Give the Gift of Experiences from Florida’s Historic Coast

Holidays in St. Augustine l Ponte Vedra are always special, especially during the Annual Nights of Lights Celebration, which takes place through January 31, 2023. Giving the gift of experiences is a great way to share this magical place now and throughout the year.

By Kathy Barnett/Managing Editor

Here are some great holiday gift-giving ideas that will make you the hero of the season:

  • Tickets to great events! Tickets are now on sale for the St. Augustine Food + Wine Festival, recently named “One of Florida’s Top 10 Food & Wine Festivals” by USA Today, May 3-7, 2023.  And tickets for the most fan-friendly golf tournament in the world, The PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass taking place March 7-12, 2023, are now on sale.
  • There is nothing like the gift of music. Share the gifts of great performers like Parker McCollum, The Avett Brothers, Joe Bonamassa, Styx, Planet Band Camp featuring Falling in Revers, and Mavis Staples to name just a few. Tickets to great performances at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre and the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, as well as performances at the Fort Mose Jazz & Blues Series in February are on sale.
  • Vernardo’s Circus will be performing in St. Augustine through January 1. This exciting show wraps world-class circus acts into a Broadway musical-style format that is called “the American Circus with the heart of a Broadway Show.”
  • Give the movie lover in your life the All Access or All Film Pass to the January 12-15, 2023, 13th Annual St. Augustine Film Festival.  This festival has grown within the film industry and among film fans as the most historic location for showing unique Indie films.

The attractions and activities found on Florida’s Historic Coast provide memorable experiences your family will remember for a lifetime.

  • What could be more exciting than ziplining over alligators at Augustine Alligator Farm’s Crocodile Crossing, or visiting one of the other exciting programs like stepping into the habitat of the Galapagos tortoises, or a Rainforest Animal Encounter with Hoffman’s Two-toed Sloths?
  • Give the gift of experiencing the best of St. Augustine by providing a digital Tour Pass for sightseeing tours, ghost tours, admission to historic attractions, museums and more.

Get them out on the water for unique water experiences:

  • Send them out on a guided kayak tour with Ripple Effect Eco Tours to see and learn about the local waterways and the native wildlife like birds, fish and dolphin that make the pristine waterways here their home.
  • Find your ocean inspiration with an up-close interaction with bottlenose dolphins! Join this beautiful animal family in or out of the water and you’ll be forever changed. Enjoy our sea turtles, sand tiger sharks, red-footed tortoises, fish, coral, and more as well. Swim with dolphins at Marineland Dolphin Adventure‘s seaside aquarium
  • This is brilliant; send them on an exciting bioluminescence paddle on Guana Lake with GeoTrippin. This otherworldly natural phenomenon experience is available throughout the year.
  • A real gift of adventure on the water is the opportunity to become certified sailors with the American Sailing Association through Augustine Sailing. Affordable Basic Keelboat, Coastal Cruising and Bareboat Cruising sessions are available.

Share the flavors of Florida’s Historic Coast with your friends and family.

  • Many local restaurants offer great incentives for shoppers to share local dining through bonus gift certificates. Southern Table Hospitality restaurants, Valley SmokePalm Valley Fish CampJullington Creek Fish Camp and Augustine Fish Camp,  provide a $20 bonus gift card for every $100 online purchase, while Salt Life Food Shack and Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille each offer $30 free for every $100 purchase.
  • The Back 40 Urban Fresh Cafe is offering a free $10 gift card for every $40 gift card purchased.
  • There are so many great restaurants on Florida’s Historic Coast, consider treating your favorite foodie to one of the tasty food tours offered in St. Augustine. There are several to choose from and something to suit everyone’s palate!
  • Really special dining experiences include terrace dining at Casa Monica’s Costa Brava Restaurant, a prix fixe dining experience with exclusive seating at 5:30 or 7:30 p.m. every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening.
  • And there is nothing like Asado Life where your gift recipient can experience the sights, sounds, and aromas only available from live fire grilling. This unique combination of fire & water takes al fresco dining to a new level.

Romantic stays, family adventures, or buddies’ getaways are some of the great gift retreats that will make you the best gift giver ever:

  • Spoil your loved one with a luxurious Wellness Retreat package at Bayfront Marin House B&B which includes two signature robes, chilled champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries, a locally poured candle, private in-room couples’ massage, and bath products from St. Augustine Soap Company.
  • Bring the family to enjoy Nights of Lights and stay at the gorgeous Renaissance St. Augustine Historic Downtown and use your Marriott Bonvoy Members 20% savings when booked before January 16, 2023. The Renaissance is one of St. Augustine’s newest hotels and it is conveniently located in the Historic District where lots of family adventures can be had.
  • Give the guys a golf getaway they will never forget. Book a villa at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa where the amenities of home and plenty of space will give them a great space to relax after a day of play at TPC Sawgrass just next door.

There are even more ways to share a getaway to Florida’s Historic Coast. Visit to take advantage of great deals throughout the year.

Located midway between Daytona Beach and Jacksonville, Florida’s Historic Coast is home to St. Augustine, the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the US and attracts visitors from all over the world to experience its old-world charm, historic landmarks, pristine beaches, and world-class golfing as the home of the PGA Tour and location of THE PLAYERS Championship. For more information on events, activities, holiday getaways and vacation opportunities in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches, go to the Visitors and Convention Bureau website at, become a fan on Facebook or call 1.800.653.2489.


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