Top Places For

Watching Spectacular Sunsets

Watching a sunset is one of the simplest, most beautiful things to do outdoors. At these places scattered across the region, you can enjoy a spectacular sunset scene and appreciate some of the best views the Chesapeake has to offer.

Dazzling sunsets await you at places like Point Lookout State Park, Elk Neck State Park, and Kiptopeke State Park, where you can perch yourself at the edge of the water and watch the sky glow fiery pink and gold.

There’s lots to do at these great destinations, but at the end of the day, the sunset is the main attraction. Whether over the Bay, a river, or lush forested mountains, magnificent sundown views are yours to behold.

So grab your camera and soak up the view at the top places to watch spectacular sunsets!

Blue Ridge Parkway scene

Blue Ridge Parkway

A Blue Ridge Parkway experience is unlike any other, a slow-paced and relaxing drive revealing stunning long-range vistas and close-up views of the rugged mountains and pastoral landscapes of the Appalachian Highlands.

Asheville, NC,

Cape Charles Historic District

Cape Charles Historic District

With structures built between 1885 and 1920, Cape Charles has one of the largest concentrations of late-Victorian and turn-of-the-century buildings on the East Coast. Visitors come to Cape Charles to experience its history and architecture.

Cape Charles, VA

Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center

Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center

Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center is a 500 acre preserve located 15 minutes from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on Maryland's Eastern Shore. With a variety of habitats, the Center is an excellent place to see the Chesapeake's wintering assortment of waterfowl.

Grasonville, MD

Chickahominy Riverfront Park

Chickahominy Riverfront Park

This 140 acre park sits on the Chickahominy River near its confluence with the James River. The park provides a range of opportunities for recreation in a riverfront surrounding, including overnight camping, boating and fishing.

Williamsburg, VA

Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge

Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge

Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is a 2,285-acre island refuge at the confluence of the Chester River and the Chesapeake Bay on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It's an important migration stopover and wintering area for thousands of waterfowl.

Rock Hall, MD

Eastern Shore of Virginia NWR

Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge

The Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge, located at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, contains 1415 acres of maritime forest, myrtle and bayberry thickets, grasslands, and fresh and brackish ponds.

Cape Charles, VA

Hikers at Elk Neck State Park

Elk Neck State Park

Elk Neck State Park boasts 2,188 acres of sandy beaches, marshlands, and heavily wooded bluffs within the peninsula formed by the North East River, Elk River, and the Chesapeake Bay.

North East, MD

Footbridge to Beach at First Landing State Park

First Landing State Park

First Landing State Park is located near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay close to the spot where Captain John Smith landed in 1607. First Landing is Virginia's most popular state park with over a million visitors each year.

Virginia Beach, VA

Scenic Overlook View at Harper's Ferry National Historical Park

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park offers a variety of experiences for visitors. Whether you enjoy recreation or historical inquiry, a quiet stroll by the river or a guided program with a ranger, there are opportunities for everyone.

Harpers Ferry, WV

Kayaker at Janes Island State Park

Janes Island State Park

Janes Island State Park encompasses 2,900 acres of Chesapeake Bay marsh, beach, and highland. The park is dissected by many small waterways, with 30 miles of trails marked for canoes and kayaks.

Crisfield, MD

Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum

Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum

Exploring 12,000 years of Bay history along the Patuxent River on the Eastern Shore, including the War of 1812.

St. Leonard, MD

A marsh at Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary

Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary

Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, located near the mid-point of the Patuxent River, represents an important network of critical habitats of regional and national importance.

Lothian, MD

King's Landing Park

King’s Landing Park

King's Landing Park - 260 acres of hardwood bottom forest, river shoreline and wetlands - sits along the Patuxent River and Cocktown Creek. A 200-foot fishing pier and canoe and kayak launch provide access to the beauty of the Patuxent.

Huntingtown, MD

Sunrise at Kiptopeke State Park

Kiptopeke State Park

Kiptopeke State Park's location near the tip of the Chesapeake's Eastern Shore makes the park a prime location for bird-watching. Migrating birds congregate at this point on the Delmarva before moving on to breeding or wintering grounds.

Cape Charles, VA

Onancock Historic District and Town Wharf

Onancock Historic District and Town Wharf

Explored by Captain John Smith in 1607 and chartered in 1680, Onancock is one of King James' original 12 royal ports in Colonies. Today it remains a working port for watermen and waterborne commerce and recreational boaters.

Onancock, VA

Piscataway Park

Piscataway Park

Piscataway Park encompasses 5000 acres of open fields, dense forests, and wetlands along the Potomac River directly opposite Mt. Vernon, the land and home of George Washington.

Accokeek, MD

Point Lookout State Park

Point Lookout State Park

Once a prison camp for 52,000 confederate soldiers during the Civil War, Point Lookout State Park now serves as a peaceful place to enjoy recreational outings.

Scotland, MD

A beach on Savage Neck Dunes (Image courtesy: Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation)

Savage Neck Dunes Natural Area Preserve

Savage Neck Dunes Natural Area Preserve with its mile of Chesapeake Bay shoreline is special for its large bay-side dunes and associated plant communities.

Cape Charles, VA

Smallwood State Park

Smallwood State Park

Smallwood State Park, along a tributary of the Potomac River, offers a unique mix of historical significance and modern-day boating conveniences.

Marbury, MD

Scenic Overlook View at Sugarloaf Mountain

Sugarloaf Mountain

Sugarloaf Mountain has been designated a Registered Natural Landmark because of its geological interest and striking beauty.

Dickerson, MD

Susquehanna River from Susquehannock State Park

Susquehannock State Park

The 224-acre Susquehannock State Park is on a wooded plateau overlooking the Susquehanna River in southern Lancaster County. Besides the awesome view, the park offers a variety of recreational opportunities for year-round fun.

Drumore, PA

Man on Bicycle

Tangier History Museum and Interpretive Cultural Center

A living history museum of Tangier Island and its people who have worked with the island and water for over 250 years.

Tangier, VA

Biker at Terrapin Park

Terrapin Beach Park

Terrapin Park sits on 276 acres of Bay front land north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The park includes over 4,000 feet of shoreline and 73 acres of wetlands, making it a destination for nature and wildlife enthusiasts.

Stevensville, MD

A sunset at Westmoreland State Park

Westmoreland State Park

The park extends about one and a half miles along the Potomac River and offers hiking, camping, cabins, fishing, boating and swimming. Visitors can enjoy the park's vacation cabins as well as spectacular views of the Potomac.

Montross, VA

Hunters at Wye Island Natural Resource Management Area

Wye Island Natural Resource Management Area

Located in the tidal recesses of the Chesapeake Bay between the Wye River and the Wye East River, Wye Island offers 2,800 acres of habitat for wintering waterfowl populations and other native wildlife.

Queenstown, MD

February 13, 2017

Main image: Nahshon Forde, an operations assistant with the Anacostia Watershed Society, paddles in after helping with a free paddle night organized by the AWS at Kenilworth Park in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 23, 2014. (Image courtesy: Chesapeake Bay Program)
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