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St. Augustine One of the Best Places in America for Holiday Cheer

The American Automobile Association (AAA) has selected St. Augustine as one of the twelve best locations in the United States and Canada to experience holiday cheer. The only Florida destination on the prestigious list, St. Augustine was selected for its annual Nights of Lights celebration.

The Top 12 destinations were selected on the basis of recommendations from the organization’s property inspectors. Each year, these inspectors rate more than 58,000 lodgings and restaurants in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. The results are distributed to AAA’s 51 million members.

AAA’s announcement of its selections to the list of Top 12 places to “enjoy holiday cheer” said that during St. Augustine’s two-month long Nights of Lights celebration, “millions of white lights glow along the ancient streets and historic buildings of the oldest continually occupied European settlement in the continental United States. This year’s Sixteenth Annual Nights of Lights traces its origins to the Spanish tradition of displaying a lighted white candle during the Christmas holidays.”

The other destinations on the Top 12 list are: Blantyre Resort, Lenox, Massachusetts.; Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City, Canada; Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland; Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, Nashville, Tennessee; Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa, Asheville, North Carolina; Great Wolf Lodge at Kings Island, Mason, Ohio; United States Botanic Garden, Washington, D.C.; Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Utah; George Washington Estate, Mount Vernon, Virginia; Mystic Seaport, Mystic, Connecticut; and the River Walk, San Antonio, Texas.

Continuing through January 31, 2010, St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights provides a fantastic backdrop for more than 50 festivals, special tours and events throughout St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches. For a complete list of Nights of Lights events, visit www.NightsofLights.com.

By using the destination’s new Getaway Card, visitors to St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches can save money during their holiday visit. This exciting new discount program provides an array of discounts to some of the area’s most popular attractions, restaurants, hotels, resorts, golf courses and shopping venues. For details, go to www.MyGetawayCard.com.

For more details on vacation opportunities and exciting year-round events in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches, including special accommodation discounts for the January 1 Gator Bowl, go to the Visitors and Convention Bureau’s website www.Getaway4Florida.com or call 1.800.653.2489.

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