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Seacliff State Beach in Aptos
View from General Jim Moore Boulevard in Seaside
View from General Jim Moore Boulevard in Seaside (DAVID ROYAL)
IT'S NOT HARD TO FIND GOOD PLACES FOR SUNSET-WATCHING IN AND AROUND the Monterey Peninsula. It's more a question of how spectacular you want your view to be.

Ask 10 locals about their favorite places from which to watch the sun go down andyou'll get 10 different answers. If you are near the coast and looking to the west, especially if water is in sight, there will generally be superb viewing.

Some of the spots that just about everyone can agree on include Asilomar in Pacific Grove, the Point Sur Lighthouse in Big Sur, Point Lobos south of Carmel, and Moss Landing State Beach in the north part of Monterey County.

Some restaurants also have extra-special vistas.

Marina State Beach
Marina State Beach (Herald Archive)
Among the obvious are Best Western Beach Resort near Seaside, Mission Ranch in Carmel, Big Sur's Nepenthe, and Rocky Point Restaurant near Carmel.

Some sunset-viewing locations that are a little less obvious include Jacks Peak - a bit of a hike - as well as Los Laureles Grade between Highway 68 and Carmel Valley. And just about anywhere along the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail can be a contender.

And for a really spectacular view of the entire Monterey Bay, you have to go just outside of it. Take the long and winding drive up to Fremont Peak near San Juan Bautista, and you'll see the entire bay laid out before you like a shining jewel.

If you want to take your own sunset photos, it's not hard.


Look for days with clouds, which catch the light from the fading sun and reflect brilliant red and orange hues. And in general, winter is better than summer when it comes to finding those sky-filling cloud formations.

Learn more about the Monterey Bay area at