Best Places in the U.S. to Watch the Sunset

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No matter where you are in the world, every night you can tune in to a spectacular sunset show. And while it's true you can see the sunset from almost anywhere, some spots offer prime views you don't want to miss. From pristine beaches to mountaintops, here are some of the best places in the U.S. to watch the sunset.

Huntington City Beach, California

Sunset in Huntington Beach, Southern California
Credit: bluehill75/ iStock

There's nothing quite like a California sunset. Set on the West Coast, Huntington City Beach features a long pier that juts out into the ocean, and it's the perfect place to watch the western sun make its descent over the water. Pinks and purples paint the sky beyond the pier, while the ocean reflects the pretty pastel colors. Find sunset times for Huntington Beach here and don't forget to bring along your camera to capture some of those beautiful Pacific views.

Clingman’s Dome, Tennessee

Sunset over the Observation Tower at Clingman's Dome, Smoky Mountains
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Next time you’re in the Smoky Mountains, catch the sunset from Clingman’s Dome. This mountain stands 6,643 feet tall, making it not only the highest mountain in the Smokies, but also the highest point in the state of Tennessee. If you visit when the weather is just right, the summit offers amazing 360-degree views of and orange and pink sky over rolling green mountains. Be mindful that you will have to hike or drive back down in the dark if you stick around for the full sunset. Although the hike is short and fully paved, it’s still steep, so make sure you come prepared.

Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York

Red sky sunset over New York City skyline from Brooklyn Bridge Park
Credit: Elena_Suvorova/ Shutterstock

Enjoy glittering city skylines? Catch a sunset New York-style at the Brooklyn Bridge Park. This 85-acre park on the East River offers some of the best views of this iconic city and if you visit at the right time of day, you can catch a pretty spectacular sunset across the river. There’s nothing quite like watching the sun peek through the city skyscrapers as they start to light up for the night. Find a peaceful, grassy spot to spread out a blanket and watch Mother Nature's main attraction.

Hopi Point, Arizona

Sunset at the Hopi Point Overlook, South Rim of the Grand Canyon
Credit: Andrew S/ Shutterstock

The Grand Canyon is stunning no matter the time of day, but there are few views more breathtaking than a sunset over this centuries-old chasm. Hopi Point sits on the South Rim between Salt Creek and Monument Creek and has a fenced viewing area. From this vantage point, the Grand Canyon stretches out in front of you and you can watch the sky change colors as the sun slowly sinks below the horizon. Be aware that Hopi Point gets crowded with tourist buses in the summer, so unless you want to make some new friends, you might want to try catching the sunset at the very beginning or very end of tourist season. And don't feel like you have to leave as soon as the sun drops below the horizon — the colors linger for a while, and the Grand Canyon is also an excellent place for stargazing.

Miami, Florida

Aerial twilight view of Miami skyline
Credit: felixmizioznikov/ iStock

This lively city offers plenty of picturesque sunset-viewing opportunities, but it's hard to settle on the right coastline. If you can't decide, make your way to The Four Seasons Hotel. As one of the tallest buildings in Miami, it offers great views of the entire sunset. Other great options include the waterside Rusty Pelican restaurant or the South Pointe Park & Pier. There's plenty to do at this park during the daytime, as well; stroll down the pier and watch the cruise ships leaving the city, and then find a good vantage point to watch as the sun begins to set. One other nearby recommendation: Check out Juvia, a modern restaurant located in a designer parking garage. The rooftop seating area has great views.

Denali National Park, Alaska

Colorful alpenglow sunset over Mount Denali, Alaska
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When the sunset strikes through the sky at Denali National Park, the entire landscape transforms. For the best photo op, head to Wonder Lake to see the colors reflected in the water. Hopefully the clouds will clear out so you can see the often-elusive Mount Denali (formerly Mount McKinley) — the highest summit in the U.S. If you're in Denali at the right time of year, you might even see a unique phenomenon: the summer solstice, when Denali sees almost 24 full hours of daylight and sunrise and sunset combine into one. Denali isn't called "The Land of the Midnight Sun" for nothing.

Key West, Florida

Orange sunset over pier at Key West Island, Florida
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Dig your toes into the sand, grab a drink, and listen to the waves lapping against the shore — is there any better way to enjoy a sunset? Key West is filled with beaches, restaurants, and docks that offer fantastic sunset-viewing opportunities. It's a tradition for many tourists to gather at Mallory Square, enjoying street performers and musicians for the hours leading up to sunset. Ocean Key Resort is another popular location where you can relax with a drink and take in the Mallory Square revelry from a distance. And finally, there's nothing quite like taking in the sunset from the water. Find a company that offers sunset cruises and choose a boat to take you on a sunset sail.

Sunset Beach, Hawaii

Sunset over the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii
Credit: Shane Myers Photography/ Shutterstock

As the name might suggest, Sunset Beach in Hawaii is a perfect place to catch a sunset. Located on Oahu’s North Shore, this two-mile beach is frequented by surfers in the wintertime when the waves are big, while tourists enjoy snorkeling during the summer. You can drive to Sunset Beach from Waikiki or take the Oahu Bus. The beach is beautiful at any time of day, but when the sun begins to set, the scenery is especially breathtaking.

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