Around the World in 20 Stunning Sunsets

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END THE DAY RIGHT

Sunsets are the greatest free show on Earth, and no two are the same. It's not just colors, clouds, and lighting that make them distinctive. The location might imbue a sunset with romance, impart mystery, or add atmosphere to a party. Whether your objective is relaxation or connecting at the end of the day, visit these 20 spots around the globe for sunsets like no other.

LA PLANCHA, SEMINYAK, BALI, INDONESIA

Be sure to arrive at this quirky cafe on Seminyak Beach by 4 p.m. to snag one of the dozens of colorful beanbags scattered about. DJs spin background sounds while beachgoers enjoy tapas and cocktails as the sun sets.

PENSACOLA BEACH GULF PIER, PENSACOLA BEACH, FLORIDA

For $1.25, you can walk to the end of the Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier -- at 1,471 feet, one of the longest on the Gulf of Mexico -- for a sunset photo opportunity. Peer out over crystal-blue water at schools of colorful fish, stingrays, sea turtles, and dolphins.

STONEHENGE, WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND

Archaeologists are still figuring out this monument, built from 2600 to 2000 B.C. with giant stones brought from Wales. Visitors know for sure it's a beautiful and mysterious place to watch a sunset. Private tours let tourists enter the stone circle, normally roped off to the public, for 109 pounds (about $170).

NADAB LOOKOUT, UBIRR, KAKADU NATIONAL PARK, AUSTRALIA

Take the road to Ubirr within the East Alligator River region of Kakadu National Park in Australia's Northern Territory. Along the way, explore the dramatic landscape of sandstone pillars and Aboriginal rock art. Then head to Nadab Lookout on Ubirr Rock to see the sun dip below the verdant floodplain.

OIA, SANTORINI, GREECE

Everything about this famous volcanic island is beautiful, but the sunsets are truly stunning. When it's time to watch, visitors to Santorini hightail it to the town of Oia for the best view. Up on the cliffs or out on the Aegean Sea, the end-of-the-day show is even better.

POIPU BEACH, KAUAI, HAWAII

Poipu Beach, on Kauai's sunny south shore, is one of the best places in Hawaii to take in a postcard-perfect sunset. The beach stretches about a mile in a series of crescent shapes, so there are plenty of spots to sit back and watch the sun kiss the Pacific Ocean.

LOOKOUT POINT, KILLBEAR PROVINCIAL PARK, ONTARIO

Hike a forested trail to Lookout Point in Killbear Provincial Park, near Nobel, for spectacular sunsets. Rocky cliffs give way to waves hitting rock ridges below and a stunning view of Georgian Bay.

CALA BENIRRÁS, IBIZA, SPAIN

Cala Benirrás (or Benirrás Cove) is famous for its snorkeling and swimming, but the fun really starts at sunset. Enthusiastic bongo players "drum down the sunset" in a beautiful sheltered bay.

HUACACHINA, PERU

Located on an oasis in the Ica district, Huacachina is a surreal place to watch a Peruvian sunset. Walk to the top of a sand dune -- Huacachina has some of the largest in the world -- and marvel as the sun sets over the desert.

TABLE 8 AT YAMASHIRO RESTAURANT, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

This L.A. standby atop the Hollywood Hills has an amazing bird's-eye perspective of the city's sunsets. It even has a dedicated section dubbed the "Sunset Room," where couples vie for Table 8, the most coveted seat in the house.

HEADON WARREN, ISLE OF WIGHT, ENGLAND

For the best sunset view, gaze from the top of Headon Warren, at the westernmost point of the Isle of Wight, and take in the splendid vista of purple heather and the mainland. Off in the distance, the iconic Needles -- three stacks of chalk rising from the sea -- create a dramatic silhouette in the setting sun.

ZAMBEZI RIVER, ZAMBIA

Grab your camera and get ready to snap one of the most spectacular sunsets in Africa. On the Zambezi, the continent's fourth-longest river, wildlife such as hippos and elephants compete with the sun to steal the scene. Sunset cruises start at $50 a person.

KO LANTA, THAILAND

There are many beaches in Ko Lanta, in Krabi Province. Choose one, kick back, lie in the sand, and catch a bright pink light show on this low-key island. The farther south you go, the quieter the beaches will be.

NEGRIL, JAMAICA

Head to the eastern part of the island for consistently beautiful sunsets. (Even on cloudy, overcast days, they're still pretty outstanding.) Visitors swear by the view from Rick's Cafe, which has an unrivaled perspective from its West End cliffs location.

HVAR FORTRESS, CROATIA

Walk up a hill to the 16th-century fortress in Hvar right before sunset for a sweeping survey of the town, harbor, and surrounding Pakleni Islands. The uphill trek from town should take roughly 20 to 25 minutes, and it costs about $4 to enter the fortress.

MANILA BAY, PHILIPPINES

One of the most popular places to watch a sunset in Manila, the bay's boardwalk starts filling in late afternoon with locals, tourists, vendors, and photographers, all vying to capture the moment.

GAY HEAD CLIFFS, MARTHA'S VINEYARD, MASSACHUSETTS

Breathe deep and enjoy the view at the spot considered by many to be the most picturesque in Martha's Vineyard. Sunsets are fantastic enough, but don't forget to check out the cliffs banded with bright red, orange, and yellow layers.

CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA, CALIFORNIA

Carmel-by-the-Sea was named No. 1 in North America and No. 3 in the world in Travel and Leisure's 2014 rankings of the "World's Best Cities for Romance." Showy sunsets, an often uncrowded beach, and a laid-back vibe may have something to do with its charm.

COTTESLOE BEACH, PERTH, AUSTRALIA

Watch the sun sink into the Indian Ocean from this renowned beach in Perth. Clean, white sand and turquoise waters attract travelers, who linger on grassy lawns to soak up the brilliant glow.

FRANK BAY, ST. JOHN, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS

The sunsets dazzle from this Caribbean vantage point. Pack a cooler with beverages and grab a few beach chairs. Sit back, relax, and enjoy nature's vibrant show.