Experiencing a sunset is a perfect way to end any day, especially while holding someone you love. As the daylight hours dwindle to their final few minutes, we find ourselves stopping and looking west, hoping to see true natural beauty expanding out to the horizon. For many residents of Clatsop County, catching a sunset means looking over the mighty Pacific Ocean or the always beautiful Columbia River. While it is true that there is no bad spot to see a sunset, there are some that are more breathtaking than others. In good weather, with just the right amount of clouds, consider heading to one of the following destinations to view a gorgeous sunset and have a perfect evening with your special someone.
Picturesque and always a stunning sight, the Astoria-Megler Bridge is the first in our list of don’t miss sunset destinations. Anywhere along the Astoria Riverwalk has incredible views, but our favorite spot for a sunset is found by the Buoy Beer Company, as it is close enough to the bridge, while still far enough back to have a great view of the river. Known as the 6th Street Viewing Platform, the views found here are second to none. Plus, after watching the sun plunge below the horizon, you can walk a few feet east and taste some delicious brews and dine on fantastic foods at Buoy Beer Company. This walk and stop is a great romantic getaway for the evening, letting you take in the very best of Astoria along the Columbia.
Astoria’s sunset locations aren’t limited to just one location. High above the town, overlooking the entire region, the Astoria Column makes for a stunning sunset scene. This location is best for late fall, winter and early spring sunsets, as the tower itself closes at 7:00 p.m. Standing tall, 125 feet above Coxcomb Hill, the 92-year-old concrete and steel tower has a stunning panorama. Overlooking the entire town, as well as the shipping lanes and mouth of the Columbia River, you’ll be in awe as you watch the final moments of sunlight vanish to the east. It is hard to imagine any greater full panorama than from the top of the tower at sunset, as you’ll feel like you can almost touch the colorful clouds overhead.
South of Astoria, the always breathtaking and wonderful coastal destination of Cannon Beach is a no-brainer for majestic sunsets. While any stretch of the beach is going to be absolutely gorgeous when the weather works out for a sunset, the one common theme of your sunset watching will more than likely be Haystack Rock. Standing 235 feet above the tide pools and waves, Haystack Rock makes even the most drab sunsets seem spectacular. What makes this location perfect for a romantic sunsets is that when the monolithic rock is basking in the glorious colors of sunset, you are just a short walk away from an incredible selection of dining options. We suggest dining at Newmans at 988, as the cuisine and setting compliments the sunset you just watched.
Ecola State Park
Just north of Cannon Beach, Ecola State Park makes for another incredible place to see the sun drop below the rolling tides. Hiking the trails during the pre-twilight hours, you’ll find yourself standing at an overlook with sea stacks and crashing waves beneath you, while the sky illuminates in impossibly beautiful colors above. If you do explore this Oregon State Park at sunset, remember to hike with a headlamp and extra batteries, as the trails get dark quickly after sunset. After seeing the splendor of sunset here, enjoy a date at Castaways, which serves incredible Caribbean, Cajun, Creole and seafood dishes. It will be a perfect place to warm up, as well as recount your sunset moments over wine or beer.
On the southern end of Clatsop County, far from the tourist destinations and larger cities of the region, Hug Point provides a perfect slice of relative solitude for incredible sunsets. Sure, you’ll probably be there with a few other people in the summer months, but everyone is there for the same reason. With incredible sea stacks and even a waterfall, Hug Point is the perfect place to sit on the beach with your special someone and enjoy the grandeur of the Pacific Ocean. As eagles, seagulls and pelicans soar above you, witness fantastic colors erupting through the sky. We suggest heading north after sunset to Pelican Brewing, where you can dine on great food and taste incredible beers.
Fort Stevens Jetty Observation Tower
Finally, if all of these sunset destinations have been visited, one more great place to watch a sunset along the coast is found at the observation tower at Fort Stevens. While some will say taking in a sunset at Fort Stevens is best at the shipwreck of the Peter Iredale, we suggest walking to the observation tower and seeing the breathtaking last rays of light over the mouth of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean. Seeing a sunset over both bodies of water is the perfect complement to living or visiting the region, as both waterways play an important role shaping life in Clatsop County.