The Best Spots for Sunset Watching in the U.S.


3 minutes

The United States is dotted with iconic landscapes—cities, oceans, deserts, mountains—and sunset is one of the most beautiful times in many of these areas. If you want to post pictures to make your friends and family jealous of your time in the U.S., visit one or more of these spots to watch the sun go down.

Hopi Point - Grand Canyon, AZ

One of several famous viewing points around the Grand Canyon, Hopi Point is the place to see the sunset. You can take the red bus straight to the point, or get off at Powell Point and take the short easy hike between them for amazing views of the undulating cliffs that turn red, then purple as the sun sets.

Santa Monica Pier - Santa Monica, CA

For one of the most fun and beautiful sunsets on the west coast, head down to the Santa Monica Pier. The pier is where highway 66 meets the ocean at its westernmost point and is a truly American experience. With arcades, a historic carousel, live music, a ferris wheel and a great beach, you can easily spend all day here waiting for the sun to set spectacularly over the Pacific Ocean.

Mallory Square - Key West, FL

The sunset is a major event at Mallory Square. Street performers of all kinds come to entertain the crowds that gather to watch the sun go down over the Gulf of Mexico. Sitting on the western side of Key West, Mallory Square boasts unobstructed views of the horizon with perhaps only a few sailboats floating between you and the sunset.

Brooklyn Bridge - New York, NY

A walk over the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset is a magical experience. Every few feet there is a new and different panoramic view of the sunset. To the southwest, the East River meets the Hudson River and the sun reflects off the Statue of Liberty for perhaps the most American sunset experience of all. Directly west and northwest, the skyline of Manhattan shimmers in the light of the setting sun as you catch glimpses of a brightly painted sky through the buildings.

Chicago Botanic Garden - Chicago, IL

The Chicago Botanic Garden is just north of the city close to the edge of Lake Michigan. Although there are several spectacular skyline sunset views, another great experience can be had at the Botanic Garden. There are several different types of gardens here, but some of the best from which to view the sunset are the Japanese garden, Evening Island and the Crescent, where you can watch the sunset over beautiful fountains.

Lands End - San Francisco, CA

At the end of Geary Boulevard on the Northwest point of San Francisco, there is a wild area given over to hiking trails. There is a perfect view of the sunset to the west and to the north there are several amazing overlooks where you can see the Golden Gate Bridge change colors as the sun goes down. While you’re there it is definitely worth checking out the ruins of the Sutro Baths as well, which were built as a bathing and pool complex in the 19th century, then abandoned.

Discovery Park - Seattle, WA

Discover Park, the largest park in Seattle, sits on Magnolia Bluff, which has beautiful views of the city and Puget Sound. After an afternoon spent walking through forests, meadows and sand dunes, head to the sea cliffs for a breathtaking sunset view that encompasses Seattle, the Sound with its many islands, and two mountain ranges: the Cascades and the Olympics.

Kennedy Center - Washington, DC

The large terrace at the Kennedy Center has a wrap-around view of the Potomac River that makes it a great place to watch the sunset. You can catch glimpses of a few national monuments as well as some of the more beautiful natural spots along the river. It’s a great place to relax and you can have a snack or drink at the cafe while you sit and watch day turn into night.

Tybee Lighthouse - Tybee Island, GA

Tybee Island is just off the coast of Georgia, east of Savannah. The whole island is a great short trip, but the sunsets from the lighthouse are absolutely beautiful. Tours allow you to climb to the top of the lighthouse right at sunset for unparalleled views. Even the view of the lighthouse itself is pretty wonderful.

Elizabeth Cummings

Liz got the travel bug as a teenager when she volunteered in Mexico. After extensive travel, interning and studying abroad, she is excited to help others fulfill their dreams of experiencing another culture through InterExchange’s Career Training USA program.

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