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The Most Spectacular Sunset from Every State

From Alabama to Wyoming, these photos show how uniquely beautiful the sunset is in every part of America.

Wiltser/Getty Images

Nothing like a sunset

What’s happening during a sunset is really pretty straightforward. The sun is lowering beneath the horizon (or at least appears to be since it’s actually Earth that’s moving!), making the sky change colors, often enhanced by the pattern of clouds. Despite that, though, you can’t deny that a sunset is one of the most incredible sights out there—no matter how many you’ve already seen. And somehow, every sunset manages to be different! Here’s what readers of our sister brand, Country magazine, have to say about where to spot the most beautiful sunsets in their home state. Plus, get a look at some of the most colorful natural features on the planet.

AlabamaCountry/Courtesy Hollie Cartledge

Alabama

“Sunrise over beautiful Dauphin Island, Alabama. Dauphin Island is a barrier island on the Alabama Gulf Coast. The Gulf of Mexico is to the island’s south with the Mississippi Sound and Mobile Bay to the north. Dauphin Island is home to the Audubon Bird Sanctuary and is the first landfall for many species of birds migrating north from South America. One of Alabama’s best secrets, this beautiful island is home to pristine white sand beaches and historic Fort Gaines.” — Hollie Cartledge. Did you know about these other stunning islands you can visit without leaving the country?

Alaska

Alaska

My wife and I run a remote lodge, and during the tourist season, there is non stop work for both of us. One of our simple pleasures during the long summers in the Alaskan wilderness; is to get out in the kayaks and watch the sunset. One evening as we were soaking in the view we were joined by a common loon; it made for a stunning picture and the perfect end to a busy day. I chose this picture because it always reminds me to find a few moments of peace in the middle of life’s busyness.— Joseph Bramante

Arizona

Arizona

“While in Arizona visiting a friend, we went hiking one night, hoping for a pretty sunset to photograph. We both were very happy with this beautiful scene we were blessed with.” — Katherine Plessner. Don’t miss these 12 secret features hidden in America’s national parks.

ArkansasCountry/Courtesy Darla Young

Arkansas

“This is Petit Jean Mountain (also known as Stout’s Point) in Morriton, Arkansas. I chose this image because it’s my favorite place to sit and enjoy the scenery of the farmland and Arkansas River below. The rocks add a fantastic foreground and wonderful seating as well. You can see for miles and see the most powerful storms form and pass just south of the point. It’s my go-to place for any season.” — Darla Young 

Silhouette of a surfer at sunset in front of the Huntington Beach Pier in CaliforniaLori Labrecque/Shutterstock

California

The sun sets behind the pier in Huntington Beach, California, a popular destination for surfers on a summer evening. Here’s where to find the 50 best beaches in the world.

ColoradoCountry/Courtesy Kimberly Weninger

Colorado

“This photo represents summer clouds on our farm in northwestern Colorado. The skies out here are simply the most amazing after stormy weather and seem to engulf people and animals alike. I couldn’t live anywhere else than wide open rural Colorado!” — Kimberly Weninger. These 30 photos will make you fall in love with country life.

New Haven Light House at Lighthouse Point Park After Sunset. The Lighthouse is dark today, but the tower remains, greeting ships from around the world to New Haven.Jay Yuan/Shutterstock

Connecticut

The New Haven Lighthouse stands at the shores of the Long Island Sound at sunset, waiting to greet ships off the coast. Here are some more photos of beautiful lighthouses to visit from coast to coast.

Sunset over the backwater in DelawareDervin Witmer/Shutterstock

Delaware

This photo shows a stunning sunset over the backwater in Delaware. 

Sunset on Pine Lake, Florida Everglades NPBoris Z./Shutterstock

Florida

The sunset creates a picturesque reflection on Pine Lake, in the wetlands of Florida’s Everglades National Park. Check out some more stunning photos taken in America’s national parks.

GeorgiaCountry/Courtesy Shaye Cobb

Georgia

“My kids and I were heading down to the chicken coop when I noticed all these swallows on the power lines. I couldn’t help but stop and capture the moment. The tops of our sorghum cane and Rocky Top Mountain in the background made for a beautiful backdrop. It truly shows how nature and humans coexist.” — Shaye Cobb. Get a laugh from these funny and adorable things kids have said about nature.

Hawaiian sunsetGalyna Andrushko/Shutterstock

Hawaii

Hawaii is the most western state in the United States, so it witnesses the last sunsets in America every day, complete with perfect beaches and palm trees outlining the spectacle. 

IdahoCountry/Courtesy Jim Parker

Idaho

“I live in the Bear Lake Valley in southeast Idaho. Last winter was a hard, long one for us. This photo was taken in January just before the snow kept coming and got deep enough to cover the fences. This morning it was well below zero. Fog in the mornings was very common. I was going down the road to check on some of the neighboring ranches. The sun was just peeking through the clouds and lingering fog. The old fences were standing as a sentinel, almost as if to say ‘We can make another winter together.’ And we did.” — Jim Parker. Get a look at some incredible photos of national parks covered in snow.

Chicago Skyline on a Summer EveningMatt Doehring/Shutterstock

Illinois

Seen here from the waves of Lake Michigan, the Chicago skyline sits at the center of an incredible sunset. 

IndianaCountry/Courtesy Brenda Donat

Indiana

“July 26, 2009. Huntington County, Indiana. Near Bippus. I had been in Huntington visiting with friends. On my way home, I decided to drive down “memory lane.” As a child, we lived out in the country on a dirt road and I was trying to locate it. I did. Not only did I find the old farmhouse that we lived in, the bonus photos for the day were due to an incoming thunderstorm.” — Brenda Donat. Do you know how your home state got its name?

KentuckyCountry/Courtesy Juanita Jones

Kentucky

“I love capturing reflections! I was on my way home from my cousin’s house and crossed a small bridge over the river in Glensboro, KY and noticed the sunset reflecting in the river. Luckily I had my camera with me to capture this beautiful sight.  After I got closer to home the sunset became brighter and I realized I should’ve stayed around just 15 minutes longer as I imagined it would have been even more beautiful.” — Juanita Jones

A brilliant sunset reflects in the wetland landscape of the Louisiana bayou. Here’s a hidden gem in every state you probably didn’t know about.

MaineCountry/Courtesy Rachel Lovejoy

Maine

“A few years ago, I had the great privilege of moving to an apartment that overlooked a small body of fresh water in the southern Maine town of Lyman known as Wadleigh Pond. My landlady, who eventually became a friend, invited me on several boat rides the first summer I was there. It was then that I learned the best sunsets to be seen anywhere are those that are over a body of water with the presence of clouds. Without clouds, the setting sun’s light has nothing to bounce off of. And over a pond, such as this one, the sunset’s magnificent colors are reflected in the water. So, in essence, you see not one, but two sunsets—one a mirror image of the other. I no longer live there, but I continue to enjoy the beauty that I found there, including sunsets such as this one, through the many photos I took of that place. But even without them, the memory of my time there will remain forever with me.” — Rachel Lovejoy

A sailboat on the Chesapeake bay in Maryland at sunsetLone Wolf Photography/Shutterstock

Maryland

In Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, boats sail amid a spectacular sunset. Find out where to find the most beautiful waterfall in every state.

Nauset Lighthouse purple sunset in Cape Cod-MassachusettsMircea Costina/Shutterstock

Massachusetts

Purple clouds distinguish this sunset scene at Nauset Lighthouse in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

A Beautiful Sunset At The Grand Haven South Pierhead Lighthouse, Michigan, USADoug Lemke/Shutterstock

Michigan

A lighthouse and pier in Grand Haven, Michigan, sets the scene in front of a beautiful sunset over Lake Michigan. Not every state has the ocean, but thanks to lakes, we still found the best beach in every state!

MinnesotaCountry/Courtesy Gwen Jones

Minnesota

“While visiting a friend in St. Paul, Minnesota this summer, we were treated to a spectacular show as the sun set, with front-row seats on my friend’s fourth-floor balcony. This photo is the fourth in a series of photos that depict the clouds backlit by the setting sun, and becoming progressively more and more red, until finally culminating in this fiery climax just before darkness descended. Good show with good friends—who could ask for more?” — Gwen Jones. Here are our choices for the nicest place in all 50 states.

Biloxi Pier at Sunsetgmeland/Shutterstock

Mississippi

This photo shows Mississippi’s Biloxi Pier extending into the Gulf of Mexico at sunset. This is the most historic landmark in every state.

MissouriCountry/Courtesy Pat O'Neal

Missouri

“We were visiting some friends in rural Missouri. This was the sunset scene across the road from their home.” — Pat O’Neal

MontanaCountry/Courtesy Bob Wirth

Montana

Cactus flowers help this springtime sunset shine in the Nevada desert. Don’t miss the most stunning desert escapes around the country

New HampshireCountry/Courtesy Lydia Williams

New Hampshire

“The gorgeous sunset on the hay wagon on Wagon Hill in Durham, NH was a beautiful eye catcher. In the winter, children sled down the hill. But this summer sight was so spectacular.” — Lydia Williams

New JerseyCountry/Courtesy Janet Klecz

New Jersey

“This is the vast salt marsh estuary that makes up a large part of the south Jersey topography. It teems with life; mammals, shellfish, and birds. Butterflies, lightning bugs, and frogs. Fish, turtles, and snakes. I captured this photo just between sunset and the rise of the transparent new sugar moon. It is a full briny smelling flood tide, with no breeze at all. This was a very tranquil moment. The entire marsh begins to sing, as unseen creatures awaken to compose new music in the moonlight.” — Janet Klecz. Here’s where to find the most scenic nature getaway in every state.

The Red Rocks area of northern New Mexico is home to some of the most marvelous sunsets in the state.

Country/Courtesy Marisa Wiedl

New York

“This photo was shot after a major rain storm this summer. The landscape can change very quickly in upstate New York as summer storms move in, but the good news is they end with lots of rainbows.” — Marisa Wiedl. Here are some more beautiful photos of rainbows that will instantly brighten your day.

North CarolinaCountry/Courtesy Heidi Saunders

North Carolina

“Last Friday night was really chilly and the sky was cloudy! So we decided to take a drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway to Water Rock Knob! Twenty minutes later and several degrees colder, the sun was slowly going down and providing a gorgeous show for all to see! Since my new telephoto lens had not come yet, I used my cell phone to capture a few shots! It was a truly perfect evening!” — Heidi Saunders

“I chose this image because this is taken out in rural North Dakota, known for its wheat fields; it also is known for its beauty in sunflowers as well as its sunsets, and I had the opportunity to capture them both in this beautiful image.” — Carmel Meier Hardison. Do you know which state is nicknamed The Sunflower State? (It’s not North Dakota!) Here’s how every state got its nickname.

Beautiful sunset over the Maumee river in northwest Ohio.Michael Shake/Shutterstock

Ohio

“Beautiful sunset over the Maumee River in northwest Ohio.”

OklahomaCountry/Courtesy Marshalene Wimer

Oklahoma

“Rupturing skies above a little country church in Fairview, Oklahoma made me think of the day we have to look forward to when Jesus will come back in the clouds above to come and take His children to Heaven. What a sight and what a day that will be! This was taken on 10-04-16 above our little country town as a dry line was moving through.” — Marshalene Wimer. This is the oldest historic town in every state.

OregonCountry/Courtesy Liz Watkins

Oregon

“On an evening bike ride, I noticed how beautiful the sky was as my daughter rode in front of me. We had to stop and breathe in the still air and capture the feeling in the last few minutes as the sun went down. These are the moments where I’m reminded to be thankful for the serenity of the great Oregon outdoors. It’s beautifully quiet yet intense, especially when you take the time to listen to the sunset.” — Liz Watkins

PennsylvaniaCountry/Courtesy Susan Grove

Pennsylvania

“Living in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania you have a front-row seat to history. Surrounded by the mountains, it is a beautiful place to visit at any time of the year. The last few years, fields of sorghum have been planted on parts of the battlefield, and they put on quite a show as they begin to acquire their rust-red fall color. On my way home from work one evening, I took a small detour so that I could capture one of the fields with the backdrop of the beautiful orange sunset behind the mountains.” — Susan Grove. Don’t miss some of America’s most stunning hiking trails to see more beautiful sunsets. 

Castle Hill Lighthouse after sunsetP Meybruck/Shutterstock

Rhode Island

The Castle Hill Lighthouse stands in Newport, Rhode Island, to greet ships headed for Providence by way of Narragansett Bay. 

South CarolinaCountry/Courtesy Mary Fosnow

South Carolina

“I have always enjoyed stepping outside with my camera around sunset. It’s my favorite time of day. The last moments are sunlight are magical to me. I have witnessed many breathtaking sunsets, with vivid shades of red and orange. But this particular evening, I was stopped in my tracks by the masterpiece in the sky. I was mesmerized by the brilliant hues, all uniting and blending in a perfect display. I live in South Carolina, a beautiful state. I savor the scenery around me as I go about my day. But that evening, I felt especially grateful and lucky to have witnessed such a splendid scene.” — Mary Fosnow. Here’s where to find the coolest secret location in every state.

South DakotaCountry/Courtesy Sherrie Kersting

South Dakota

TennesesseCountry/Courtesy Raymond Gobernatz

Tennessee

“Beautiful sunsets on Reelfoot Lake in West Tennessee are unbelievable. Wildlife is abundant. The color these sunsets provide are fantastic.” — Raymond Gobernatz. Check out these incredible photos of the world’s most amazing trees.

TexasCountry/Courtesy Susan Moore

Texas

Country/Courtesy Katherine Plessner

Utah

“On a visit to Bryce National Park on a spring day, it was almost a blizzard when we got there. The sun came out late in the day for some beautiful evening colors.” — Katherine Plessner. Travel back in time with the best vintage postcard from every state.

Sunset and Cruise in Lake Champlain, Burlington, Vermont, USAjiawangkun/Shutterstock

Vermont

Boats bask in the golden sunset on Lake Champlain near Burlington, Vermont. 

VirginiaCountry/Courtesy Austin King

Virginia

WashingtonCountry/Courtesy Tara Fritz

Washington

“This picture reminds me how the sky can be an ever-changing canvas. An evening stroll can turn into a masterpiece in the sky. The picture is taken in Washougal, Washington at the Columbia River looking towards Oregon. The beauty of the Pacific Northwest seems to never stop amazing me. The colors, sky, water, marsh grass all make this photo so beautiful.” — Tara Fritz

Setting sun behind the girders of the high arched New River Gorge bridge in West VirginiaSteve Heap/Shutterstock

West Virginia

The sun sets over the mountains of West Virginia, illuminating the New River Bridge. Here are some more beautiful pictures of America’s lesser-known bridges.

WisconsinCountry/Courtesy Gini Waltz

Wisconsin

“I could hardly get my camera fast enough when I saw the brilliant sunset over Deer Lake in northern Wisconsin where we have a cabin. I knew that the changing colors in the sky would soon be fading, so I hurried to capture its beauty from several different angles. At the same time as the sun was setting, my husband Jim was casting his fishing line out to try to bring in a bass or walleye. I like the way the silhouettes look against the setting sun.” — Gini Waltz

Snake River Overlook at Grand Teton National Park near Jackson, WyomingNagel Photography/Shutterstock
Wyoming

Clouds over Grand Teton National Park highlight the colors given off by the setting sun. Next, be sure to check out these jaw-dropping photos of the world’s most beautiful countries.

For more gorgeous photos, check out Country magazine.

Originally Published in Country