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15 Fantastic Sunrise and Sunset Photos

In the #ExpediaChat Twitter travel chat last week, Rick Griffin (a chat host) and other fun travel friends were sharing beautiful sunrise and sunset photos. I tweeted a few of my photos and, of course, everyone was in awe of my photos and said they were the best (wink wink).

Anyway, I joked we should have our own sunrise/sunset photos Twitter chat; any suggestions for a name? Rick was quick with the trigger and published an article a couple of days ago with some of his favorite sunrise and sunset photos.

Well, inspired by Rick, others, and just because sunrise and sunset photos are awesome, I scoured my photo collection and extracted a dozen (plus three) that I love. I started with 60 so it was quite a chore narrowing down to only 15.

All of these photos were taken by me and with my smartphone at the time. If you love the photo, credit the beautiful setting.

15 Fantastic Sunrise and Sunset Photos


sunrise and sunset photos: Sunset Beach, Tarpon Springs, Florida

sunset from Sunset Beach, Tarpon Springs, Florida

This is the most recent photo from this collection of 15 photos. On my road trip between South Florida and Northern Virginia that I mentioned in an article last week, my friends (the Murrays) took me to this spectacular location called Sunset Park in Tarpon Springs, Florida. I would say I was there on a pretty good night.

sunrise and sunset photos: White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

sunrise at White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

Many years ago, on a road trip between Long Beach, California and El Paso, Texas, my final major stop was White Sands National Monument in Alamogordo, New Mexico. I made sure to get up before sunrise one morning to take the above picture.

sunrise and sunset photos: Captiva Island, Florida

sunset on Captiva Island, Florida

While my children were playing in the sand on Captiva Island, I snuck away for a second to take the above sunset photo. I was happy to capture two birds in the scene.

sunrise and sunset photos: Lake of the Woods, Virginia

sunset at Lake of the Woods, Virginia

After a brilliant Memorial Day weekend dinner with friends, they took us for an end of the day boat ride. I like the sunset with the calm and churning water.

sunrise and sunset photos: Duck beach, Outer Banks, North Carolina

sunrise at Duck beach, Outer Banks, North Carolina

This is one of my favorite travel photos. We took family trips to a beach house in Duck, North Carolina (Outer Banks) for nearly 20 years. At least one morning each trip, I tried to wake up around 5:30 to watch the sunrise.

sunrise and sunset photos: Duck, Outer Banks, North Carolina

sunset from Duck, Outer Banks, North Carolina

While sunrises at Outer Banks are spectacular, occasionally there are also amazing sunsets. The island is only a mile wide where Duck is and the above scene is looking over the Currituck Sound.

sunrise and sunset photos: Duck beach, Outer Banks, North Carolina

sunrise from Duck beach, Outer Banks, North Carolina

Well, after all of those years of taking sunrise photos at the Outer Banks, I can fill several articles. I absolutely love this celestial special effect but I promise you that this and all of my photos have no filters. Just plain ole regular pictures.

sunrise and sunset photos: Key West, Florida

sunset from Key West, Florida

Key West sunsets are classic. This was taken from the Mallory Square area, where there is a sunset celebration every night.

sunrise and sunset photos: Negril, Jamaica

sunset from Negril, Jamaica

With my stank little iPhone several years ago, I had to zoom in (maximum) to make this boat and the sun appear fairly normal. Although the resolution is lower and not crystal clear, I love how the picture looks.

sunrise and sunset photos: Blacksburg, Virginia

sunrise near Blacksburg, Virginia

During my stay at Beliveau Estate, near Blacksburg, Virginia, early morning after a nice evening thunderstorm provided the above mystical scene.

sunrise and sunset photos: Lanikai Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

sunset from Lanikai Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

This photo was probably taken with the first iPhone model, it is so old. I would love to return to Lanikai Beach in Hawaii to see more sunsets.

sunrise and sunset photos: St, John, USVI

sunset from St, John, USVI

We were lucky to have this view from our vacation rental in St. John and I was thrilled to capture this sunset photo one night.

sunrise and sunset photos: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

sunrise in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

I just love the above photo. What earth-shattering idea did this person have to cause this solar explosion?

sunrise and sunset photos: Capitol Island, Maine

sunset from Capitol Island, Maine

I took a break from eating lobster (most likely) to snap the above lovely shot of a small harbor in Boothbay area of Maine.

sunrise and sunset photos: somewhere in the world

sunset somewhere in the world

Finally, I had to include one picture from a plane. I love this one because the clouds look like a bed of lava or the surface of Mars.


Do you have a favorite sunrise or sunset photo? Where did you see it? If the photo is online, provide a link in your comment so that we can all enjoy it.

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15 Fantastic sunrise and sunset photos taken by Charles McCool of McCool Travel from various locations around and even above the world.

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32 Responses to “15 Fantastic Sunrise and Sunset Photos”

  1. Heidi Siefkas August 11, 2017 at 8:33 am #

    I’ve been chasing sunrises and sunsets on all of my adventures. Here’s one of my favorites taken in Cienfuegos, Cuba: https://www.instagram.com/p/BSb5E7PAUV1/?taken-by=heidisiefkas

  2. Elena December 16, 2016 at 1:39 pm #

    Beautiful photos of American (mostly) sunsets. There are so many great spots for sunset chasing in the US. I am glad that Duck Beach made the list. We spent so many memorable vacations there in the past.
    Incidentally, I just published a selection of our favorite sunsets that we found around the world in 2016. Makes interesting comparison.

    • McCool Travel December 16, 2016 at 4:25 pm #

      Hey, you are right? Mostly US. Do other countries have sunsets? 😀 I guess I should get out more. So glad you know about Duck. Such a great place. Love your sunset article!

  3. MoreTimeToTravel (@MoreTime2Travel) August 28, 2016 at 10:38 pm #

    What fantastic photos, indeed. Sunrises and sunsets are irresistible to photographers~

  4. Donna Janke August 24, 2016 at 12:07 am #

    These are beautiful. I thought I’d picked a favourite, but then kept scrolling down and found several more favourites. There is something relaxing and hopeful about sunrises and sunsets.

    • McCool Travel August 24, 2016 at 10:43 am #

      Relaxing and hopeful. I like that. Thank you, Donna.

  5. judiboomergirl August 23, 2016 at 6:26 pm #

    These sunset photos are all beautiful. I don’t think I can even pick a favorite.

    • McCool Travel August 24, 2016 at 10:43 am #

      Thank you for checking them out, Judi. Where was your favorite sunrise or sunset?

  6. Carolina Colborn August 22, 2016 at 7:32 pm #

    Thanks. I loved the Duck Beach sunrise and the Key West sunset!. My favorite photo is sunrise at Benalmadena, Spain in Costa del Sol.

  7. mumjd August 22, 2016 at 3:59 pm #

    Lovely photos. There is hope for me yet, if you can do these with a phone

    • McCool Travel August 22, 2016 at 8:25 pm #

      Yes, phone pictures. Not the latest smartphone either. I can definitely see that these pictures are not very sharp.

  8. Noel Morata August 22, 2016 at 2:58 pm #

    I love all the different colors and locations, each one so completely different than the other.

  9. Carole Terwilliger Meyers August 22, 2016 at 1:54 pm #

    What a nice grouping of sunrise and sunset images! My favorite is “sunrise from Duck beach, Outer Banks, North Carolina.”

    • McCool Travel August 22, 2016 at 8:29 pm #

      Thank you. That is one of the pictures I use on my biz cards.

  10. Wendy August 22, 2016 at 10:35 am #

    Love your sunrise and sunset photos. The one most interesting because it has different textures caused by boat wake is Lake of the Woods, Virginia

    • McCool Travel August 22, 2016 at 8:30 pm #

      I like that one, also, Wendy. Thank you. Well, I like them all. 😀

  11. The GypsyNesters August 22, 2016 at 10:00 am #

    Who doesn’t love looking at, and taking, pictures of sunsets? I’d vote for the sunset from Duck.

  12. travelnwrite August 21, 2016 at 10:59 pm #

    Hard to pick a favorite time of day: sunrise or sunset. . .you’ve capture both very well in this series of shots! Nice post.

  13. Bon-Bon August 16, 2016 at 11:21 pm #

    I am a sucker o sunset photos:) Here’ a beautiful one taken at Mountain View, Arkansas:) http://bon-bonvoyage.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_5337.jpg

  14. Sara Broers (@TravelWithSara) August 10, 2016 at 8:34 pm #

    Absolutely stunning! These photos are fantastic.

  15. Kaylene Chadwell August 9, 2016 at 12:31 pm #

    Beautiful photos! Sunset/Sunrise photos always end up being my favorite travel shots!

  16. Duke Stewart August 8, 2016 at 9:21 am #

    Pretty epic looking sunsets, my friend. I can’t wait to get out to OBX and see a view like you shared from Duck Beach.

    To answer your question, I’d say our favorite sunsets came from Thailand (Koh Chang) and sunrise in Korea (Naksan Beach).

    • McCool Travel August 8, 2016 at 9:35 am #

      I bet Thailand and Korea are magnificent. Parts of the world I need to explore more. I look forward to reading your OBX articles: “Duke Does Duck!”

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