Where to Find the Best Sunsets on the West Coast of the USA


By Busabout
13 Sep 2019

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Sunsets mean romance and beauty. When day becomes night, the sun’s rays illuminate the sky with shades of gold, purple, red and pink. It’s true that the sunset looks terrific from just about anywhere, but you can’t beat the view from the USA’s West Coast.

Head to a Californian beach in time for dusk, and you’ll soon realise why the state is rightfully nicknamed The Golden State. If you’re looking for a unique way to view the sunset, we highly recommend adding these locations to your bucket list.

The Grand Canyon, Nevada

Sunsets are all about that ‘wow’ factor that really drives home the beauty of our planet. For the absolute epitome of this feeling, there’s nothing that can compare to seeing the sunrise from the Grand Canyon out in the Nevada desert. The uniquely colourful gorge is beautiful at any time of day, but truly comes to life when the sun is low in the horizon. If this isn’t on your list already, what are you waiting for? Add it right away!

Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur, California

Wherever you are in Big Sur, you can watch the sky light up with dazzling shades of orange, pink and purple when the sun goes down. If you fancy some privacy for a romantic evening, we recommend heading to the serene Pfeiffer Beach – though you might want to wear warm clothing.

Besides the multi-coloured sky, Pfeiffer Beach is an amazing place to watch the sunset because of the rock stack that sits on the long stretch of sand. When the day gives way to night, you’ll see sun rays shine through the large hole in the main stack.

Alki Beach, Seattle, Washington

Located in West Seattle, Alki Beach resembles the Californian sandy stretches in a Northwest setting. Here, the water is very cold year-round, but you won’t care about that when dusk arrives. The sun sets over the beautiful Olympic Mountains, illuminating the sky, beach and city with golden-pink rays.

Even on a cloudy day, Alki Beach is an ideal spot to watch the sunset. Expect dramatic purple, orange and pink hues – truly dazzling.

Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles

As exciting and vibrant as it is up close, Los Angeles becomes almost romantic when viewed from a distance. If you want to take in the whole city, there’s simply no better place than the Griffith Observatory.

At sunset, the whole region, from the ocean to the Hollywood sign, becomes bathed in a golden light that truly makes you feel like it’s the city of dreams. After dark, the highways light up and stretch to the end of the horizon, almost like an invitation just for you.

Treasure Island, San Francisco

With its rolling hills, rocky coastline and brightly coloured homes, San Francisco is perhaps the most enchanting Californian city. Because San Francisco sits on top of a peninsula that’s surrounded by water, it’s one of the best places to catch the sunset in the Golden State.

San Francisco is another city where the sunset looks beautiful from just about anywhere. If you want to watch golden rays of light bounce off treasures such as Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge, head to the human-made Treasure Island just below Bay Bridge.

Cannon Beach, Oregon

If you’re on a road trip along the USA’s west coast, stop off at Cannon Beach, which offers the best views of the sunset in Oregon. Face the sea, and you’ll see the sun’s rays glistening over the famous Haystack Rock and transform the blue water into shades of yellow and orange. If you’d prefer a birds-eye view of the beach in time for dusk, consider climbing one of the Ecola State Park hiking trails. You won’t be short of amazing photo opportunities.

Santa Monica Pier, California

Santa Monica is famous for its seaside bites, street performers and the carnival-inspired pier, which is over a century old. And the sunsets here are just as entertaining as the beach entertainment. We recommend riding the Ferris wheel in time for sunset – you’ll be able to see hues of purple and orange bouncing off the ocean for miles.

Don’t forget, our West Coast hop-on-hop-off network can take you close by these key destinations including Los Angeles and San Francisco. Take a look at our trip planner to choose your perfect itinerary.