Here in Monterey County, sunset is our favorite color. Whether you’re soaking in the day’s final rays on Carmel’s white sandy beach or overlooking the bountiful ag fields of the Salinas Valley, there’s a special place in Monterey County that is sure to be #instagramworthy. 

As they say, no two sunsets are alike, so make an effort to soak in Mother Nature’s nightly show at some of our favorite spots below. Be sure to report back and let us know of your favorites!

Carmel Beach, Carmel-by-the-Sea

For the quintessential California sunset experience, grab Fido and head straight to dog-friendly Carmel Beach. The sunset brings out a reoccurring block party as locals and tourists comingle around beach fires with passed s’mores and dinner recommendations. The scene, fully framed by cypress trees and white sand beaches, makes for a memorable Kodak moment sure to make your Facebook friends jealous. 

Carmel Beach Sunset

River Road, Salinas Valley

Sip on a glass of Chardonnay or Pinot Noir at one of the many tasting rooms along the River Road Wine Trail as the day slowly fades away. The contrast between the lush vineyards, golden mountain range and a fiery sunset sky make it easy to see why John Steinbeck coined the area as “Pastures of Heaven.” Insider tip- Head to Paraiso Vineyards or Hahn Family Wines for sweeping views of the entire valley.

Salinas

Asilomar State Beach, Pacific Grove

Watch the brilliant hues of the sun glisten against the Pacific Ocean at Asilomar State Beach. Set along Ocean View Boulevard in Pacific Grove, there are plenty of places to watch the sun dip behind the horizon, including your car! Be sure to keep an eye out for local wildlife including adorable sea otters and migrating whales. And if you’re lucky, you may even catch the green flash! 

Sunset at Asilomar State Beach, Pacific Grove

Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach

Nothing pairs better with a sunset than a little background music and a glass of Monterey County wine. At The Inn at Spanish Bay you can achieve all of the above! Every evening the lone bagpiper plays traditional Scottish songs as he makes his way around The Links at Spanish Bay, a Scottish tradition. Grab a drink at the outdoor bar and gather around the fire pits to let it all sink in….

Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach

Pinnacles National Park, Soledad

Head inland and view the sun set just behind the high peaks at Pinnacles National Park. The massive rock spires turn a fiery orange as the light hits the formations just right. 

Marina State Beach, Marina

Enjoy a peaceful sunset at Marina State Beach where the sprawling coastline allows everyone to have a front row seat to this reoccurring show. You may even spot a hang glider or two as the breezy conditions make it a prime launching spot to soar above the shoreline.  

Dunes at Marina Sunset

McWay Falls, Big Sur

Experience a dramatic golden hour at McWay Falls where one of the only fresh waterfalls plummets 80 feet into the Pacific Ocean. The warm reflection of the sun’s rays beams off of the rocky cliff while the ocean below pops with a turquoise hue resembling a Hawaiian beach, making for a photo worthy moment that will look great on your living room wall.

McWay Falls at Sunset