watch sunset California

The 7 Best Places To Watch The Sunset In California

From wine country in Sonoma to legendary sunsets in Oceanside, there’s so many beautiful places to watch the sunset in California. As darkness falls, you’ll see the state in a whole new – golden! – light. Cali is famous for many things, and its picturesque coastlines and expansive landscapes make sunset viewing unforgettable.

Here’s seven of our favourite spots…

Where to Watch the Sunset in California

1. Oceanside Pier

The 1,942 foot long Oceanside Pier serves as the perfect subject to pair with the spectacular Southern California sunsets. As one of the most iconic and longest wooden piers on the West Coast, the seemingly endless wood pilings stretch to the horizon bridging the gap between the ocean expanse, the fiery orange and purple sky, and the shoreline.

Oceanside Pier at Sunset | Beach

2. Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles

There are many places to watch the sunset nearby, but the observatory offers unobstructed views of Downtown L.A., the Pacific Ocean and the word-famous Hollywood Sign. No matter the time of year, the sunset from the Griffith Observatory is always gorgeous.

James Dean & Griffith Observatory | Visit California

3. Bernal Heights Park, San Francisco

After a short hike to the park’s summit, you’ll be rewarded with a 360-degree vista—beautiful at any time of day but even lovelier under a cotton candy pink sky. On a clear evening, you can see all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge on one side and Bayview-Hunters Point on the other.

watch sunset California

4. Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles

The colourful silhouette of the 85-foot Ferris wheel as the sun sets is truly a sight to see. It’s no wonder this is such a famous place to watch the sunset in California.

The Santa Monica Pier, at the end of the historic Route 66 in Santa Monica, actually consists of two piers: one built in 1909 and the other in 1916. The second pier is home to the famous Pacific Park, which houses the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel.

Image: @kauaidreamerimages/Instagram

5. River Road, Salinas Valley

Sip on a glass of Chardonnay or Pinot Noir at one of the many tasting rooms along the River Road Wine Trail as the day slowly fades away. The contrast between the lush vineyards, golden mountain range and a fiery sunset sky make it easy to see why John Steinbeck coined the area as “Pastures of Heaven.

watch sunset California

6. Lucas Wharf Restaurant, Bodega Bay

Everything tastes even better with the stunning sunset views across the Bay at this large, waterfront restaurant and bar. Sipping a glass of wine with fresh seafood in front of the huge windows is an extra slice of heaven.

No photo description available.

7. Cityscape Lounge, San Francisco

High up on the 46th floor of the Hilton at Union Square, this bar offers an incredible 360-degree view of San Francisco’s cityscape. This essentially guarantees you’ll have one of the best views in the city of the California sunset. Oh, and don’t worry if the fog starts to roll in because at 46 floors up… The sights can be just as astonishing.

Sarah Clayton-Lea

Co-founder of Big 7 Travel, Sarah created the company through her passion for championing the world's best food and travel experiences. Before her career in digital media, where she previously held roles such as Editor of Food&Wine Ireland, Sarah worked in the hospitality industry in Dublin and New York.

Contact [email protected]

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