Since the sun sets in the west, many people believe that views of the sun on the U.S. East Coast are nothing spectacular; but there are many places for an awe-inspiring New York sunset or sunrise. Read through our of list of top New York sunset spots, then check the sun schedule, grab a camera and get out and discover some of nature’s most beautiful panoramic moments in New York State.
The best New York sunset spots
A trip to the Top of the Rock is a must-see attraction to make your visit to New York City complete. According to the website, there is no other vantage point in the city that offers such inspiring, clear views as the ones you’ll find atop 30 Rockefeller Plaza. See all of the prominent buildings that make up the NYC skyline and an expansive view of the entire island right from Midtown Manhattan. Although Top of the Rock opens at 8 a.m., an option is available to purchase a Sunrise/Sunset ticket to visit twice in one day. Be sure to be there at sundown for a view of the city like you’ve never seen before. Show your AAA card to save $3 on admission.
Brooklyn Bridge Park is an 85-acre waterfront park extending 1.3 miles along Brooklyn’s East River shore. From here, visitors can witness a breathtaking view of the sun’s activity over the magnificent Brooklyn Bridge. Make your way through the Brooklyn Heights Promenade early in the morning to catch the sunrise, or spend the day with your family at one of the park’s many piers, which offer a wide variety of recreational activities such as kayaking or the newly opened at Pier 2.
Coney Island is one of New York’s oldest and most popular family attractions. Whether you decide to arrive as the sun rises or stay in the area late enough to watch the sun set, the amusement park’s features like the enormous Wonder Wheel, provide a picturesque view for all park goers to enjoy. Sit on the beach or a bench on the boardwalk to take in the timeless Coney Island version of the perfect New York sunset or sunrise.
New York’s Fire Island is a 32-mile-long sandbar that sits 13 miles off the coast of Long Island. As far as a New York sunset goes, this one might take the cake. Not only did CBS News Travel Editor Peter Greenberg list it as one of the best for Forbes magazine, it is also a prime spot to watch awe-inspiring beach sunsets and sunrises. People travel to the only-accessible-by-ferry island throughout the summer for a laid-back getaway, just miles away from the city. As Greenberg put it, Fire Island is the Hamptons without the attitude.
The Staten Island Ferry will whisk you away into the New York City sunset as its background; even during rush hour, it’s hard not to be captivated by the view. For this movie-perfect experience, ride the Ferry just minutes before the allotted sunset and sunrise time and enjoy the view of Manhattan’s skyscrapers and other famous landmarks as you travel along the Upper and Lower New York Bay. Take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry and join the 20 million people that enjoy the free service each year.
When discussing New York City sunsets, Battery Park is bound to be mentioned for the beautiful scenery its location affords. With so many options for park-goers to sit and enjoy the waterfront view, Battery Park is a go-to destination to observe a sunset in New York. The benches located right near the water are perfect spots to watch the sky change color by the famous Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor.
When Senator William H. Reynolds first built the 3.5-mile Long Beach Boardwalk, he envisioned the start of a booming resort community. Over a century and a Great Depression later, Long Beach has transformed into a thriving and relaxing residential beach community. It has since become one of the most soothing and pricey beaches on the island, but many visitors have deemed the $12 admission ticket for the beach worthy of the experience. Witness the sun hide behind the Atlantic Ocean at night, and rise above the horizon at dawn. For a similar experience, visit the Jones Beach Boardwalk.
Long Island’s Sunken Meadow Park is widely known as a popular picnic park that welcomes millions of families a year and helps them share in some outdoor fun. Offering one of the most dazzling views of the Long Island Sound with Connecticut in the distance, the park’s landscape adds to the stunning sunrises and sunsets seen there. Three miles of beach meets a man-made dam that separates the park’s creek from the tidal flats. Visit the park for an all-day trip and stay to welcome in the evening as the sun sets behind the water.
For a trip a bit farther from the city, pack up your car and head to the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York to watch the sun rise over the lakes. The serenity and beauty of the mist floating above the water of the Adirondack’s many lakes makes for an unforgettable experience. The 8-hour drive will be worthwhile once you see the majestic mountains set against a backdrop of bright orange. Take some time off for a relaxing weekend journey to nature, sit back and just enjoy the scenery.
The peaceful Ontario Beach Park is found on the shore of Lake Ontario near the Irondequoit border, in the northernmost section of Rochester. The park is 39-acres long and attracts thousands of people with its picturesque beaches and countless activities. In the summer, they offer picnic areas, as well as free outdoor concerts and movies. There are plenty of places to stay the night, just be sure to wake up in time to walk over to the boardwalk to witness the sun just rising over the waters of Lake Ontario.
The Montauk Point Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in New York State. The National Historic Landmark has been a part of Long Island’s land and seascape for over 200 years. It still provides an active aid to navigation for ships and boats passing through the area, making it one of the oldest operating lighthouses in the country. The lighthouse is located at the easternmost tip of the island, and climbing to the top will provide you with an open view of the remarkable sunsets and sunrises that take place behind and around the Atlantic Ocean.
With a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline from across the Hudson River, Hamilton Park in Weehawken, New Jersey is the best location to watch the sun rise or set just outside of New York. There are benches, greenery and a beautiful lawn available for visitors for unwinding. For history buffs, the park is named after Alexander Hamilton who was shot and killed there on July 11, 1804 after losing a duel to Aaron Burr. The park features a statue of Hamilton, a large gazebo, basketball court, children’s playground, and tennis court.
The Town of Cape Vincent, New York, is the only town in the United States where you can enjoy both the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario at the same time. Visit Tibbett’s Point Lighthouse to view one of the most beautiful sunsets in New York State. If you are lucky enough you might be able to gaze at a ship using the St. Lawrence Seaway. While you’re there, enjoy the beautiful parks for recreation, fishing, picnics and relaxation. Cape Vincent is like taking a step back in time, and taking in the relaxing views will offer you the peace and tranquility we all search for during a vacation.
Where’s your favorite place to watch a New York sunset or sunrise? Tell us in the comments below!