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15 of the Best Places to Watch the Sunset In and Around Los Angeles

The Best Places in Los Angeles to Watch the Sunset

You don’t have to spend a lot of money for tickets to see an incredible evening show. We’re lucky here in Los Angeles because there are so many picture-perfect spots to view the most timeless evening show of all — sunset. Here are 15 of the best spots to watch the sunset:

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The Best Places in Los Angeles to Watch the Sunset

Point Dume State Beach
Westward Beach Rd., Malibu, CA 90265

If you don’t mind driving to Malibu, then viewing the sunset from Point Dume State Beach is guaranteed to provide you with some pretty spectacular photo opportunities. The Beach features rocky coves and cliffs, and from December to April it is also a good location in which to spot migrating California gray whales.

Korean Bell of Friendship and Bell Pavilion
Angels Gate Park
3601 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro, CA 90731

In case you don’t already know the history of the Korean Bell of Friendship — it was donated by the Republic of Korea in 1976, in honor of our country’s bicentennial. It honors Korean War veterans as well as serving as a symbol of friendship between our two countries. The bell is inside a pagoda-like structure which was constructed in San Pedro by 30 craftsmen who were flown in from Korea. The Korean Bell of Friendship is located in a very picturesque, usually not-crowded, setting — perfect place for a picnic and to watch the sunset. 

Point Vicente Interpretive Center
31501 Palos Verdes Dr. W., Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

The Point Vicente Interpretive Center is located adjacent to the Point Vicente Lighthouse. This pretty, popular spot features picnic areas, trails, and the Interpretive Center which features exhibits on the history of the Palos Verdes Peninsula as well as lots of information about the Pacific gray whale. In fact, this area offers a great spot to view migrating whales (from December through April). But year-round, this location provides families with incredible ocean views and beautiful sunsets.

The Getty Center
1200 Getty Center Dr. (for GPS use N. Sepulveda Blvd. and Getty Center Dr.), Los Angeles, CA 90049

When you visit the Getty, you have the opportunity to view amazing art pieces as well as the opportunity to get a view of Los Angeles you don’t often see. Many children are completely intrigued before you even reach the Museum; riding the computer-operated trams from the parking lot is sure to garner a lot of excitement among young visitors. But it’s not just the permanent collection of European and American art that’s impressive. It’s the architecture, the Central Garden, and its perch that all contribute to make it a special place to view a sunset. Admission is free; parking is $15. (The Getty is closed on Mondays).

Manhattan Beach Pier
Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach, CA

Families head to the Manhattan Beach Pier because there’s so much to do here — people watch, play in the sand, play in the ocean, and visit the Aquarium. But it’s also a great place to take a deep breath, view the sunset, and marvel at the beauty of it all.

Elysian Park
929 Academy Road, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Near Dodger Stadium, you’ll find Elysian Park. A pretty park on its own, but come sunset you’re treated to quite a show. Going to different parts of the park will give you different views, allowing you to capture the sunset from different perspectives.

Hermosa Beach Pier
1 Pier Ave., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Hermosa Beach describes itself as “the best little beach city.” And for some, the Hermosa Beach Pier may be one of the perfect beach spots to view the sunset! You’ll find terrific views of the beach, the ocean, and the sunset reflecting in the water. And nearby, you’ll find many restaurants so you can have a complete date night — dinner and a “show.”

Ascot Hills Park
4371 Multnoma St., Los Angeles, CA 90032

If you’re looking for a big outdoorsy spot, that won’t be too crowded, and that doesn’t require a big drive, then it’s time to explore Ascot Hills Park. Go for a hike and on clear days you’ll be treated to impressive views of the downtown Los Angeles skyline, and of course, impressive sunsets!

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
6300 Hetzler Rd., Culver City, CA 90232

On a clear day, the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook provides visitors with wide-ranging views. From on top of this 500 foot peak, you can see the Pacific Ocean in one direction and downtown Los Angeles in another. It’s a great spot to visit for a memorable sunset viewing as well. (Keep in mind, that climbing the stairs to the top is a bit of a workout).

White Point/Royal Palms Beach
1799 W. Paseo Del Mar, San Pedro, CA 90732

Whether you decide to stay on the bluff-top portion of the beach or make your way down to the actual beach, you’re sure to enjoy the sunset at this picturesque spot. The site offers over a mile-and-a-half of rocky beach, 30-acres of park area, and panoramic views extending out to Catalina Island.

Griffith Observatory
2800 E. Observatory Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90027

The Griffith Observatory may be the classic spot to watch a sunset in Los Angeles. This popular destination in Griffith Park is iconic and for many it’s the best place to see the sunset.  You’ll also enjoy impressive views of our large city as well as the Hollywood sign. Admission and parking are free.

Santa Monica Pier
Ocean and Colorado, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Even if you’ve lived in Los Angeles for years, there’s still something fun and charming about watching a sunset from the Santa Monica Pier (the official western end of Route 66). You can truly turn the outing into a date by taking a ride on the historic Carousel, playing some games in the arcade, and enjoying the rides at Pacific Park (including the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel). The Pier also has a variety of restaurants and concession stands.

Universal City Overlook
7701 Mulholland Dr. Studio City, CA

The Universal City Overlook is located on the north side of Mulholland Drive. Here, visitors enjoy views of the San Fernando Valley and Verdugo Hills. Visitors describe it as a special spot to bring a loved one and view the sunset. (And as an interesting side note — the Universal City Outlook was constructed in 1984 to accommodate visitors when our city hosted the Summer Olympics).

Jerome C. Daniel Overlook above the Hollywood Bowl
7036 Mulholland Dr., Hollywood, CA

The Hollywood Bowl Scenic Overlook is a popular spot because it allows visitors to view so many iconic Los Angeles sites from one incredible perspective. On clear days, families can view the nearby Hollywood Bowl, downtown Los Angeles, the Hollywood Sign, Griffith Observatory, San Fernando Valley, and on a really clear day, even the ocean. It makes for a terrific sunset viewing location. (This Overlook was constructed at the same time as the Universal City Overlook).

El Matador State Beach
32215 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA

El Matador State Beach provides a stunning backdrop for watching a sunset. You’ll find impressive rock formations and “caves” here which add to the allure for many visitors. A rather steep trail and stairs lead from the bluff-top parking to the beach. Parking may be a bit difficult to come by, but visitors find it completely worthwhile.

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Wendy Kennar (388 Posts)

Wendy is a freelance writer who finds inspiration in her nine-year-old son and from her experiences from her twelve-year teaching career. Her writing has appeared in several publications and anthologies, both in print and online. She prefers sunflowers to roses and thinks chocolate is okay at any meal. You can find her at wendykennar.com.


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