If you are anything like me, then you are always looking to catch a good sunset wherever you are, regardless of the day of the week. I’ve been chasing sunsets for quite a while now and have accrued a list of favorite spots that have become my regulars depending on the area I’m in. Seattle might be known for its murkiness and rain, but our spectacular sunny days and incredible sunsets easily make up for all the gloom. With all that said, here’s a list of my favorite spots to catch a sunset in Seattle and its outskirts.
In the city
1. Dr. Jose Rizal Park
A unique skyline of Seattle. It offers a great view of downtown Seattle as well as Elliot Bay. I personally enjoy walking along the bridge above the freeway and watching the sunset above the traffic.
2. Kerry Park.
Definitely a classic. In my opinion, it offers one of the best views of the Space Needle and the Seattle skyline. For anyone who is visiting Seattle, this place is a must-see, preferably around dusk so you can witness the city light up.
3. Alki Beach.
Another classic. Alki is the Venice Beach of Seattle. It provides a classic view of the Seattle skyline and the mountains. It also offers sandy beaches, volleyball nets, fire pits and a long boardwalk for bicycling, jogging, skating, etc. There are also plenty of shops, restaurants, and coffee shops along the strip. One of the most spectacular sunsets I’ve ever seen was at Alki Beach.
4. Golden Gardens
A beautiful, soft, sandy beach, which is a rarity in Seattle. It offers great views of the Puget Sound, short trails, BBQ areas with picnic tables, volleyball nets, and fire pits for bonfires on the beach. All in all, it’s a perfect place to catch a sunset.
5. Pier 62/63 – Pier 66
When in this area, I recommend going for a stroll from Pier 62/63 to Pier 66 to catch a sunset. These piers offer a unique view of the city, the Ferris Wheel, Mt. Rainier, Elliot Bay and the Olympics.
6. Gas Works Park
One of my favorite parks in Seattle. It offers an impressive view of the Seattle skyline over Lake Union, plenty of space for roaming around, a huge area for picnics, and a big parking lot. It’s fun to watch the Seattle skyline light up as the sun is going down.
7. Columbia Tower: Sky View Observatory
Columbia Tower offers probably one of the most iconic views of Seattle. For those visiting Seattle, I’d recommend skipping the Space Needle and coming here instead, especially if you are on a budget. I love coming here right as the sun is beginning to set to enjoy the 360 degree view of the city, the surrounding bay, and the mountains.
8. Carkeek Park
Definitely another favorite of mine. There is so much to see! Carkeek offers wonderful views of the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains, a variety of trails, lots of picnic tables, large grassy area, a lovely “piano keys” crosswalk, and train tracks right along the beach. It’s a great park to visit regardless of the time of day, but everything is just better in the lighting of a warm sunset.
9. Discovery Park
A beautiful place to escape the city and touristy areas on a nice day. It offers many beautiful trails and a lovely lighthouse. The breathtaking views visible along the stretch of the beach include the Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains and Mt. Rainier. One thing to keep in mind is that the park might be a little hard to find, and with no parking available by the beach, be prepared to walk for about 20-30 minutes. I recommend taking the Loop Trail, which will take you straight to the lighthouse.
10. Lake Union Park
A lovely park located at the end of South Lake Union neighborhood. It offers a great view of the lake and Space Needle, a fountain, large grassy areas, boating docks and even a Museum of History & Industry. I’ve enjoyed a few beautiful sunsets here.
Outside the city
11. Chism Beach Park
If by any chance you find yourself in the Bellevue area wondering where you could watch a sunset, this is the place you are looking for. It’s tucked away among one of the many peaceful neighborhoods of Bellevue. It offers multiple nature trails, a sandy beach, a swimming area, a small dock, picnic tables, and a large parking lot. When I used to work in Bellevue, I’d always drive down here to catch a sunset.
12. Marina Park
One of my favorite Eastside sunset spots, even though it’s a bit small. I just love the docks and the serene atmosphere of this park, especially at sunset. It offers a paved promenade, many benches, interesting statues, and a large gazebo. It’s a perfect place to come for an evening stroll after enjoying a dinner in downtown Kirkland.
13. Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park
One of the best places to watch a sunset in the Renton area. It’s located on the southern tip of Lake Washington and it is absolutely beautiful all year round. It offers a swimming beach, many walking paths, boat launch, picnic shelters, playground, volleyball nets and tennis courts. If you’re hankering for a bite to eat, Ivar’s Seafood Bar and Kidd Valley are located inside the park along with a dock and tables on the water.
14. Ed Munro Seahurst Park
One of my favorite beaches for watching the sunset south of Seattle. It’s a hidden gem of a park in Burien that is also conveniently located about 15 minutes from Seatac Airport. It offers a long walking trail, picnic tables and shelters, a small kids playground, a saltwater beach, and a great view of the peninsula, which is perfect for sunset watching.
15. Salt Water State Park
A pretty small state park, but it’s a great place to unwind after a long day and watch the sun sink under the hills. You will need a Discovery Pass to get in. It offers picnic tables, shelters, a small playground, fire pits, and a rocky coastline.
16. Des Moines Beach Park
One of my all-time favorite places for sunsets. Probably because it’s only 15 minutes away from my house. It offers a great view of Puget Sound, a long pier, a picnic area, nature trails, and lots of free parking. I especially love coming here during the low tide.
17. Redondo Beach
Great little beach. It’s perfect for catching a sunset if you’re in the area. It offers a lovely boardwalk (that is currently under construction), a fishing dock, a few benches and underwater diving lines.
18. Dash Point State Park
A beautiful waterfront state park. It offers a great view of the Puget Sound, a campground, nature trails, a nice sandy beach area, and picnic tables. Come here on a nice day to enjoy a beautiful sunset.
19. Titlow Park
A nice little park to watch the sunset if you are in the area. This park offers a short trail that leads straight to the beach, a gorgeous view of the Sound and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, a kid’s playground, picnic tables, and benches.
20. Point Defiance Park (Owen Beach)
Point Defiance is hands down my favorite place to watch the sunset in the Tacoma area. It’s a huge, well taken care of park with many little trails, several beaches, picnic areas, flower gardens, a zoo, and an aquarium.
So there you have it, folks! As the autumn creeps up on us, you can be sure that you will not have a shortage of places to catch one of our infamous and breathtaking Pacific Northwest sunsets. Let me know your thoughts and any great experiences you might have had at any of these places in the comments below. So grab some grub and a couple good friends, and head off to watch the sinking sun in all its glory.