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There is something both magical and inspirational about a beautiful sunset—the iconic ending to a lovely day.
I’ve always loved watching the sun set—nature’s magnificent celebration of color and light is one of her best show-off moments. As the saying reminds us to take time to smell the roses; I make time to savor a sunset when I am traveling. To me, watching the sunset is a moment to slow down, breathe and experience gratitude for the day. When I spent long summers on the beach, I considered it awful to clean up sand toys and pack up the chairs while Mother Nature was doing her thing. Today, more than ever, these beautiful beach sunsets stop me in my tracks. Here are some of my favorites, with a little bonus at the end of trips I plan to take to see the sunset from a different latitude and longitude.
To me, watching the sunset is a moment to slow down, breathe and experience gratitude for the day.
Photo by Mapics / Shutterstock
WAIKIKI BEACH | Hawaii
When I’m on Waikiki Beach, I am aware that I am on the edge where land meets ocean, lots of it. With nothing but blue water and the horizon line ahead, Waikiki is the perfect place to see one of the best sunsets in the world, long and dramatic. You can often see the “green flash” as the big orange sun sinks into the horizon. If you watch from the sand, you’ll see the famous surfers riding their last waves and be among many in-progress marriage proposals.
Photo by Andy Konieczny / Shutterstock
MALIBU | California
California and sunsets go together, but the most iconic, made only so by the movies produced there, is Malibu. The favorite spot to take in Mother Nature’s spectacle is Point Dume State Beach—you’ll recognize it from countless movies and television shows—where you may see dolphins, or during the right time of year whales. The recognizable rock formations add drama to the colorful sky creating the drama this town is known for.
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Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
KONA | Hawaii
I’ve been fortunate to see sunsets from the amazing vantage point of Four Seasons Hualalai multiple times, and they are simply unforgettable. The vast open ocean provides a splendid panoramic sunset that is immersive. If you prefer your sunset behind dark, volcanic rocks, Kailua Kona Bay provides another view of one of the best sunsets and reminds you of the volcanic presences on the Big Island.
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
BORA BORA | French Polynesia
Sunsets or not, Bora Bora is a stunning display of beauty with its iconic view of Mount Otemanu from the nearby resort-filled island that is home to many, many over-the-water bungalow resorts surrounded by lagoon and coral reefs, most notably The Four Seasons and St. Regis Bora Bora. Clear blue skies and even overcast days are stunning here, but when the sun sets, the magical moment takes center stage when the sun paints the sky in a stunning display of color over crystal-clear water.
ICONIC TIP: These beautiful sunsets are best watched from your private bungalow balcony with reef sharks and exotic fish swimming below, and a bottle of fine champagne in a perspiring silver bucket.
Photo by Josemaria Toscano
SEDONA | Arizona
Known for its inspiring setting among the majestic and world-famous red rocks and the famous Vortex, Sedona produces the most amazing, beautiful sunsets as the colors of the sky are amplified by the intensified red and orange coloring of the rocks as the sun sets; it’s simply brilliant. Sunsets are best enjoyed from spots you can reach by hiking, like up to Red Rock Crossing near the Crescent Moon Ranch.
ICONIC TIP: If you’re not a hiker, just find a vantage point where you can see the sun dip like Bell Rock, Airport Vista and Courthouse Butte.
Photo by Larwin / Shutterstock
ST. LUCIA | Bahamas
In St. Lucia, you have the iconic Pitons, two mountainous volcanic spires on the edge of the island, overlooking the turquoise Caribbean Ocean and the emerald-green island. The vast sky makes the perfect theatre for one of the best sunsets in the world. You can enjoy them from the many sea-level beach bars and restaurants on the lower island.
ICONIC TIP: Up your “sunsetting” game by making a reservation at Ladera Resort, high up in the mountains; it’s quite a drive, and enjoy a spectacular sunset with elevation and the dramatic Pitons in your immediate view.
Photo by Mapics / Shutterstock
ROME | Italy
Opposite of watching the sun set over blue water, is watching the sun go down over one of civilizations most iconic cities Rome. Overlooking ancient architecture and Vatican City, sunsets over Rome are impressive in a worldly way, as you know that the sun has set countless times on one of the world’s oldest cities
ICONIC TIP: A perch atop the Westin Excelsior, where you can book a room with a rooftop patio, or the historic Hassler Roma that features an elegant bar with a perfect framed view of Rome from the top of the famed Spanish Steps is an elegant way to savor this sunset.
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Photo by Delbars / Shutterstock
SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK | Tanzania
This is where the iconic photographs of giraffes silhouetted by the setting sun were invented. A safari is the best way to savor sunsets on the Serengeti.
Photo by Sven Hansche / Shutterstock
SANTORINI | Greece
Santorini is known for its bright white architecture and brilliant blue waters of the Aegean Sea. The word is the town of Oia or high up on the cliffs offers the best vantage points for “sunsetting.”
Photo by Roop_Dey / Shutterstock
AGRA | India
Speaking of ancient civilizations, Agra offers spectacular sunsets behind the spectacular Taj Mahal, an architectural wonder of the world that is bathed in warm colors from the setting sun.