We have a saying that "bikes unlock cities" and this couldn't be more true with sunsets. On two wheels, sunsets seem more serendipitous, accessible, private and in places that you couldn't reach by a car, all of which makes you feel like a VIP. Here are our favorite 15 spots.
14. Seawall around Stanley Park, Vancouver
Stanley Park is a giant peninsula right next to downtown and the Seawall wraps around the entire thing, offering unprecedented views and beaches to take them in. The Seawall is only accessible by bike and foot and is separated between the two, which means not only are there no cars but you don't have to weave between people walking.
13. English Bay, Vancouver
On the way to or from Stanley Park, the Seawall meanders by English Bay Beach, another great oasis, although a little more crowded because of street parking nearby. Enjoy the convenience of rolling up to this theater and simply leaning your bike on a tree or the lawn.
12. North Avenue Beach, Chicago
North Beach has a finger like jetty that stretches way out into Lake Michigan and we recommend riding or walking out to the end to see the sky change colors behind Chicago's buildings. The Lakefront Path will take right to it!
11. Charles River Esplanade, Boston
Originally, the entire plot of land between Boston and the Charles River was owned by lady who, when she passed, gave it to the city under one condition, that it be for people, not cars. They did not honor her dying wish, but they did create the Esplanade. The Charles River Esplanade is a park running along most of the Boston side of the Charles. It encompasses the Community Boating house, several top-shelf playgrounds, countless serene park benches, and an endless string of great views. Because it is incredibly popular, and because it isn’t exclusively a bike path, you will need to exercise caution when passing the occasional clumps of slower moving foot traffic. It looks like a long stretch on the map, but in practice the smooth surfaces, the long straight lines with no stops, and the pretty view will cause it to go by quickly. Highlight: No cars for miles and miles.
10. Gasworks Park, Seattle
For Seattle's best sunset, many would point you to Golden Gardens for the traditional horizon view on the west coast, but we like Gasworks for its hills, skyline view, occasional seaplane landing, quiet and most importantly, how the sun plays off the post-industrial Gasworks.
9. Georgia Theatre's Rooftop, Athens GA
"After the Theatre burned to the ground in 2009, they rebuilt it but this time included a beautiful rooftop patio with food provided from their neighbor, The Branded Butcher. Nearly 360 views of downtown Athens make this a great spot to digest the day," Broad Collective. M-Sa 11:30am-11pm
8. Brooklyn Bridge, New York
This is a controversial choice as locals who bike avoid it like the plague because of mindless tourists (some with selfie sticks) who can't stick to their side of the divided line. BUT, if you go there in the off-season, like in Februrary, nobody is up there and the sunset view will take your breath away. Besides, the bridge was once the tallest building in America, which makes it so cool when compared to the now towering skyline.
7. Charleston Water Taxi, Charleston
The Charleston Water Taxi is takes passengers from downtown to Mount Pleasant, the suburb across the bay and they allow bikes! You can choose to make it a roundtrip by biking over the Ravenel Bridge and then returning on the taxi just in time to see the sun set behind downtown.
6. Picnic Point, Madison
I am unabashedly biased as Madison is my birth city, but Picnic Point is the best place to watch a sunset. Why? Where else can you bike onto a thin peninsula covered with old growth trees that extends into the middle of a HUGE lake, and when you arrive, a series of fire pits with grills and free wood supplied waits for you. And then there's the swimming beaches and views of the Capitol, campus and sunset. Unreal.
5. Sabo Bridge, Minneapolis
The Sabo Bridge is special because it's predominently for people biking connecting the major "bike highway", the Midtown Greenway. It's also a beautiful structure and gives people a great view of the skyline.
4. Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis
The Guthrie has got to be one of the best nooks in the city because locals don't even know about it. Enter the theatre at ground level and ask the receptionist how to get up to the outdoor viewing deck, which is totally free. There is seating to check out the Stone Arch Bridge, a bridge for biking and walking that spans the MIssissippi and was formerly a rail bridge for the grain industry.
3. Eastbank Esplanade, Portland
The Eastbank Esplanade is one of our favorite pieces of biking infrastructure and another spot where you get a "mobile sunset" that changes as you bike the length of the city.
2. Tidal Basin, Washington
The Tidal Basin is probably the most patriotic of sunset vistas on the list with so many monuments and memorials painting the foreground. Bike to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial for the best view.
1. Sunset Cliffs, San Diego
Captain Obvious with Sunset Cliffs as the name, but it's true! There is a separated harbor path connecting downtown San Diego almost all the way to the cliffs. Make sure to get there in advance of darkness because there is a lot explore!