Everything’s bigger in Texas and the sunsets are no exception. Big views and beautiful backdrops combine to create picturesque scenes as the sun fades on the horizon. The diversity in landscapes and ecosystems offers a wide variety of views and some of the most breathtaking sunsets you will find anywhere.
While there are a ton of wonderful sunset locations in Texas, viewing right in Rockport is about as good as it gets. In fact, many Texans travel to Rockport specifically for the spectacular sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico. The small town vibe, easy public beach access and big water views make it the perfect place for an evening picnic as the sun sets. The Rockport public beach is an easy choice but the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is also worth considering. You can camp at one of the developed refuge campsites and watch the birds and other wildlife as the sun dips behind the bay. Numerous beachfront rentals are available in Rockport and sunset views are possible from a large number of locations.
State and National Parks
Some of the best sunsets occur because they have unobstructed views and a scenic landscape. In the incredible state parks of Texas, you will not find high rise buildings or sounds of traffic interrupting the perfect sunset. Lake Tawakoni State Park offers some of the best sunset views over freshwater but the list of state parks is seemingly endless. You can bask in the last hour of light while swimming in the Guadalupe River or hiking up a remote trail. Watch the sunset on the border at Big Bend National Park where the Rio Grande flows through steep canyons rugged desert country.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is hard to beat for sunsets highlighting a mountain landscape for the last hour of daylight. Numerous picnic areas and easy access viewing spots are available within the park. If you really want a big view however, hike up Guadalupe Peak and watch the sun drop from the highest point in the entire state. The peak sits at 8,751 feet and it requires a full day to hike the 8.4 mile round-trip trail. Navigation is simple as the trail is well defined but exposed cliff faces are present. Be extra cautious when hiking down the trail in low light conditions.
The desert is a special landscape and a large portion of Texas is filled with scrub brush, arroyos and big desert views. Palo Duro Canyon is located just outside of Amarillo and it offers some incredible sunset views. The canyon itself is large and you can take a nature hike, explore the desert landscape and listen to coyotes howling as the night approaches. It’s a truly magical place with excellent access and facilities.
El Paso is also a desert wonderland where color sunsets and unique cloud formations over the desert are not uncommon. Simply viewing from the city is possible but taking a drive to the city limits where the unnatural lights fade away means you can watch the sunset and stick around for some stargazing after dark. Hiking in the Franklin Mountains State Park is another option for some serious desert sunsets near El Paso. The park has 100-miles of trails making it possible to find solitude and a perfect place for a magical desert sunset.
The big cities are not off limits when it comes to evening views. Head to Mount Bonnell in Austin for a sweeping view of the entire city. As the highest point in Austin, it offers amazing 360-degree views. You will see the Austin skyline, the hill country and the river corridor. The trail is short at a third mile but the climb is steep. You can also begin the walk downtown and make it just over a mile to the top. Consider catching a sunset then walk downtown for breweries, dinner and some live music.
Dallas has the aptly named Sunset Bay on White Rock Lake for evening jaunts. Located just north of the Tenison Park Golf Course, the lake is convenient to the city. Sitting at sunset bay however feels like being far away from the city as the lake is serene and peaceful. Also consider a side trip to the arboretum and botanical gardens on the lake shore when visiting this area. Garland Road is used to access the 70-acre grounds. The gardens also have a venue for live music and outdoor gatherings and events are not uncommon here.