florida!

St. Augustine’s Night of Lights is their award-winning holiday light display.  It is truly amazing.  There are three million holiday lights in historic St. Augustine.  It is so amazing that it was once named by National Geographic as one of the best ten best holiday light displays in the world.  So, yeah, it’s kind of a big deal.

So in order to see the holiday lights, you can just walk around the historic area of St. Augustine.  Or there is an even better way to see these lights.  And that way is on Ripley’s Red Train!

Ripley’s Red Train Nights of Lights Tour

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! in St. Augustine, Florida offers a great, fully-narrated tour throughout the year in St. Augustine.  It is a great way to see the area and learn a lot.  There are over 100 historical points of interest highlighted in the tour.  Click here to book this tour.

But during the holiday, they have a great Red Train Nights of Lights Tour.   It is the same red “train”, which is basically a red trolley.  These are great because you can drive around town while getting a wonderful view of the town because there are no windows.  And you can get great pictures and videos from your seat, too.

The Red Train Nights of Lights tour runs, as you would imagine, at night.  You can buy your ticket ahead of time.  Click here to find out how to book it at a discounted price.

You book by row, rather than by person.  Each row is allowed up to four people.  From my experience, four adults can fit in a row.  But if you like to really spread out, you might want to buy more rows.

You schedule not only your day, but a specific time.


We scheduled a time for 8:30 PM.  We were driving down to St. Augustine that day so we chose a late time in case we ran into any traffic along the way.  Well, as it turned out, we ran into a lot of traffic, and rain.  So we actually ended up having to skip checking into our hotel.  Once we got to St. Augustine, we went straight to the tour.  But we made it in time!

In fact, we showed up around 8:00 PM.  You check-in at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not on San Marco Avenue.  You actually get free parking, which is a good deal in historic St. Augustine.  They say parking is limited, but I would say the parking lot is pretty big.

There was a registration table outside of Ripley’s.

A picture of the registration table outside Ripley's Believe It Or Not in San Marcos Boulevard in Historic St. Augustine for the Red Train Tour

They asked us for our name, how many rows we had purchased, and how many people.  Since we said four, we were given four free glasses (more about that later).

You could start lining up at 8:20 PM.  While you wait, you can check out the gift shop or sit on a bench.  There are bathrooms at the back left of the gift shop.

Then at 8:20 PM, we went to our waiting spot that we were told about at registration.  Waiting spots were socially distanced (marked on the ground, numbered, and assigned at check-in).

Experience Review

A few minutes after 8:30 PM, our trolley was ready to go!  The experience was entertaining right from the start.  Even before we got out of the parking lot, we were having fun.

They play a lot of great music on the tour.  You were encouraged to sing along, which was fun, but of course, you didn’t have to.  There were, of course, Christmas songs played, like “Feliz Navidad” and “Jingle Bell Rock”.

But then there was a bunch of music spanning a lot of different eras, like:

  • “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift
  • “YMCA” by The Village People
  • “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey
  • “At The Hop” by Danny and The Juniors
  • “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit” by Will Smith
  • “Happy” by Pharrell Williams
  • “We Will Rock You” by Queen
  • “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede
  • “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys
  • “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” by Justin Timberlake

These were great songs to sing along to and have fun with, and you were bound to find a few of your favorite songs in the mix.

And it was a mix of family-friendly songs.  There were even cleaner versions of songs with questionable lyrics.  And the whole atmosphere was just fun for kids and adults.

The whole trolley tour experience just had a great upbeat feeling to it.  We went on New Year’s Eve Eve (or the day before New Year’s Eve) so when our trolley would pass people we could shout to people “Happy New Year!” and it was just a lot of fun.

And then of course the holiday lights!  We saw such beautiful Christmas lights during this tour.

I love how the lights make historic St. Augustine even more beautiful, which my family observed during a Red Trolley Tour

Ripley's Red Train offers a great nighttime tour where you see the Christmas lights in St. Augustine, Florida

A great way to see all the holiday lights in historic St. Augustine Florida is to take a Ripley's Red Train Tour

You get great views of the St. Augustine holiday lights from Ripley's Red Train

How you can see St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights on Ripley’s Red Train

Now, we had been on an Old Town Trolley version of this tour before.  But my dad commented that he liked this tour even better.  He said the main reason was the entertaining host.

The host really was great!  He was very funny.  He told a lot of funny jokes.  At one point when the trolley was stopped he (safely) jumped out to take a selfie with a bystander!  He kept the mood really fun and, well, jolly!


Oh, I almost forgot about the glasses!  They give you a pair of glasses to wear.  Which basically worked like glasses, though they did not have arms like a regular pair of glasses would, for whatever reason.

The glasses are really special, though, because when you put them on, you can see elves along with the holiday lights!

Ripley's Red Train Night of Lights Tour in St. Augustine, Florida gives guests special glasses that make the holiday lights even better

And if you move the glasses around, you can even make the elves “dance”!


My family highly recommends Ripley’s Red Train Nights of Lights Tour in St. Augustine, Florida.  And even though Christmas may be over, it luckily runs through January 30, 2022.  You can find out how to get a discount on this by clicking here.