More spectacular than midday sunshine, however, are the multicolored sunsets we get to live with day in and day out if lucky enough to be outdoors or near a window during Golden Hour.
No matter the occasion—romantic, nostalgic, reflective or festive—heading to any of these spots will surely brighten your mood, fill you with wonder and maybe even inspire some sort of artistic undertaking. I know one thing’s for sure: each day the sun goes down is another opportunity for adventure in LA.
Take a drive up here if you want a sunset view that includes an up close and personal look through various telescopes at the Hollywood Sign, Downtown LA and the Pacific Ocean on super clear days (AKA no fog or smog).
1,134 feet above sea level, the Observatory has been free for visitors to explore since it opened in 1935. And while there is terrible cell service up on the hill, there is free public WiFi and free (though not plentiful) parking. Redeem fewer points and miles for more rewards!
The Castaway Burbank
This unassuming hilltop restaurant overlooks a golf course and prolific greenery in the San Fernando Valley. Grab a cocktail or a bite to eat at the award-winning steakhouse while welcoming dusk in this 75,000 square foot oasis.
I spent the eve of my 30th birthday here and literally watched the sun set on my 20s.
Manhattan Beach Pier
Although almost all of LA’s beaches have their own respective piers, this one is my personal favorite for observing nightfall. Less touristy than Santa Monica and Malibu, the Manhattan Beach Pier is 928 feet long and located at the end of Manhattan Beach Boulevard. Don’t forget your sweater—it tends to get real chilly real quick.
If you work up an appetite, there are lots of great food spots nearby, but heed parking warnings. I once got locked into a lot there (plus a ticket) while watching a hockey game and eating nachos at Shellback Tavern.
Point Vicente Lighthouse
Located in Rancho Palos Verdes, the Point Vicente Lighthouse is a major point of interest for locals and visitors alike. The lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and can be seen from a few sites in the Palos Verdes area including Terranea Resort and Point Vicente Interpretive Center. Search United Airlines Flights @ priceline.com. If you’re lucky, your sunset adventure may double as an impromptu whale-watching outing.
Ascot Hills Park
Above what used to be a racetrack and not far from downtown LA, Ascot Hills Park offers 93 acres of hilly terrain for you to tour with your favorite humans and/or four-legged friends. Make sure to hike the main trail for breathtaking sunset views that include DTLA, Dodger Stadium, Palos Verdes and more.
Overlooking the ocean in eastern Malibu, this restaurant has an outdoor deck with comfy seating and fire pits. It’s the perfect place to have a drink while watching the sun fall into the ocean and listening to waves crash against the rocks directly below you.
Get there early; Moonshadows is popular, outdoor seating is first-come, first-served and it tends to fill up quickly.
“But that’s a movie theater,” you’re thinking.
Yes, it is. And if you head up to the top level of the parking structure at the Hollywood location on Sunset Boulevard, you’ll experience some of the most magical cotton candy colors and vast sky you’ve ever seen in your life. A boyfriend took me up there once, and while our relationship didn’t last very long, that fiery sunset is burned in my memory forever. (Just trust me on this one. You’re welcome.) Buy Starwood Buy & Gift Miles and Get Rewards.