10 Places You Need to See the Sunset Before You Die

As displays of the earth’s awesome natural beauty go, sunsets are up there with the greatest things ever – right next to rainbows. They happen in every single country, every single day but there are few things in life as magic as catching a setting sun in the right place. But not all sunsets were created equal; from the urban to the wild, here are 10 amazing places to watch the sunset before you die. 

1. Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa

South African Tourism via Flickr

A safari vacation makes it onto a lot of people's bucket lists -- and while it usually makes the cut thanks to the animals, it doesn't hurt that safari sunsets are top-notch, too. Pilanesberg National Park makes for a great destination to see the fast, richly colorful sunsets that are particularly stunning as a result of South Africa’s close proximity to the equator. 

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2. Stonehenge, England

Fiona Cownie via Flickr

When it comes to beautiful sunsets, we’ll take ours accompanied by the earth energies that flow through the ancient ley lines at Britain’s Stonehenge. Though it's fenced off for the most part as a safety precaution, the Summer Solstice is the one night of the year when visitors can witness the sun set surrounded by the stones up close.  

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3. Manhattanhenge, New York City

Slgckgc via Flickr

If Stonehenge is too far to travel, then why not aim for New York’s urban equivalent at "Manhattanhenge," also known as Manhattan Solstice. On two days each year, the sun perfectly matches Manhattan’s street grid and offers a spectacular view of the sun sinking below the horizon. Watch from 34th Street for a particularly stunning spectacle.

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4. Machu Picchu's Inca Trail, Peru

Guy Vindigni via Flickr

For as long as the earth has been spinning, the sun has been setting; an obvious point, sure, but one that makes witnessing our fiery star fall from the sky along the primordial Inca Trail at Machu Picchu about as connected to the ancient paths as you can get without your own DeLorean -- with added Flux Capacitor, of course. 

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5. The Highlands, Scotland

John McSporran via Flickr

Whether it’s setting over mountains, glens, or lochs, the Scottish Highlands are one of the U.K.’s most awesome spots to see the show as the sun goes down. Plus, if you’re far enough north, there’s the bonus of the Northern Lights when night falls in winter.  

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6. Mission Range, Montana

Jeremy Weber via Flickr

Stretching 3,000 miles between Canada and the United States, the Rocky Mountains give you plenty of opportunity to find the perfect place to watch the sunset above them. Where better than "Big Sky Country" -- otherwise known as Montana -- to see some atmospheric refraction at its finest? 

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7. Goa, India

Satish Krishnamurthy via Flickr

Combining massive spiritual appeal and the life giver that is the sun, the Goa sunset is about the whole experience. It may be a Western tourist cliché, but the cultural melting pot is still a place to tick off your list. 

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8. Venice Beach, Los Angeles

Corey Harmon via Flickr

When it comes to the sun setting on the water you’ll want a west-facing beach to catch it sinking into the wavy horizon. Those lucky enough to live near Venice Beach, Los Angeles get the bonus of lifeguard towers and palm trees to complete the classic image that never gets old. 

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9. Mount Fuji, Japan

Midorisyu via Flickr

Ask a child to draw a mountain and they’ll probably draw what looks like Mount Fuji. The perfect Japanese peak is an amazing sight, made even greater with a red sky around it. 

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10. Rome, Italy

Raselased via Flickr

Rome’s stone pine trees are as iconic as the palm trees of California. As the sun sets, casting shadows through the branches, you can block out the modern world and draw even more of a sense of the ancient roots of the city. If you’re in Rome, a Tiber sunset with St. Peters backdrop is also a view you won’t forget in a hurry. 

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