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10 best places on the Peninsula to watch a sunset

Published June 3, 2024


Carmel is known for its amazing beaches and views. Here are some great local favorites for catching the sunset during your summer vacation. 

  1. Palo Corona Regional Park is located off Carmel Valley Road. Whether you are atop one of the park’s scenic overlooks or exploring its network of hiking trails, witnessing the sunset at Palo Corona Park is a great way to connect with nature. It can be a bit of a hike, but the efforts are really worth it once you see the sunset.

    If you want to see an awesome sunset with an classic view, Carmel Beach is a great option. (photo by ANDIE SASSMAN)


  1. Monastery Beach, which can be found on the drive down to Carmel Highlands, can have some amazing sunsets. However, it is important to note that Monastery Beach is known for its powerful waves. 


  1. Watching the sunset at Carmel Highlands, Pacific’s Edge restaurant offers both divine food and divine views. The atmosphere is refined yet relaxed. 


  1. Ribera Beach is nestled between Carmel River Beach and Monastery Beach. While it may not be as well known as some of its neighboring beaches, Ribera Beach provides a more secluded setting for enjoyment of the sunset. 


  1. Pebble Beach’s iconic coastline with its dramatic cliffs and pristine sandy shores provides a stunning backdrop for its gorgeous sunsets, but it can be crowded especially during peak tourist season which can make parking challenging. Visitors should be prepared for cooler temperatures as the evening progresses. Despite these minor inconveniences, the sunset at Pebble Beach is a must-see experience.

    Seaside Beach is a great place to watch the sunset, especially at the dunes. (photo by KRISTINE AGUIRRE)


  1. With a beautiful view, Spanish Bay Beach is located on 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach. During sunset, you can find a bagpiper who starts playing half an hour before sunset and will finish by the time the sun is gone. You can enjoy drinks and food platters at The Inn at Spanish Bay as well. With all the luxuries Spanish Bay has to offer, it is a great place to see an amazing sunset. 


  1. Behind Home Goods in Seaside you can find a trail with the name of Eolian Dunes Preserve. Along the trail are a lot more man-made trails that you can go on and explore the dunes. The weather at the dunes can often be cold, windy and foggy, but the sunsets can still be beautiful, if you don’t mind the drab weather. This spot is relatively quiet as well. 

    You can find amazing sunsets at Carmel Beach, especially nice on a quite day. (photo by ANDIE SASSMAN)


  1. If you can make the sunset on a non-foggy day at Carmel Beach, you’re in luck. With stores on the walk down Ocean Avenue, you can find a beautiful beach with fluffy white sand. When the sunset hits the deep blue ocean, it’s an array of colors. The beach is often swarmed with tourists during the summer, but if you can manage to find a quiet spot, it’s perfect for the sunset.


  1. With areas to sit on the green to rocks by the ocean, Lovers Point has many great places to see the sunset. With a short walk from Downtown Pacific Grove, Lovers Point Beach is a great place to see the sunset, especially if you want to take a jump into the ocean.  


  1. With a breathtaking view, Big Sur is a great option to go see the sunset. Not only is the drive great, but there are lots of pull-offs that you can stop at to get a better look at the sunset. Walking down to one of the many beaches that Big Sur has to offer is always an option as well. The ocean is always beautiful, and mixed with colors from the sunset’s array, it is pure bliss. 


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