As the sun begins its descent to the horizon, the light of the day begins to mellow into radiant hues of dreamy reds and purples. This wondrous phenomenon occurs every single day. You guessed it—the sunset!
Los Angeles sunsets are exceptional. It’s not just the vivid sky that is breathtaking, but it’s the surrounding environment that creates a panoramic view that will enrapture you.
With L.A.’s vast and diverse landscape, you can catch the sunset at various unique vantage points. If you want to be charmed by skyline views, there’s a spot for that. If you want to be captivated by waterfront views, there’s a spot for that too!
If it’s not sunset yet, check out one of these locations as I guarantee you will be blown away by what you’re about to see. Below are the top places to watch the sunset in Los Angeles for every type of sunset view you can think of!
Best Places to See the Sunset in Los Angeles: With City Views
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This iconic, beloved site is where you might have to pinch yourself a few times to make sure you’re not dreaming of what you’re seeing.
Wrapped around the back of the Observatory’s exterior is the Promenade Walkway where you’ll be able to stroll along and take in the uninterrupted views of nearly every district of L.A.—and even the Pacific Ocean on a clear day.
In addition, you can see a close-up view of a particular landmark by using the coin telescopes available along the Promenade.
Watch as the sunset paints every skyscraper and nook and cranny of L.A.’s terrain a fierce crimson. And since you’re already here, stay a little longer to soak in the gorgeous night views of the twinkling city lights.
Tip: Make sure to stop by the various terraces at the Observatory, including the Roof Deck, for even more stunning viewpoints.
Address: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Echo Park Lake
Echo Park Lake is known for its swan pedal boats that you can rent and ride casually across the lake (they’re even illuminated at night!)
Paired with the sunset, you will be immersed in an elevated viewing experience of the calm waters, the surrounding nature (including L.A.’s iconic palm trees), as well as the beautiful architecture of downtown’s skyscrapers.
Alternatively, you can enjoy a pleasant walk around the lake’s perimeter as you watch the sunset.
Address: 751 Echo Park Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area
Located between Venice and Central L.A. is the expansive Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area.
This park includes a number of hiking trails, a Japanese garden, a large playground, and a disc golf course. While there are many activities you can engage in here, its hilly terrain offers ideal vantage points where you can stop to take in the 360-degree sunset views of Los Angeles during sundown.
On a clear day, you can see the majestic mountains (San Gabriel Mountains) at the fringe of downtown L.A. in the distance.
Address: 4100 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90056
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook (only a 4-minute drive from Kenneth Hahn State Park) is a popular location for tourists for its steep but quick hike up a flight of stairs to its overlook.
At the overlook, you’ll be greeted once again by a stunning sunset overlaying L.A.’s cityscape. The nice part of this LA sunset overlook is that you don’t have to hike it—there’s a road you can drive straight up to the top!
Address: 6300 Hetzler Rd, Culver City, CA 90232
Ascot Hills Park
Northeast from Downtown Los Angeles is Ascot Hills Park where you’ll encounter many—you guessed it—hills.
The rolling hills are a special touch to the picturesque views of downtown during the Los Angeles sunset.
Address: 4371 Multnomah St, Los Angeles, CA 90032
On the northern outskirts of Downtown Los Angeles is a pleasant escape from the bustling streets—Elysian Park.
While many visit for its biking and running trails, it’s views are something else. You’ll see the sun setting adjacent to the cluster of skyscrapers, illuminating downtown one last time before nightfall.
Make sure to check out this Los Angeles sunset view from Angels Point!
Address: 929 Academy Rd, Los Angeles, CA, 90012
A quintessential way to experience L.A. is by going on a scenic drive through the city, so why not go for a drive while the sun sets?
To capture this unique view, drive along the famous Mulholland Drive. The 21-mile long drive will take you along the ridgeline of Hollywood Hills and the eastern Santa Monica Mountains.
Along the route, you’ll have aerial views of Downtown Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Hollywood, and Beverly Hills.
You can also drive straight to the Mulholland Scenic Overlook if you want to stop to enjoy the sunset instead.
Address: 8591 Mulholland Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90046 (Mulholland Scenic Overlook)
Universal City Overlook
The Universal City Overlook is a popular vantage point where you can stand on elevated grounds to watch the sun cast a soft glow over the city during sunset.
It’s also a must-stop during your scenic drive along Mulholland Drive!
Address: 7701 Mulholland Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Runyon Canyon Park
If you’re into hiking, Runyon Canyon Park is the ideal place to both get your heartrate up and be surrounded by sweeping views of the city the entire trek.
Near the beginning of the hike, you can spot the Hollywood Sign and watch the sun cast a beautiful tint upon the sign and its surrounding hills.
Address: 2000 N Fuller Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
The Hollywood Sign
An extraordinary way to view the sunset in Hollywood is by hiking to the Hollywood Sign. You can stand directly behind the 45-feet high letters of the sign for unforgettable sunset views of the city.
The hike is roughly 6 miles and can take about 2-3 hours to complete, but it’s well worth the hike for getting to be in one of the best places to watch the sunset in Los Angeles. Just be sure to bring a headlamp for the hike back!
Address: 3200 Canyon Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068 (Trailhead)
Best Places to See the Sunset in Los Angeles: On the Beach
Palisades Park stretches along Ocean Ave and borders Santa Monica Beach to the Pier. This park is lined with palm trees and offers endless ocean views.
You’ll be able to watch the sun appear as if it is diving beneath the water, tinting the sky a gorgeous blend reds and oranges.
As the day draws to a close, you can also watch the lights from the amusement park of the Santa Monica Pier illuminate the unlit sky.
Address: Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (Near the corner of Palisades Ave)
Santa Monica Pier
Stand at the end of Santa Monica Pier, and you’ll practically feel like you are one with the ocean.
With only a body of water separating you from seeing the sun, you will be as close as you can get to the sunset. It’s an entrancing experience that will leave you speechless.
Address: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Venice Beach Boardwalk
South of Santa Monica Beach is the Venice Beach Boardwalk.
You can either stroll along the boardwalk, stand before the famous Venice sign, or stop by the skatepark for unique perspectives of the sunset.
Address: 1800 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291
The sunsets at the Venice Canals are phenomenal. Because the waters of the canals are so still, they reflect the sky like a mirror.
You’ll be watching two stunning LA sunsets at once!
Address: 200 Linnie Canal, Venice, CA 90291
Burton Chace Park
Located in Marina Del Rey’s seaside community is a gorgeous harbor and the favored Burton Chace Park.
This park is filled with many sights to see from its marina of boats teetering gently in the water to its adorable sea lions that enjoy sunbathing on the docks.
Grab a seat at one of the park’s benches to admire the brilliant sunset: it’s one of the best sunset views in Los Angeles!
Address: 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
The Best Sunset Spots Near Los Angeles: Short Road Trip Edition
These Southern California sunset spots will require you to venture just outside of L.A., but I promise they’re worth the drive!
Pacific Coast Highway
Like Mulholland Drive, the Pacific Coast Highway is a scenic drive that should be on everyone’s bucket list.
The entire Pacific Coast Highway will take many hours to drive, but you don’t have to drive the entire route to relish the sunset.
Go for a shortened road trip instead, and ride roughly 40 minutes from Santa Monica to Malibu. You’ll be in awe as you coast alongside cascading cliffs that drop into the shimmering sea.
Address: Start the route on Lincoln Blvd at the corner of Zanja St.
El Matador Beach
Located in Malibu, El Matador Beach will present you with unmatched views. Visitors come for its beautiful caves and sea stacks strewn across the sandy shore.
Sit back, relax, and watch the beams of light gleam upon the grand and glorious landforms right before the sun dips below the ocean.
Address: 32350 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
Manhattan Beach Pier
Just south of LAX airport sits the photogenic Manhattan Beach Pier. Like the Santa Monica Pier, this pier gives you the opportunity to stand above the ocean with a front-row view of the sunset.
This pier is less crowded since there aren’t any major attractions on the boardwalk so it’s the ideal tranquil setting for watching the sunset!
Address: 2 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Korean Friendship Bell
Further south of L.A. near Long Beach is the Korean Friendship Bell located in San Pedro.
This enormous, historic bell was donated in 1976 by the Republic of Korea to celebrate the two-hundredth anniversary of the U.S. independence, pay respect to veterans of the Korean War, and strengthen the friendship between the U.S. and South Korea.
This historic bell sits right along the waterfront, so you can admire both the beautiful history of this monument and the breathtaking ocean views during sundown.
Address: 3601 S Gaffey St, San Pedro, CA 90731
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Lianne Wong is a self-care aficionado and a writer at heart who loves to impart her expertise on lifestyle and travel topics. Lianne quit her 9-5 job in 2018 and moved to LA to begin her personal growth journey. Her mission is to help people overcome adversity and empower them to take action toward improving their well-being. She shares her personal stories and insights on how to navigate life in her blog.