If you travelled all the way out to the West Coast, a California sunset is probably on your list of things to do. If it’s not on your list, then get it on there! Having lived all over the United States, I can tell you first hand that there is nothing quite like a West Coast sunset. There is certainly no shortage of places to watch the sunset in Los Angeles, but we’d like to help you narrow that list down just a little bit to make sure you get the best LA sunset experience. Here are our best places for a Los Angeles Sunset!
I include these together because of their proximity. There really isn’t much difference in terms of your view, but there are a few differences in the overall experience. First of all, you can’t really go wrong while watching the sunset in Griffith Park. It’s beautiful from just about anywhere.
Mount Lee is definitely more difficult to access, especially at this time of day. You will have to do some hiking so make sure you are prepared for that. I’d recommend driving up Beechwood as far as you can and hiking past Sunset Ranch to access Mount Lee. There is definitely something special about sitting atop the Hollywood sign with 360 views of LA while the sun dips into the ocean. Make sure you leave yourself some daylight to get back down!
Griffith Observatory is certainly more easily accessed, but your views won’t be as 360-ish. Still very pretty though! You can either hike or drive to access the Observatory at sunset. The other benefit of choosing here is that you can stick around after dark to take a look at the stars from the Zeiss telescope. Totally free!
One of the most classic spots for a Los Angeles sunset. You really can’t go wrong anywhere along the beach at Santa Monica. Sometimes it’s fun to be out on the pier watching the sun go down while people hop on the ferris wheel hoping to be stuck at the top as the sun disappears. I prefer to walk south along the beach and see the pier silhouetted against the pinks and oranges of the early evening sky. Either way, bring your camera! Afterward, go hit Pacific Park because you haven’t done Santa Monica until you’ve been on a few of the rides.
If you’re coming from the East Coast or midwest and have never done one of these rocky, cliff beaches, then this is a must do. The beach isn’t huge, so it’s usually best off season when it doesn’t get too crowded, but still worth a visit even in the busy summers. The coastline is almost meadow-like in places. There are rocks to climb through and explore, fields to walk in, and enough beach to pensively meander existence as the sunshine fades. It’s up in Malibu, so make sure you leave some drive time. You might get wet if you’re down on the beach!
Another classic spot with a great pier. I always enjoy coming here to watch the surfers close out the day in the coming twilight. You can either walk out onto the pier and watch from there, or continue down the beach a bit to escape the crowd. Plus there are plenty of great restaurants to hit after the sun goes down.
If you’re really looking to relax into the sunset, grab a drink at one of the many rooftop bars in Los Angeles. Of course, it’s probably going to be a little busier than some of the beaches, but it certainly is a very different perspective than you’ll get beachside or at a park. If you’re looking for a beachside bar, I’d recommend High Rooftop Lounge in Venice. Pretty relaxed scene here, not too fancy, but great views. For more upscale city views, check out Perch. And if you want something sort of in the middle of those, try The Roof on Wilshire.
For art and architecture lovers, this is the way to go. You can enjoy Van Gogh, Degas, Monet, Rembrandt, and so many others while the day comes to a close. There is also some fascinating architecture. It is 15 dollars to park, but it is well worth the experience. I spent about four hours there the last time I went and only was able to cover about a quarter of the museum. The Getty Villa is also very pretty, but a little further from the city. I’d recommend the Villa for those who are more interested in architecture and gardening, though both are great for sunsets!
I figured we ought to finish up with another classic. While it might not be the most peaceful sunset, it will definitely be an interesting one. Venice Beach is, of course, known for being incredibly eclectic. The street performers and vendors will certainly keep you entertained while the skaters finish up in the skate park for the day. Plus there are plenty of bars and restaurants in the area to hit after it gets dark.
So that’s it! We hope our choices for the best places for a Los Angeles sunset lead you in the right direction. Enjoy!