Best Places to See the Sunset in New York City

New York City is the ultimate concrete jungle so it’s not the first place you might think of for natural wonders. But the city that never sleeps is surprisingly a great place to catch the sunset! There’s something about that golden glow on the buildings and the evening light reflecting in the many panes of glass on skyscrapers that’s truly special.

Whether you’ll be taking a long trip in NYC or just passing through La Guardia on a quick one-nighter, you should try to catch at least one sunset in the city. We’ve rounded up some of the best places to catch it from.

The Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge spans the East River, so since the sun sets in the West, it’s probably not the first place you would think to catch a sunset. And while it’s true you won’t see the sun slipping below the horizon from the bridge, what you do see might be even better. From your vantage point, the sun will be setting right behind Manhattan, so you’ll see the skyline silhouetted against an explosion of color.

To get onto the Brooklyn Bridge, you’ll need to go to either City Hall in Lower Manhattan or to Borough Hall just outside of Downtown Brooklyn. There’s a mile-long path that goes across the top tier of the bridge (above vehicle traffic) for bikes and pedestrians. Make sure you stay on the appropriately marked path and don’t drift into the bike lane! It can get very crowded on nice days, but less so in the evenings, which is another reason to go at sunset.

Top of the Rock

Since NYC has so many tall buildings, it helps to view a sunset from up high. At the Top of the Rock Observation Deck, you’re treated to breath-taking views any time of day. But sunset is a truly spectacular time for 360˚ views of the sky and city while the sun sets behind the Empire State Building. You can get tickets here.

Coney Island

If you’re a fan of watching sunsets from the beach (and who isn’t?) you’re going to want to make sure to catch a sunset from Coney Island. While the angle means that you won’t see the sun dropping below the water, you’ll still get to enjoy all the pretty colors reflecting on the ocean. Coney Island is a fun place to be in the afternoon and evening, too. Make a day of it by hitting the beach, strolling the boardwalk, and grabbing a hotdog from Nathan’s Famous for dinner.

Manhattanhenge

This one is a bonus, because it doesn’t happen every night. For just a couple of magical nights a year, the Earth is aligned so that the sunset falls in line with Manhattan’s grid. This means if you’re on any numbered street that follows the grid – such as 42nd street – you will see the sun setting at the end of the road when you look to the West! If you’re planning a trip to Manhattan this month, you’re in luck, because Manhattanhenge is occurring over Memorial Day Weekend.

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