10 Spots For the Best Sunsets in North America

March 20, 2024

Some folks travel for food, some for trails, and some for wildlife. For others, a motivating factor is a glorious sunset at the end of the day. Show-stopping vistas, aglow in hues of orange and pink, can make for a staggering centerpiece to any journey. All over North America, said vistas come in all manner of shapes and sizes, from craggy national parks and world-famed canyons to shimmering lakes, beaches, and high deserts. Here are 10 amazing spots for the best sunsets in North America.

Where Can You Find the Best Sunsets? Start with These Sunset Destinations

Sunset over the Badlands of South Dakota.

1. Badlands National Park

At Badlands National Park, it’s entirely possible to bookend your day with staggering sunrises and equally stunning sunsets. The otherworldly terrain at this South Dakota park, marked by gnarly buttes and spires trod by bison and bighorn sheep, makes for an exceptionally unique setting in which to drink in the views. There isn’t a bad spot in the park, but some of the areas that are particularly known for their sunset views include the Norbeck Pass area, Pinnacles Overlook, Bigfoot Pass picnic area, and the Conata Basin Overlook.

Nearby KOAs 
Badlands / White River KOA Holiday

Beautiful sunset at Covehead Harbour lighthouse, Prince Edward Island, Canada

2. Prince Edward Island

It’s a matter of quality over quantity at Prince Edward Island, as Canada’s smallest province really packs a wallop of wow when it comes to its abundant sunset views. Just 224 km long, the island clocks an impressive 1,100 km of shoreline, and 23 supervised beaches. That means that visitors are never more than 15 minutes from a beach, and never far from a sunset view. With both white and red sand beaches, the island boasts a kaleidoscope of color, along with red cliffs that seem to practically glow against a sunset. Naturally, the western beaches bring the biggest bang, with some highlights including Cedar Dunes Provincial Park, Cabot Beach Provincial Park, Chelton Beach Provincial Park, and any of the bucolic coastline at Prince Edward Island National Park.

Nearby KOAs
Cavendish KOA Holiday
Borden / Summerside KOA Journey

Panoramic view of California coastline at beautiful sunset with Ocean Waves Crushing onto the Shore, California, USA

3. Jenner, California

As the sun inches its way across the continent, it takes a final bow over the Pacific — as seen, to stunning effect, off the coast of California’s Sonoma County. Of all the vantage points along Northern California’s iconic coast, one of the best areas for sunset is in and around the quaint town of Jenner, where the Russian River meanders into the ocean. Here, with redwood forests on one side and craggy coast on the other, sunsets are best seen from settings like Goat Rock State Park, the Jenner Headlands, and the aptly dubbed Sunset Boulders trail area.

Nearby KOAs
Cloverdale / Healdsburg KOA
San Francisco North / Petaluma KOA

Sunset glow view from English Bay, Vancouver, BC, Canada

4. Jericho Beach, Vancouver

Sandwiched between downtown Vancouver’s majestic skyline and the royal-blue waters of the English Bay in the north Pacific, Jericho Beach is a particularly pastoral perch in which to soak in the sunset on the west coast. The sandy, wind-swept turf is juxtaposed by grassy lawns, trees, picnic areas, and ponds, making it a sprawling destination with lots of space and a guaranteed front-row seat to the sunny show. Turn around to watch the sunset light up the city skyline, casting glassy buildings in tints of pink, purple, and red.

Nearby KOAs
Lynden / Bellingham KOA Journey

Panorama of Delicate Arch in Arches National Park Utah

5. Moab, Utah

In the high desert of Utah, the sunset is practically the same hue as the sandstone cliffs, canyons, and of course, arches. Naturally red and orange, the landscape in and around Moab is lustrous no matter the time of day, but it ascends to a new level entirely come sunset. The most iconic location to experience it is Delicate Arch, the most famed trail in Arches National Park, which is well worth the three-mile round-trip trek. Back in town, the Sunset Grill earns its moniker. The oldest operating restaurant in town, perched 225-feet atop a sandstone cliff, the restaurant offers the opportunity to synchronize sunset with prime rib, Idaho trout, and raspberry duck.

Nearby KOAs
Moab KOA Holiday

The Lake Hefner Lighthouse at Sunset

6. Lake Hefner, Oklahoma City

In Oklahoma, the wind isn’t the only thing that comes sweeping down the plains. Home to vast expanses of land, and quintessential Americana like tallgrass prairie, the Sooner State proves that you don’t need mountains or cliffs to dazzle at sunset. In the state’s largest city, Oklahoma City boasts its own sunset mecca in Lake Hefner, a massive reservoir on the northwest side that looks more like Maine thanks to its lighthouse and sailboats. At sunset, the prime location is the east side marina, by the Lake Hefner Lighthouse, watching the sun dip below the surface as sailboats and wind-surfers criss-cross the water.

Nearby KOAs
Oklahoma City East KOA Holiday

7. Grand Canyon National Park

In every sense, the Grand Canyon is a larger-than-life natural wonder that more than lives up to its grandiose name. This is strikingly evident come sunset, as one of the largest, deepest, and longest canyons on Earth teems with travelers capturing photos of the all-natural lights show. All along the 277-mile-long canyon you’ll find idyllic vantage points, but some of the more popular go-to outlooks include Hopi Point, Lipan Point, Yavapai Point, and Mather Point, the latter being the most popular spot in the entire national park. Watching the sun set over one of the world’s natural wonders, cascading the rocky crevices in warm hues of red and orange, is an experience you won’t soon forget.

Nearby KOAs
Flagstaff KOA Holiday
Williams / Exit 167 / Circle Pines KOA Holiday
Grand Canyon / Williams KOA Journey
Seligman / Route 66 KOA Journey

Beautiful colors of a tranquil sunset with reeds at North Turtle Lake in rural Minnesota, USA

8. Burntside Lake, Minnesota

In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, there’s certainly no shortage of lakeside sunsets. Minnesota is famed for its pristine lakes, many of which offer equally pristine sunsets, with a fraction of the crowds you’d expect to find at buzzier destinations like the Grand Canyon. Among the best and brightest is Burntside Lake in the far-northern town of Ely. Up here, in the quiet expanses of nature at its most lush, it’s just you, the sun, and the lake. Whether on a kayak, or from the shore, the sunset view from the lake is the ultimate serenity.

Nearby KOAs
Cloquet / Duluth KOA Journey

cloudy sunset on the red hoodoos of the Bryce Canyon National Park

9. Bryce Canyon National Park

At any given time of day, the towering hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park offer a striking contrast of color and whimsical geology. At sunset, though, the whole park gets even more vibrant. Check out Sunset Point, an overlook with a well-earned nickname for the unparalleled sunset views over the hoodoo-filled amphitheater. If you thought those singular rock formations were colorful in the daylight, just wait until you see them at dusk.

Nearby KOAs:
Beaver KOA Journey

Majestic dawn over the famous Rocher Percé, at Percé village in the Gaspesie peninsula, Quebec, Canada

10. Percé, Quebec

In the northern nether reaches of Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula, the small city of Percé puts on a big show. Charming and quaint, the community’s location at the edge of a peninsula on the Gulf of St. Lawrence makes it postcard-perfect at sunset. It’s best seen anywhere along the town’s incredible coast, lined with trees and cliffs, and especially beautiful as it illuminates Bonaventure Island.

KOAs in Quebec

Born and raised in New Hampshire, Matt Kirouac grew up with a love for camping and the outdoors. Though he’s lived in Chicago since 2006, he’s always on the lookout for new adventures. He writes about travel and food for outlets like TripExpert, Money Inc, Upventur, DiningOut, Food Fanatics magazine, Plate Magazine and Zagat, and he currently serves as Chicago editor for What Should We Do?! He’s the author of The Hunt Guides: Chicago (2016) and Unique Eats & Eateries of Chicago (2017).

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