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Douglas Markowitz
May 2020

The U.S. is full of majestic places to see the sun go down. You could watch the light dance off canyon walls in northern Arizona, or follow the sun as it dips below the horizon on a Pacific coast beach. Or you could simply take in a blushing skyline in one of the nation’s cities. To help you decide, here are eight of the best spots to watch the sun set in the U.S.

Mallory Square

Four hours from Miami on the Overseas Highway, Key West sits at the very edge of civilization, and its merry townsfolk sure act like it. Every night in the town’s Mallory Square, residents, tourists, street vendors and performers celebrate the sun going down with a two-hour festival. It’s an unmissable Florida experience.

400 Wall St., Key West, FL; mallorysquare.com

Hopi Point, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

This northernmost lookout point on the South Rim is said to be one of the best places to watch the sunset over the Grand Canyon. You won’t get a better view of the vibrant colors generated by the canyon rocks as dusk settles. 

nps.gov/grca 

Santa Monica Pier

You’d be hard-pressed to find a bad sunset view anywhere in Southern California, but this spot is made special thanks to that icon of Americana, the Pacific Park amusement center. There’s a reason it’s been included in dozens of movies, TV shows and music videos. 

Santa Monica, CA; santamonicapier.org

Mount Haleakalā, Maui, Hawaii

Part of Haleakalā National Park, the landscape seen from the summit of this dormant volcano is otherworldly. On clear days, one can see all the way to the Big Island. Stay after dusk for unparalleled stargazing thanks to the lack of light pollution.

nps.gov/hale

Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn, N.Y.

If you’re too impatient to wait for Manhattanhenge, the one day of the year when the sunset lines up perfectly with Manhattan’s skyscrapers, this public park offers the best sunset view of New York’s skyline. If you think you can find a better spot in the city, we’ve got a bridge to sell you. 

334 Furman St., Brooklyn, NY; brooklynbridgepark.org 

Joshua Tree National Park, California

Desert landscapes are often great places to catch dramatic sunsets, but at Joshua Tree National Park, they reach new heights. The silhouettes of the strange, ancient trees against the wide Mojave sky make it seem as if you’ve been transported to another planet.

nps.gov/jotr

Gay Head, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachussets 

Windswept cliffs and a picturesque lighthouse make this westernmost point on the New England island a wonderfully romantic spot to enjoy the sunset. Watch the light play tricks on the colorful cliffs or simply relax as the sun dips below the horizon.

gayheadlight.org

Kerry Park

Plenty of spots in Seattle offer spectacular sunset views—when it’s not raining, at least. But Kerry Park takes the cake thanks to its panoramic sweep over the Emerald City. You’ll certainly catch the Space Needle and, on clear days, you may be able to see all the way to Mount Rainier.

211 W. Highland Dr., Seattle, WA; seattle.gov/parks

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