At the Beach — February 3, 2014 at 5:00 am

7 Best West Coast Beaches to Watch the Sunset

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Sunset. It’s the most magical time of day, besides sunrise, to boast dramatic skies with vibrant colors. There’s something special about the sunset and maybe that’s because no two sunsets are ever the same. The West Coast offers hundreds of sunset-seeking spots; but we’ve narrowed down some of the best spots along the chilly Pacific Ocean. Grab your camera and wear your sunnies, and maybe a jacket, as you explore some of the best sunset views.

Alki Beach, Seattle, Washington
Alki, located in West Seattle, is similar to a Californian beach set amidst a Northwest environment. Enjoy volleyball, street-side cafes and sachets along the boardwalk. Although the water is freezing year-round, catch a glimpse at one of the most beautiful sunsets you’ll ever experience. The sun sets over the Olympic Mountains and illuminates the city with golden-pink rays. When clouds are present expect dramatic pink, purple and orange hues.

San Juan Islands, Washington
The picturesque San Juan Islands feature endless sunset viewing locations. Hikers, bikers and kayakers catch a glimpse from the Puget Sound up toward Mount Constitution. During the spring to summer months, sun worshippers may catch a glimpse at one of the many Orca pods swimming throughout the waters. 

Cannon Beach, Oregon
Cannon Beach is one of the top Northwest beach destinations and rightfully so with picturesque views of rolling hills and the famous Haystack Rock. Depending on your location, get a sandy beach, water view while walking on the beach, or a bird’s eye view from the Ecola State Park hiking trails. Either view offers magnificent sunsets and fantastic photo opportunities.

Ocean Beach, San Francisco, California
Bring a jacket and wear a hat for this Santa Ana windy sunset. Explore traditional sun setting over ocean views while you walk, jog or admire the near-dusk sky. If you arrive early, stake claim one of the fire pits to stay warm and roast marshmallows. To view the sunset over the Seal Rocks head to the Cliff House or Sutro Baths.

Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur, California
Big Sur and Monterey are picture-perfect sunset locations, but nothing compares to the one of a kind Pfeiffer Beach. Pfeiffer beach is quiet, serene and requires warm clothing. The most amazing part of the sunset is that the rays shine through a large hole located in the main rock stack on the beach. It’s definitely a a place you call “heaven on earth.”

Butterfly Beach, Santa Barbara, California
This long and narrow beach features airy sand, palm trees and colorful sunsets. The sun sets over the distance hills where rays glisten the Butterfly shoreline. This beach is most ideal during spring bloom and wildflower season, which creates stunning macro shots of the flowers with the sunset backdrop.

La Jolla, California
The luxurious region located outside of San Diego welcomes sun-lovers to gaze at the ocean-view sunset. Various regions of the beach are decorated with herds of sea lions, which yelp at the near-night sky. Snorkelers, kayakers and sunbathers explore the colorful sky while still enjoying the ocean waves. If you’re hungry, check out of the town’s many fine dining options, which overlook the sea and sunset sky.

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