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Sunsets in Seattle: 6 Spectacular Horizon Views

Also known as the Emerald City, Seattle is one of the most popular North American travel destinations. Boasting thousands of acres of wide-open parklands and loads of cultural activities, Seattle is a prime travel spot.

Seattle’s famous vistas are comprised of a unique combination of natural and man-made wonders. From the magnificent mountain ranges in the distance to the ocean waters stretching into the harbor, Seattle’s views are downright majestic.

Of course, one can’t forget the iconic Space Needle, which stands proud and high no matter where you are in Seattle.

This article will cover all of the best places to watch the sunset in Seattle for those looking to spend a relaxing late afternoon drenched in beautiful sunset hues of gold, orange, and red.

seattle sunset seen from kerry park
Seattle sunset seen from Kerry Park

Best Time To Watch Sunsets In Seattle

If you’ve been to Seattle before, you’ll know that it rains there nearly 50% of the time, and sometimes more. This may not be an issue if you’re watching the sunset from indoors, but if you’re visiting the outdoor locations on this list, you’ll want to keep an eye on the weather forecast.

sunsets in seattle skyline

This section will break down the best times to see sunsets in Seattle, to help give you an idea of the best time of year to visit the Emerald City. The time of day of the sunset is also outlined in each section below.

This way, you’ll know exactly when you can see Seattle’s clearest sunsets.

Summer

Months: June – August

Summers in Seattle can be fickle, oscillating between cold and damp conditions, and warm sunny days. However, July is Seattle’s driest month, so this might be a good time to view sunsets unimpeded by rain.

seattle sunset

The sunsets are as late as 10 pm during the summer months! For a sunset trip that lasts hours and hours, summer in Seattle comes highly recommended.

The temperatures in summer average at about 76 degrees Fahrenheit, so you’ll find pleasant conditions most of the time.

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Fall

Months: September – November

September and October offer slightly cooler weather, which some may prefer. There is plenty of sunshine and little rain in September, but October marks the beginning of Seattle’s rainy season.

seattle-sunsets with space needle
The iconic Space Needle

The days shorten in fall, with sunsets occurring around 7 or 8 pm. Temperatures in Fall are around 50 degrees – 70 degrees Fahrenheit on average.

Winter

Months: December – February

Winter is the wettest season in Seattle, so unless you’re staying indoors, you might want to avoid the colder months. The rain is near-constant, and the city becomes very windy around this time.

seattle sunset view with harbour
seattle sunset view with harbour

In winter, Sunsets happen around 4:40 pm, making it difficult to see a nice sunset on a workday. Winter temperatures range between 30 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spring

Months: March – May

The sun starts to peak through the cloud in March, and spring gives way to warmer weather compared to the winter months. In particular, May is a beautiful month in Seattle as the flowers are in bloom and there is more sunshine than rain.

lake washington sunset
Lake Washington at Sunset

Temperatures in springtime average at about 60 degrees Fahrenheit with some light breezes and occasional rain.

⇒ Interested in heading to California? Check out my posts on Unique Restaurants in San Francisco, Things to do in Calistoga review of the great Solage Spa, visiting Yosemite in One Day, 10 Stunning Sunsets in California and in Yosemite in October and my guide to a Livermore Wine Tasting.

Best Places To See The Sunset In Seattle 

This list includes some fantastic lawns and parks to watch the sunset from, as well as some secluded trails and lookout points in Seattle. You’ll find everything you need below, from kid-friendly parks to romantic observation spots.

Kerry Park

seattle from kerry park 2
seattle from kerry park

Kerry Park offers a sweeping view of Seattle that shows off the best the city has to offer. You can see ships docking at Elliot Bay to your right and Mt. Rainier to your left, foregrounded by the impressive Seattle skyline.

With the iconic Space Needle right at the center of this impressive sight, it’s no wonder Kerry Park is a popular location for filmmakers. You’ll see this well-known viewpoint in movies like 10 Things I Hate About You, The Details, and A Guy Thing.

kerry-park-seattle
View from Kerry Park

You can find this sweet public park on the south side of Queen Anne Hill. There is a railing erected right at the hill’s precipice, so you can feel truly immersed in the brilliant view.

You’ll also find plenty of park benches, a small playground, and Changing Forma unique steel sculpture that frames the view behind it.

⇒ Love watching the sunsets and sunrises? Check out my posts on the 6 Places to watch Sunsets in Seattle, 7 Spots for Sedona Sunsets, 6 Sunrise in Paris Spots, 9 Spots to watch the Sunrise in London, 8 Places to watch Sunsets in Ibiza, 15 Places to watch Sunsets in London, Where to watch Santorini Sunsets and Where to find the best Sunsets in California.

Alki Beach

Another famous film location, Alki Beach features in the ‘90s rom-com classic Sleepless in Seattle. This charming waterfront neighborhood is the perfect place to spend a late afternoon in the summer.

alki beach seattle at sunset view
Alki Beach

The promenade along the seawall is a popular spot for a sunset walk, offering a long beach strip that reaches Elliot Bay. You can watch the sunset behind the hilly landscape over the water and watch the tugboats and ferries in the harbor as the city lights up at dusk.

Alki Beach Seattle
View from Alki Beach

Want to see Alki Beach from the water? You can take a breathtaking 3-hour cruise of the Seattle Harbor. This cruise starts at Seattle Waterfront, running along Elliot Bay and Alki Beach, and ending at the gorgeous Smith Tower’s port.

⇒ Heading to the East Coast of the US? Check out my posts on the best things to do in Lower Manhattan, the most instagrammable places to visit in Philadelphia, and great Philadelphia food tours, and the best coffee shops Baltimore has on offer, more fab Baltimore food tour options, Hotel Indigo Baltimore and some very Instagram worthy Baltimore attractions

Discovery Park

sunset at discovery park seattle
Discovery Park

If you’re looking for a little adventure with a huge pay-off, try out Discovery Park. This is a popular spot for first-time visitors and an excellent place to watch dusk settle over Seattle.

The largest city park in Seattle, Discovery Park spans over 500 acres and overlooks the beautiful waters of Puget Sound.

seattle sunset with cruise ship

If you drive thirty minutes outside of downtown Seattle, you’ll find the Discovery Park Visitor’s Center situated on Magnolia Bluff. From there, you can embark on a hike through the stunning Bluff meadows and forestry.

This area is abundant with wildlife and offers a 2-mile loop trail with panoramic views of the Sound at various spots.

lighthouse at discovery park seattle
lighthouse at discovery park

The trail ends on the bluff’s secluded rocky beaches, where you’ll see a sunset in view of the West Point Lighthouse. This is an attractive option if you’re looking to enjoy the sunset away from the city’s crowds and perhaps enjoy a quiet sunset picnic.

discovery-park-seattle
Discovery Park

Another fun way to reach the beach is on a Discovery Park electric bike tour. If you’re up for 15 miles through the meadows, this is a unique way to spend an afternoon. The tour will take you through Seattle’s waterfront and Discovery Park’s lush maze trails.

⇒ Looking for some travel inspiration? Check out my posts on the 15 North America Landmarks, Top Ten Famous Landmarks in the US, 11 Beautiful Canada Landmarks and the 20 Most Beautiful Cities in United States.

Gas Works Park

gas works park seattle at sunset
Gas Works Park

Gas Works Park is a unique Seattle gem and a family-friendly spot to watch the sun go down. Extending along Lake Union, this coal and oil gasification plant from the 1900s has been re-created into an urban park with distinctive charm.

Many of the original steel structures are still in place, making Gas Works Park one of the most visually exciting destinations in Seattle.

gasworks park seattle sunset
Gasworks Park

The sunset colors that hit the steel buildings at dusk give the park a brass twinkle simply incomparable to other North American city parks.

This park is more than kid-friendly, with a picnic shelter and play barn located on the impeccable lawns. You can also relax by the Lake Union shores and watch the locals fly kites.

The steam-punk originality of the park brings locals and tourists alike to the area, which also happens to be a National Historic Landmark.

gas-works-park-seattle
Gas Works Park

⇒ There is something about landmarks – I am always a bit awed when I get to see one! 16 Famous Landmarks in Europe You Must See, 12 Beautiful Spain Famous Landmarks, 11 Stunning Canada Landmarks, 15 North America Landmarks, 16 Australian Landmarks, Top 10 Famous Landmarks in the US, 21 Stunning Asia Landmarks, 10 Bridges in London Not to Miss, 20 Most Beautiful Cities in the World, 9 Picturesque Japan Landmarks and 11 Historic Greek Landmarks.

Sunset Hill Park

The best part about watching the sunset in Seattle is the city’s rich landscape, and Sunset Hill Park shows off its range of features.

Gaze at the Olympic Mountain Range and look out at the sailboats cruising along the bay below from Sunset Hill Park.

sunset hill park view seattle
Sunset Hill Park view

Expect to find strollers, joggers, and yoga-enthusiasts on the Sunset Hill Park pathways. This is a popular spot to watch the sunset, but the atmosphere is incredibly relaxing and low-key.

The salty sea air will surely put you at ease for a scenic and romantic view of the sunset colors.

mount rainier and seattle sea front
mount rainier and seattle sea front

The park has fresh-cut, vibrant, and manicured lawn grass, so don’t be afraid to take your picnic basket with you for a sunset vibe with friends.

You’ll also be able to see the Shilshole Bay Marina from this stunning panoramic viewpoint.

Sky View Observatory at Columbia Center

Over 900 feet in the air, on the 73rd floor of the Columbia Center, you’ll find the sensational panoramic views offered by the Sky View Observatory.

The observatory has high glass windows to peer out of, not to mention a bar on-site if you’d like to pair your sunset with a bottle of champagne.

columbia center seattle
Columbia Center

The 360-degree view from the observatory is the highest in the Pacific Northwest, from which you can spot the Space Needle, the harbor, and the entire city skyline.

You can also spot Bainbridge Island, Pike Place Market, and the Great Wheel from the Sky View Cafe.

columbia center seattle sunset
Columbia Center

Purchase a Sky View Observatory admission ticket online to skip the inevitably long queues at this popular sunset hotspot.

seattle rooftop sunset
Seattle at Sunset
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Final Thoughts

sunset in seattle over key roads
Sunset over downtown roads

Emerald City is a fascinating destination and well-liked spot for tourists, which means there are so many activities there to keep you busy.

However, one cannot discount the simple pleasure of watching the sun go down. Seattle’s landscape offers the perfect scenery for a picturesque sunset.

There are plenty of other great places to watch the sunset in the U.S. If you’re interested, check out the best places to watch sunsets in Sedona.

seattle skyline
seattle skyline

Who Paid for What in this Post?

I covered all of the costs associated with writing this Sunsets in Seattle post. However, this post does include affiliate links. That means if you click through and end up making a purchase I will receive a small commission. I wanted to make sure you were aware of this.

Watch my Sunsets in Seattle Web Story.

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