Where To Catch The Best Sunsets In The US

Grand Canyon NP | © Cyril Fluck/Flickr
Grand Canyon NP | © Cyril Fluck/Flickr
Photo of Alexia Wulff
9 February 2017

Dusk, the magic hour, plays host to that miraculous time just before evening sets in – when the cloud-flecked sky becomes flooded with colors of fire red, lavender, and deep orange. Sunsets have drawn people for thousands of years to experience its remarkable spell that is cast upon the landscape, changing the way the world looks just for a moment, and photographers have traveled to various parts of America to capture this natural phenomenon. Whether you’re sitting on the shores of California’s coastline or perched high above the dramatic canyons of the world-famous Grand Canyon, the US boasts plenty of destinations for optimal sunset views.

The Everglades, Florida

At the Everglades National Park – 1.5 million acres of protected wetlands – sunset views are filled with sawgrass marshes, mangroves, and pine savannas. Here, catch a glimpse of the glowing set reflecting off the waters while relishing in its natural serenity of the rich flora and fauna surrounding you.

Everglades, FL | © skeeze / Pixabay

Grand Canyon, Arizona

The Grand Canyon already takes the cake when it comes to majestic canyon views and pristine desert, so it’s no wonder this dramatic landscape makes for the ultimate sunset-viewing destination. Expect a multitude of colors draped across the sky, purple-stained mountains, and red-tinged canyon walls. What better way to experience the Grand Canyon’s beauty than with a little sunset backdrop?

The Grand Canyon National Park, AZ, USA

Treasure Island, California

San Francisco is an enchanting city, characterized by rolling hills of historical, brightly colored homes and a rocky coastline; because it’s situated on the tip of a peninsula that is mostly surrounded by water, SF makes for an incredible sunset-viewing locale. Catch a stunning sunset from nearly anywhere in the city, but for the best view of the city’s treasures – the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and the city skyline – head to Treasure Island, a man-made island nestled just below the Bay Bridge.

San Francisco Sunset from Treasure Island | © Anthony Quintano/Flickr

Mount Haleakalā, Hawaii

Ever wanted to view a sunset from 10,000 feet above sea level? Here’s your chance – head to Maui’s east coast, where a massive volcano known as Mount Haleakalā resides, covering nearly three-quarters of the island. Sunset chasers can cycle, hike, or take a horseback ride to its summit for unparalleled views of mountain peaks and a glimmering sun peering through cotton clouds that dot the sky below you.

Mount Haleakala, Maui Hawaii | © The Good Reverend Flash/Flickr

Santa Monica Pier, California

Amusement Park
Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California, USA
Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California, USA | © Roy Johnson / dbimages / Alamy Stock Photo
A popular tourist destination, Santa Monica is known for its wildly eccentric street performers, seaside eats, and unique carnival-inspired pier – a landmark that is over 100 years old. While California is king when it comes to sunsets, Santa Monica Pier stands out as a usual way to experience sundown. For the best views, take a ride on the Ferris wheel where novices can see the sunset across the ocean for miles.

Key West, Florida

Key West, the furthest island of the Keys, is a no-brainer when you’re on the prowl for a perfect sunset. Located at the southernmost point of the US, and without any obstructed views, it is where sunset dreams come true. Revel in the beauty of its tropical waters, palm tree-lined shores, and breathtaking scenes as the sun disappears into the horizon.

Key West Sunset | © Carsten Tolkmit/Flickr

Outer Banks, North Carolina

The Outer Banks, a string of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina, is known for its stunning coastline, historic fishing villages, and beautiful beaches; and with nothing but water surrounding the area, it makes for an optimal sunset-viewing venture. Expect seagrass-lined dunes and deep-blue waters, alongside color-filled skies. Pro tip: head to Nags Head or Cape Hatteras, the region’s most picturesque shores for prime sunsets.

Beautiful Outer Banks Sunset | © Michael Bentley/Flickr

Ojito Wilderness, New Mexico

Just outside Albuquerque, the Ojito Wilderness boasts a remarkable landscape of steep mesas, box canyons, rocky terraces, and multi-colored sandstone cliffs. This desert gem is where sunset magic happens – purple-tinged mountains, juniper and cactus-lined horizons, and rare badland rock formations stand against the backdrop of glowing sunset skies, a vision unlike any other.

Sunset in Ojito Wilderness, NM | © John Fowler/Wikicommons

The Grand Tetons, Wyoming

Natural Feature, Park
Stand up paddle boarders on String Lake, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, United States of America, North America
© robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
The Grand Teton National Park, a hidden treasure tucked within the northwest of the US, encompasses the towering mountain peaks of the Grand Tetons along with the blooming meadows and deep valleys of Jackson Hole. Visitors can catch a flawless panorama of the region’s monumental natural beauty during sundown when the skies are painted gold.

Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

© Dan Breckwoldt / Alamy Stock Photo
A good sunset isn’t determined by sandy shores or dramatic desert canyons – in Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park, sunsets are characterized by glowing colors, snow-capped mountain peaks, and massive glaciers, a view best accompanied by cozy sweaters and hot chocolate. Plus, you may just see a humpback whale or puffin while gazing at the waters.

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