Six American sunsets to take your breath away

Head to one of these coastal, desert or mountain spots and watch the sun sink over the horizon.

Hawaii sunset.
Hawaii sunset.

Mallory Square, Key West, Florida

Most nights in Key West are like a festival as people gather to celebrate the sun's passage beyond the horizon. The tradition of the sunsets anchoring the town's social scene dates back decades. Many people turn up early to watch street performers before dusk and applause and cheers mark the moment the sun sets in this southernmost point of the continental United States.

Butterfly Beach, Santa Barbara, California

One of the best west-facing beaches in the United States, Santa Barbara's Butterfly Beach also becomes packed with visitors when word goes round that conditions are right for a sublime sunset. Even better if dolphins are visiting the coastline at the same time.

Mount Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii

At 3050m high, Maui's Mt Haleakala is like a natural grandstand for witnessing spectacular sunsets. Because of the altitude, sunset watchers report seeing the sun's rays breaking through the clouds in such a way that they create a prism of golden lights.

Gay Head, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

With open skies on show at Gay Head, it's a prime spot to view unbroken sunset views. Sunset watchers say one of the best viewpoints is the historic Gay Head lighthouse, because there are no land forms to get in the way of the view of the sky and water.

Old Fort Marcy Park, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Thanks to its 2438m elevation, minimal light pollution and a choice of historic ruins serving as viewing platforms, sunsets in Santa Fe tend to be spectacular, with beautiful shows of reds, oranges and pinks splashed across the sky. One of the most popular viewpoints is Old Fort Marcy Park.

Sedona, Arizona

Already beautiful by day, the red rock formations in Sedona are even more magnificent as the sun sets and the golden light accentuates the desert colours.

- NZ Herald

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