Top 5 spots for Santa Monica sunsets

We don’t mean to brag, but sunsets in Santa Monica are kind of a big deal. Talk about a glow up as the sun dips into the Pacific Ocean and showers the city in shades of orange and pink. It’s nothing short of spectacular. And we’ve got the best places to watch them.

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1. Santa Monica Pier

Perhaps the most iconic attraction, the Santa Monica Pier provides panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. And as the sun sets, enjoy the lights of the pier twinkling in the blue light as Santa Monica comes alive with after-hours fun.

Need directions? Here’s the address: 200 Santa Monica Pier

Red, pink, purple and orange sunset over Santa Monica Pier and Santa Monica Beach

2. The Lobster

Talk about an icon. The Lobster has been hosting diners at its beachside location near the Santa Monica Pier since 1923, and it’s been named one of Santa Monica’s Michelin Plate Restaurants. Be sure to choose a reservation time that correlates with sunset, and you’ll be in for a full sensory experience.

Need directions? Here’s the address: 1602 Ocean Avenue

the lobster ocean view

3. Santa Monica Beach

Dig your toes in the sand and soak in the relaxing sounds of the waves washing up against the shore at Santa Monica Beach. Whether you want to bring a towel and sit in the moment or take a romantic stroll, the 3.5 mile long stretch of beach doesn’t have a bad angle at sunset.

Need directions? Head west until you hit the water. There are 8 parking lots and street parking all along the sand.

Santa Monica Beach at sunset; sky reflecting off of wet sand; purple, orange and yellow sky

4. Palisades Park

Grab your loved ones and go for a stroll through this 26-acre oceanside park with views of the Santa Monica Bay. You may even want to bring a charcuterie board and enjoy a snack at a picnic table as you watch the sunset. There’s also a rose garden, public art and more to discover along the way.

Need directions? Here’s the address: Ocean Avenue, between Colorado Avenue and Adelaide Drive

evening things to do

5. The Penthouse

Located on the 18th floor of the Huntley Santa Monica Beach hotel, this popular cocktail spot offers panoramic views at sunset. This upscale oasis features talented mixologists ready to serve up something spectacular like their Aperol Smash, Penthouse Sangria or the Grapefruit Superstar. And yes, they have mocktails, too. Be sure to make a reservation to ensure your spot.

Need directions? Here’s the address: 1111 2nd Street

Pastel sunset outside of full-wall windows in penthouse restaurant overlooking Santa Monica Beach and City of Santa Monica
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More good vibes in Santa Monica

There’s so much to see beyond sunsets. Check out more travel inspiration in our latest blog posts.

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