Southern California is known for its vibrant and colorful sunsets. Even the locals will stop what they’re doing to admire the reds, oranges and fuchsias that streak across the sky nearly every night. If you’ve never witnessed the beauty of a descending sun in Orange County, treat yourself to a front row seat at one of these local hangouts and let the light show begin.
Huntington Beach Pier
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
This popular and historic pier in Huntington Beach is located at the end of Main Street past Pacific Coast Highway. Located in what’s called the surfing capital of the world, this pier is an iconic part of the robust beach culture in Orange County. Families come here to celebrate the end to a beautiful day and couples visit to immerse themselves in the romantic atmosphere. Take a lazy stroll across 1,850 feet of pier and enjoy the sun as it majestically sets into the horizon.
Crystal Cove State Park
8471 N. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
There’s something exclusive about this 3.2-mile stretch of beach in Laguna Beach that makes the sunset glow even brighter for those who wait for it. Whether you’re watching from the hilltops or perched on a rock in one of the coves, these natural and peaceful shorelines provide the picture-perfect sunsets writers and painters dream of. Watch the flocks of seabirds fly into the sun while you walk barefoot in the sand. Listen to the lull of crashing waves while enjoying a memorable meal at the charming Beachcomber Café. No matter how you choose to spend your last few moments of daylight in Crystal Cove, you’re sure to be mesmerized by the sunset that overlooks it all.
Related: Best Public Beaches In Orange County
Dana Point Harbor
33282 Golden Lantern
Dana Point, CA 92629
The sunset is just one of many attractions that beckons visitors to Dana Point Harbor each night. Once the sun goes down, the harbor lights up with life at the many restaurants and bars in the area. No matter what time of year, there’s always something to enjoy on the harbor. Boat festivals, coastal cruises, art shows and concerts are just a few of the activities you can wrap around your sunset-viewing experience.
Javier’s Cantina and Grill
7832 E. Pacific Coast Highway
Newport Beach, CA 92657
Imagine sipping on a margarita while taking in a panoramic view of a brilliant sunset over the Pacific Ocean. You can do this at Javier’s in Newport Beach where diners enjoy authentic Mexican food in an upscale, oceanside setting. Watch the sun dip below the horizon while feasting on Javier’s famous crab enchiladas and bottomless tortilla chips. The ambiance and specialty drinks are worth the drive from anywhere in Orange County.
Cruise Newport Beach
400 Main St.
Newport Beach, CA 92661
Get close and personal with the sunset on a harbor cruise in Newport Beach. These 1.5-hour cruises through the Newport Bay are both romantic and relaxing. Sip on a margarita while taking in the salty ocean air. Find out why Southern California is famous for its sunsets when you watch both sky and ocean light up with color. Enjoy other sights along the Bay such as 20 miles of waterfront estates and hundreds of yachts and sailing ships. Tickets start at $25 and give you access to an incredible evening.
Truc Dever is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.