From the National Geographic book Four Seasons of Travel
Halekulani Resort, Honolulu, Hawaii
It’s a Hawaiian classic. Take a seat on the veranda. Let the breeze coming off the water, a mai tai (a house specialty), and the music start to convince you that, somehow, you should live here. Forever. The sunset—which will likely match your drink—will finish the job.
Antelope Island State Park, Syracuse, Utah
Sunset blooms big around the Great Salt Lake’s largest island. Whether you’re standing near the causeway or pulling out your camera to catch the sunset behind the island’s namesake herd, you’ll feel surrounded by the evening’s big event.
New York Harbor, New York, New York
Lady Liberty looks just that much more elegant with the sunset at her back. Take it all in from the deck of a classic tall ship, the sails raised high and a glass of champagne in your hand. The views east dazzle as well, as the sun’s fading light reflects softly off the glass and steel skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan.
Key West, Florida
No town puts on a better sunset-related shindig than Key West. Every night, starting about two hours before the disappearing sun paints the sky, head to the waterfront for some shopping and food cart delights. Then, turn toward the Gulf of Mexico and watch the natural artwork break out.
Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
The park’s geographic range offers a million different sunsets. But, one mental snapshot: Imagine the park’s granite peaks and the glacial lakes below glowing pink. All around, spots of green moss send the blushing landscape into overdrive.
Oia Castle, Santorini, Greece
It’s just a giant postcard. As the sun starts to slip below into the Aegean Sea, the sky all around the traditional village and castle of Oia, on the very northern tip of the island of Santorini, gives itself over from the day’s magnificent blue to crimson to...every sunset color imaginable. Beware: It’s a popular spot. But once that color starts to break out, you won’t notice. It is breathtaking.
Clifton Beaches, Cape Town, South Africa
White sand. Aqua water. Brilliant sunset sky. There’s a reason Clifton is home to some of Cape Town’s wealthiest residents—that view. But a shuttle ride to the area—parking is dreadful—makes it easy to take in without the house payment. Head straight to one of Clifton’s four beaches. Take up temporary residence on a blanket and watch nature’s fireworks explode over the South Atlantic Ocean.
Kenting National Park, Hengchun Peninsula, Taiwan
High above Kenting’s western shore, this viewpoint on Taiwan’s southern tip looking out over the Taiwan Strait is, surprisingly, not one of the park’s most popular sights. For you, this is a good thing; you may end up with the sunset all to yourself. Keep an eye out for some of the park’s other natural beauties: thousands of varieties of tropical plants, birds, and butterflies.
Vairou Bay, Bora Bora, Tahiti
Park yourself on a deck at your resort. And just wait. As the sun meets the horizon, the world glows brilliant. Though the area’s hotels are all high-end—there’s a price to pay when you head to the quintessential tropical island paradise—the free evening show may be the best amenity of them all.
Uluru (Ayers Rock), Northern Territory, Australia
As the sun dips and the sky swirls through its color show, the sandstone of Uluru, a massive monolith rising 1,150 feet (350 m) from the plains of the Australian outback, glows red—nearly stealing the sky’s thunder. Before choosing a spot to watch the view, consider taking a hike around the sacred site. It’s farther than it looks—the rock is nearly 6 miles (10 km) in circumference.