Is there a more picturesque thing than watching the sun fall over the gorgeous NYC skyline? Although the iconic Manhattanhenge only happens a few times per year, there’s always breathtaking spots to catch the sun dip below the iconic skyscrapers of New York City. Bask in the warm, golden glow, and let the magical spectacle unfolds before your eyes. So, we asked you New Yorkers where the best places are to see hues of orange, pink, and purple. Check out the best places to watch a sunset in NYC below:
1. Top of the Rock Observation Deck
We start at one of NYC’s most famous observation decks, The Top of the Rock. Here, you can marvel at 360 degree views of the Manhattan skyline as you watch the sun set facing downtown. Their 70th floor viewing spot will have you seeing golden hues like never before.
2. The High Line
This elevated walkway and park in Chelsea is a beautiful spot to see the sunset. Walk along this converted railroad track-turned pedestrian path and you’ll be delighted to loads of wildflowers, public outdoor art, and of course, a stunning sunset view of New Jersey over the water.
3. Brooklyn Bridge Park
Brooklyn Bridge Park is arguably one of our favorite waterfront parks in NYC, especially for a sunset. The surrounding piers and pathways provide the perfect vantage points to capture a magical view of Downtown Manhattan. We recommend Pebble Beach in particular! Don’t forget to check out the surrounding DUMBO neighborhood after dark too!
4. Valentino Pier
Valentino Pier is so high on our list because it’s the closest you can get to watching the sun go down over the ocean. With the Statue of Liberty facing right towards you as the sun sets, you’ll probably never get a better picture. It’s located on Ferris Street between Coffey Sreet and Van Dyke Street in the neighborhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn.
5. Battery Park
Located on the southern most point of Manhattan, Battery Park offers unparalleled views of both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. You’ll get unobstrutced waterfront views of the sunset since you’re so downtown.
Grab a drink and enjoy the sunset at one of NYC’s gorgeous rooftop bars. Lounge on couches, sip on signature cocktails, and watch the sun fall over the horizon. Plus, there’s so many rooftop bars to pick from in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and beyond! Check out our favorite rooftop bars in NYC here.
7. Astoria Park
Astoria’s serene location along the East River makes it a great place to capture the magic of the evening sky. The Uptown views of the RFK Bridge and Upper Manhattan are something to truly behold! The park also has great walking paths and an outdoor pool if you want to do that before the sun sets.
8. East River Ferry
When we say it’s hard to beat a sunset on NYC waters…we mean it! Take the Staten Island Ferry or regular NYC Ferry during golden hour and be greeted to viewpoint of golden orange crashing on the waves. Or if you want to up the anti, book a sunset dinner cruise where you can enjoy a meal while you watch it.
9. Hunter’s Point
Hunter’s Point Park is in Long Island City and offers spectacular views of both the Manhattan skyline and the East River. Their walkways, piers, and promenade that stretches along the water provides plenty of spots to find a comfortable seat and enjoy the sunset.
10. Roosevelt Island Tram
If you’re looking for a unique sunset experience, do it by riding the Roosevelt Island Tram, which provides a scenic and elevated ride from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island. As you ascend, you can enjoy stunning aerial views of the East River, the Queensboro Bridge, and the surrounding cityscape. The best part? It’s only $2.75 to ride each way!
11. Coney Island
For beachfront sunset views, go to Coney Island where you can see the sun dip under the ocean horizon late at night. Spend the day on the beach and at the amusement park, and stick around til dusk to see the warm glow over the sand and ocean waves.
12. Gantry Plaza State Park
Gantry Plaza State Park’s waterfront promenade is one of our favorite spots to sit and relax during a sunset. The LIC waterfront park is right near the vintage Pepsi-Cola sign and restored gantry cranes. You can see the sunset over some of NYC’s most iconic buildings like the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and United Nations headquarters.
13. The Wharf in Rockaway
Many of our Secret NYC followers suggested The Wharf Bar & Grill and we absolutely have to agree! This restaurant in Rockaway, Queens has a lovely backyard deck where you can enjoy dinner while the sun kisses the horizon over the water!
14. Little Island
It’s not a secret why Little Island just won a 2023 Urban Land Institute (ULI) Americas Award for Excellence in Urban Open Space! This cute little island in Chelsea not only has tons of green space and fun activities happening, but it’s also great for sunset views! Since it’s on the West Side you’ll be able to see pretty great waterfront views of New Jersey and the water.
15. Governors Island
What makes Governors Island so serene for the sunset is that the entire island is mostly car-free! There are four man-made hills that offer elevated vantage points (we suggest The Outlook Hill), as well as waterfront restaurants, walkways, hammock areas and more! We also recommend camping at Governors Island so you can get the full effect!