16 Sensational US Gulf Coast Sunset Spots

Spectacular US Gulf Coast sunsets can be viewed from thousands of spots along the coastline between Key West Florida and South Padre Texas. I have selected sixteen of my favorite places to watch sunsets along the US Gulf Coast.

For all of these destinations, seeing a sunset from on the water can be as common as from on the beach. 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.

sunset from Key West, Florida
sunset from Key West, Florida

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.

Gulf Coast sunset in Naples Florida
Gulf Coast sunset in Naples Florida

Speaking of perspective, I loved how the trees framed the sunset in this shot from Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park.

sunset from Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park in Naples FL
sunset from Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park in Naples FL

Try one of my 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 my 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.

sunset on Captiva Island, South Seas Island Resort
sunset on Captiva Island, 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.

Siesta Key beach sunset
Siesta Key beach sunset

See also my 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 my 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.

celebrate sunset at Beach Bistro on Anna Maria Island FL
celebrate sunset at Beach Bistro on Anna Maria Island FL

See also my 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.

Indian Rocks Beach sunset
Indian Rocks Beach sunset

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.

sunset from Sunset Beach, Tarpon Springs, Florida
sunset from Sunset Beach, Tarpon Springs, Florida

McCool 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.

park right along the water on Cape San Blas
Florida Gulf Coast sunset at Cape San Blas

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 my 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.

Gulf Coast sunset with crab
Fort Pickens beach sunset

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 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.

Gulf Coast sunset in Gulf Shores Alabama
Alabama sunset. Photo credit: Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism

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.

enjoy Gulf Coast sunsets at Gulf State Park
the terrace of Perch at 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.

catch a Coastal Mississippi sunset next to Biloxi Bay Bridge
catch a colorful Coastal Mississippi sunset

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.

sunset from Front Beach in Ocean Springs
Ocean Springs Coastal Mississippi sunset

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.

colorful Biloxi sunset from Beau Rivage

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.

colorful sunset over Lake Pontchartrain
sunset paddle with Bayou Adventure. Photo credit: LouisianaNorthshore.com

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.

Louisiana sunset at Bucktown Marsh Boardwalk
Bucktown Boardwalk at Sunset. Photo credit: Visit Jefferson Parish

Texas Gulf Coast Sunsets

colorful sunrise on Padre Island National Seashore
Padre Island National Seashore sunrise, photo credit: Padre Island Expeditions

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.

Texas Gulf Coast sunset under bridge
South Padre Island Texas sunset

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.

gorgeous US Gulf Coast sunset spots: Galveston Texas sunset
Texas Gulf Coast sunset over Galveston

Your Favorite US Gulf Coast Sunset Spots

Let me know your favorite places to watch Gulf Coast sunsets.

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