13 Beautiful Sunset Spots Around the World
No matter where we're traveling, the one thing we always seek out is the perfect sunset spot. Because nothing says vacation quite like sipping a glass of wine and watching the sky turn purple.
Chelsea is Brooklyn-based travel writer, editor, and photographer. When not home eating her way through NYC, she's gallivanting across the globe, sailing the coast of Croatia or hiking the peaks of Peru. Her superpowers include booking flight deals and sleeping in small plane seats.
This continent has a wealth of landscapes for a picture-perfect sunset. There’s the Serengeti in Tanzania, which glows fiery red at dusk. (If you’re lucky, you may even spot a pride of lions or a herd of elephants crossing the horizon.) We also love watching the thundering Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe turn pink at dusk and sipping sundowners over an al fresco meal at andBeyond Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp.
Angkor Watt, Cambodia
Angkor Watt is one of Cambodia’s most iconic sights—and for good reason. It’s the largest religious monument in the world, coming in at 402 acres. Originally built as a Hindu temple in the 12th century, it was later on changed into a Buddhist site. Today, crowds line up to watch the sun drop below its spires (tip: come early to get a seat with an undisturbed view).
Uluru, also called Ayers Rock, is world renown for its spectacular sunsets. The sandstone formation changes colors to pink, rust red, orange and burgundy during the evening, as it’s been doing since it formed 550 million years ago. Because of its rainbow-like rock, Aboriginals have long labeled it a sacred site.
No wonder why the Maldives is a popular honeymoon spot. What could be more romantic than toasting flutes of champagne in an overwater bungalow, where the crystal-clear sea glimmers in the last rays of sun. Make sure to stay after night falls to watch the stars twinkle in the midnight blue sky.
If you’ve ever wanted to check off a bucket-list trip, seeing the Sahara Desert by camelback would be the first we’d want to conquer. Especially for the evenings when the rolling sand dunes look like they’re aflame and you can make camp underneath the full moon.
There are so many prime perches in Rio to catch this solar phenomena, we don’t know where to start. Of course, there’s Ipanema Beach, where bronzed and beautiful Brazilians crowd the shores, as well as the famous mountaintop Christ the Redeemer statue, which overlooks the cityscape. For a more local escape, try the Villa boutique hotel in the Santa Teresa neighborhood. This hillside pad has a swanky terrace with white linen lounges, striped throws, and blonde wood decor—the ideal spot to drink a Caipirinha and watch the light wash over Guanabara Bay.
You can’t go wrong with the Greek Isles. Cobalt blue doors and window shutters, whitewashed houses and cobblestone streets become illuminated in yellow and gold at night. Bed down in the ultra-luxe suites at Grace Santorini, simply to dip in the infinity pool with sweeping views of the Aegean come sunset.
Mount Haleakala, Maui
Although most tourists stampede to Mauna Kea on Hawaii’s Big Island for its epic sunrises and sunsets, we much prefer Maui’s Mount Haleakala. For one, you can drive your car right to the top (whereas at Mauna Kea, you have to rent a 4×4), and the altitude is less extreme. Plus, with less people to crowd your view, you’ll be left with 360-degree views of the mars-like volcano, the floating clouds and the distant ocean.
Key West, Florida
There are two ways to see the sunset in Key West. Either take a booze cruise by chartering a sailboat and popping some bubbly with your friends, or join the sunset festival at Mallory Square Dock. Locals and visitors alike gather for this nightly celebration, where fire breathers, acrobats and artists perform until day’s end.
Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles
Yes, we know Santa Monica is the go-to choice for a quintessential California escape, but unfortunately the area has become slightly overdone in kitsch. So skip the tourist attraction for a quieter, more under-the-radar spot in LA. We love Manhattan Beach or Hermosa’s pier, which you’ll have all to yourself to watch surfers catch the last set of waves as the sun kisses the coastline.
Grand Canyon, Arizona
Since the hay days of cruising down Route 66, this national park has etched itself into the all-American dream. The 277-mile-long Grand Canyon (and more than million-acre park) stretches across Arizona’s northwest corner and is often considered one of the world’s unofficial natural wonders. One of our favorite places to gaze is from the front porch of El Tovar, a historic 1905 hotel built right on the rim of the river gorge.
Ruby Beach, Washington
Home to the nation’s only temperate rainforest, Olympic National Park is also the setting of Ruby Beach: a rocky, driftwood-laden alcove where seals often lounge about. Go in time for sunset when the landscape turns a pink hue. (There’s a reason it’s called Ruby Beach, people!)
New York City
Call us biased, but we had to include our hometown for its stunning metropolitan views. There are hundreds of places to take in the sunset, from the Brooklyn Bridge to the One World Trade observatory. But hands-down the best place to go is to a rooftop bar, especially if it has a plunge pool to look out over the city. We’re currently digging the hip Hotel Indigo’s rooftop, Mr. Purple, in the Lower East Side. Strung with edison bulb lights, the buzzy outdoor lounge and pool scene often hosts live music and A-list parties.
- The Most Romantic Lake Hotels to Spend a Summer Vacation
- How to Plan a Girls’ Weekend Getaway to Napa Valley
- 15 Jaw-Dropping Coasts Around the World
All products are independently selected by our writers and editors. If you buy something through our links, Jetsetter may earn an affiliate commission.