There’s one main reason Hollywood established itself as the entertainment capital on this stretch of land: the epic light. The muted honey sheen of the morning sun and the deep spectrum of orange in the evening have captivated filmmakers and artists for decades. Its stable nature makes almost anything in its path photogenic and can turn even the gloomiest scenes into a dream.
While dozens of films and artworks could paint the picture of how magical an L.A. sunset is, there really is nothing better than experiencing it yourself. So we’ve gathered the best spots to do that, from the vistas amongst the hilltop mansions down to the sandy coves. Here are all the best places to catch a sunset in L.A.
1. Griffith Observatory
It may be an obvious one, but the views over the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood from this Art Deco landmark are unmatched. There’s nothing quite as romantic (and iconic) as watching the sun sink into the skyline as the city begins to twinkle. You’ll instantly feel like you’ve stepped onto the set of La La Land.
Location: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
2. Runyon Canyon
It’s a hiker’s heaven for a reason and while you may have to wait in line for the perfect snap, it’s well worth it. The magical swirls of pink, blue and orange of an L.A. sunset are absolutely arresting and the views make everything around you go quiet. If you’re still not convinced, you could always pay a visit to the vast Trebek Open Space nearby.
Location: Runyon Canyon Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90046
3. Point Vicente
Stand at the most southwesterly point of the Palos Verdes Peninsula and marvel at one of the region’s coastal jewels as a golden light illuminates the rugged shores and shimmers across the Pacific Ocean. This white beacon makes for a perfect photo-op, especially when a storm looms above.
Location: 31550 Palos Verdes Dr W, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
4. Manhattan Beach Pier
Catching the light pass beneath the beams of Manhattan Pier and casting dramatic shadows along the sandy shores is a go-to date night in the city. For more serious sunset seekers, you’ll want to mark your calendar for “Pierhenge”—the two evenings of the year (November 14 and January 27) when the sun lines up right in the middle of the pier’s pillars.
Location: 2 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
5. Pacific Coast Highway
Heading up towards Malibu along the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) offers plenty of picturesque sunset vistas. Instead of revealing secret spots, we encourage you to take a drive and find a quiet overlook to stop at for a sunset safely.
Find some inspiration in our guide to , the most scenic drive around L.A.
6. Mount Rubidoux
You don’t have to be religious to appreciate the spiritual atmosphere of this trailhead anchored with a large cross. Trekking to this rocky point comes with stunning sights along the way and it’s equally as jaw-dropping at sunrise.
Location: 3901-3999 Mount Rubidoux Dr, Riverside, CA 92501
7. Point Dume
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This breathtaking, rugged coastline situated within a natural preserve is a sunset bucket list spot. Hike along the bluff, covered in wildflowers, sink your feet into the sand and watch the magic happen when the sun hits the sheer rock face and travels over the point jutting out into the Pacific Ocean.
Location: Cliffside Dr & Birdview Ave, Malibu, CA 90265
8. Hotel Erwin
Is there a more quintessential L.A. experience than watching surfers ride waves, skaters flip through the air and cyclists wind down the Venice boardwalk? Probably not, but you can elevate the whole experience by heading to Hotel Erwin’s rooftop for the prime cocktail hour.
Location: 1697 Pacific Ave, Venice, CA 90291
9. Royal Palms Beach
Cruise along the Pacific Coast Highway and park alongside fellow sungazers for the most magical hour of the day. Stunning sunset colors will bounce off the bonnets of classic California rides as the waves crash on the shores just in front of the parking lot at Royal Palms Beach.
Location: Royal Palms Beach, Los Angeles, CA 90732
10. Venice Canals
The historic district turns into Disneyland as soon as the sun nears the horizon. There are quaint bridges, palms, and lush overgrowth line the edges of the canals and the glassy waterways mirror the beautiful palette of the sky.
Location: Venice, CA 90292, United States
Bonus: Laguna Beach, Orange County
Laguna Beach is a little drive away, but it turns into a fairytale paradise with the golden tint of the evening light. You’ll have towering palms swaying above you, vivd¡id blooms dotting the rocky coast and silky sand beaches gleaming in the deep orange sunlight.
Location: Broadway St & Pacific Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA