Christmas in Europe is a bucket list item for some. However, travel can be expensive, especially during the holidays. Plus, airline cancellations and delays can add wait time to what may already be quite a long trip.
So staying in your own country (or even state) and having an experience similar to being in Europe can be an attractive option. And, according to the publication the Insider, there is a city in Florida that feels like Europe at Christmas time.
An Old Spanish City with Lots of Charm: Before Jamestown or Plymouth, Florida was settled by the Spanish in the 1500s, so it's no wonder that St. Augustine reminded the Insider of Spain, with its old, Spanish architecture and warm weather.
If you stroll through St. Augustine's historic downtown, you'll see cobblestone streets and Spanish-style buildings with terracotta roofs. Visitors can also treat themselves to Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, a 17th-century fortress out of another time.
As you tour this city, you'll see remnants of the city's Spanish colonial past and heritage. St. Augustine is the oldest continually inhabited city in the country, so there is history everywhere you look.
Examples of Spanish Architecture Worth a Look: The Avero House on St. George Street is a classic example of Spanish Colonial style. One can also see Spanish Colonial Revival (sometimes known as Mediterranean Revival or Spanish Renaissance Revival) in the red clay terra cotta that you can see all over the city, with one well-known example being the old Ponce de Leon Hotel.
Special Happenings at Christmas: The city is beautiful throughout the year, but at Christmas, it becomes something special. The streets are lined with lights and covered in decorations. There are also special occasions, as follows:
The Nights of Lights: From November 19, 2022, to January 31, 2023, more than 3 million lights adorn the historic district. Businesses stay open later, and the trains and trolleys offer special seasonal tours.
The Christmas Parade, December 3, 2022: For the 66th year, the city will host its annual Christmas parade with floats and festivities. There are antique cars, horse-drawn carriages, and plenty of other entries that will proudly make their way down the historic district. You can even meet and have pictures with Santa at the Plaza de la Constitución.
Holiday Trolly Tour: The trolleys in the city offer special holiday tours that include caroling, sugar cookies and cider, and magical viewing glasses to see an enhanced view of the over 3 million lights you'll see on your tour.
If you're looking for a fun way to incorporate the vibe of Spain at Christmas without leaving Florida, St. Augustine might fit the bill.