Spectacular US Gulf Coast sunsets can be viewed from thousands of spots along the coastline between Key West Florida and South Padre Texas. We have selected sixteen of our favorite places to watch sunsets along the US Gulf Coast.
For all of these destinations, seeing a sunset from the water is a common option. Sunset dolphin cruises, sunset sails, or other boat trips are great ways to experience spectacular Gulf Coast sunsets.
Where to See Fantastic Florida Gulf Coast Sunsets
Key West Sunset Spots
The nightly sunset celebration is one of the most fun things to do in Key West. Street performers entertain hundreds of people in and around Mallory Square. The two nearest islands visible from Mallory Square are Sunset Key and Wisteria Key and they add a nice element to sunset photos.
Places to Watch Sunset in Naples Florida
Many people walk out on the Naples Pier for sunsets and I will do that sometimes also. But I usually enjoy finding a place on Naples Beach, as you can see in this photo. I like how the pier adds perspective to this sunset scene.
Speaking of perspective, I loved how the trees framed the sunset in this shot from Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park.
Try one of our favorite Naples FL restaurants.
Captiva Island Sunset Spot
Most of Captiva Island and much of Sanibel Island have unobstructed beaches for watching spectacular US Gulf Coast sunsets. One of our favorite Florida Gulf Coast sunset spots is at South Seas at the northern end of Captiva. For a special treat, reserve the champagne and s’mores sunset treatment from South Seas.
Siesta Key Sunsets
The Siesta Key sunset drum circle is a super popular and interesting celebration and everyone should experience it at least one time.
But Siesta Key beaches are also usually packed with people maximizing their beach daylight hours, enjoying walks, or celebrating sunset in their own way.
See also our favorite Things to Do in Sarasota.
Anna Maria Island Sunsets
Seven miles of Anna Maria Island beaches—from Bean Point to Beer Can Island at the edge of Longboat Key—provide countless amazing sunset spots.
One of our favorite Florida sunset celebrations is in front of Beach Bistro. Definitely more subdued than Key West or Siesta Key, sunset celebrants here usually toast the end of the day with glasses of bubbly.
See also our Best Places to Watch AMI Sunsets
Clearwater Beach / Indian Rocks Beach Sunsets
Much of the Clearwater Beach—including Sand Key—is lined with huge condo buildings and the beaches can be really crowded during sunsets. For a quieter alternative, head a few miles south to the mostly residential Indian Rocks Beach.
One of the most fun things to do in Indian Rocks Beach is to savor scintillating Gulf Coast sunsets. Nearly every street in Indian Rocks Beach has a convenient beach entrance, most with free public parking spaces.
Tarpon Springs Sunsets
A local favorite Florida Gulf Coast sunset spot is the aptly-named Sunset Beach in Tarpon Springs. Sunset Beach park has a sand volleyball court, playground, picnic areas and grills, and a platform area to watch sunsets.
US Gulf Coast Travel tip: Arrive early because the Sunset Beach parking lot fills up and there is nowhere close to park.
Cape San Blas Sunsets
How about this scene for a convenient Gulf Coast sunset spot? The Cape San Blas peninsula is one of the only spots along the Florida Panhandle that faces directly west.
This small parking area is along the breakwater rock wall just after Cape San Blas Road turns north. Or about four miles from where Cape San Blas Road (aka route 30E) turns off of scenic highway 30A.
Cape Bras is one of our favorite Florida Hidden Gems.
Pensacola Beach Sunset
The colorful neon sign at the bridge entrance advertises Pensacola Beaches as the world’s whitest beaches. Some of the whitest, cleanest, and emptiest US Gulf Coast beaches are in the Fort Pickens area of the Gulf Islands National Seashore.
Other Panhandle Florida Gulf Coast Sunset Spots
Countless other beach and coastal spots along the Florida Panhandle can offer amazing sunset views. Even when the sunset is mostly over land, the colors over the Gulf of Mexico can be outstanding.
Navarre Pier and Panama City Beach pier are two places where sunset lovers can walk out over the water for amazing sunset scenes.
Other suggested sunset spots to try include St Andrews State Park (the south end of Panama City Beach), Laguna Beach (the north end of PCB), Grayton Beach State Park, and the fishing piers and overwater causeways between Apalachicola and St George Island.
See also our article Best Florida Panhandle Beaches
Gulf Coast Sunset Scenes in Alabama
One of the most memorable things to do in Gulf Shores is to take a break and head to the wide, soft beach to celebrate the end of another brilliant Gulf Coast day. Visitors staying in waterfront condos can stroll right down to the beach.
Another option is to visit the fabulous Gulf State Park. Watch a glorious Gulf Coast sunset from their two miles of beaches, their pier, or, pictured below, the terrace at Perch.
A great place to stay in Gulf Shores is the eco-resort, The Lodge at Gulf State Park.
Coastal Mississippi Sunsets
Coastal Mississippi has 62 miles along the Gulf of Mexico so there are thousands of places to savor sensational sunsets with your honey, friends, family, or self.
One of my favorite ever Gulf Coast sunsets is this one from Ocean Springs. Whatever Mississippi magic occurred to create these magnificent sunset colors, I want more of it.
This photo was taken from the small beach at the Ocean Springs Pier, next to the Biloxi Bay Bridge. This special place is one of my favorite Coastal Mississippi hidden gems.
On the other side of the Biloxi Bay Bridge is a favorite sunset viewing location for Ocean Springs locals. There is plentiful parking along Front Beach so stop, stroll, and savor.
Believe it or not, this wonderful Gulf Coast sunset scene is from the Beau Rivage parking garage. You never know where you will see a magnificent sunset so always be ready.
Louisiana Gulf Coast Sunsets
There are only a few true beaches along the Louisiana Coast. Most Louisiana Gulf Coast sunset spots are going to be inland but that allows for some creativity.
Sunsets over Lake Pontchartrain from the Louisiana Northern are often brilliant. A particularly nice way to see spectacular Louisiana sunsets is from the water. One fun place to kayak is from the Louisiana Northshore side.
And on the other side of Lake Pontchartrain, the Bucktown Marsh Boardwalk in Metairie makes a nice backdrop for Louisiana sunsets. The Bucktown Boardwalk is a short Day Trip From New Orleans.
Texas Gulf Coast Sunsets
Since the Texas coastline faces east, it is the best Gulf Coast place for sunRISE. But here are but two of hundreds of fun Gulf Coast sunrise spots.
An Osprey Cruise sunset cruise is one of the most memorable and fun things to do in South Padre. I love this sunset scene across Laguna Madre Bay from one of their sailings.
Departing on a Carnival Journeys cruise, I captured this Gulf Coast sunset over Galveston. While here, create your own Texas Gulf Coast sunset memory by taking a boat tour.
Your Favorite US Gulf Coast Sunset Spots
Let us know your favorite places to watch Gulf Coast sunsets.