There’s something truly remarkable about witnessing the sun dip into the Pacific at the end of a day in Malibu. Especially with the perfect setting to savor the spectacle. Whether you’re standing on a bluff or cozied up on a beach, there’s not a bad seat in the house. Even so, these six Malibu sunset spots hold unique magic that is worth the extra effort.

1. Point Dume Nature Preserve

Malibu sunset at Point Dume

An iconic spot to watch the sunset in Malibu, we’re starting our tour at Point Dume Nature Preserve, where a mile of hiking trails weave their way to a picturesque promontory. Park at the trailhead lot and hike a short way to the top of Point Dume. The path is suitable for all levels and rewards you with grand views of the ocean and Santa Monica Mountains. Gaze to the west to enjoy the pink-drenched vistas as the sun sets over the water. An insider tip from All Things Malibu: look for an overhanging rock that extends from the west facing side of the cliff for the perfect perch.

2. Encinal Canyon Road

The view of the sunset over the water at Encinal Canyon Road in Malibu

If you’re looking for an evening cruise, this spot is for you. We’ll start at the intersection of Encinal Canyon Road and Pacific Coast Highway, and drive north up the winding Encinal Canyon Road. There are plenty of viewpoints where you can pull over and watch the sunset. We suggest one that’s a mere 30 seconds past the intersection on your left. It’s plenty high enough to see the sun drop into the ocean. After a 4-mile drive up the road to Charmlee Wilderness Park, hikers will enjoy walking 20 minutes for a stunning overlook. If you’d rather stay in the car, drive 5 miles to the end of Encinal Canyon Road and turn around to perfectly time the sun setting on your 10-minute drive down the canyon.

3. Zuma Beach

people play in the water and on the sand at Zuma Beach

This list wouldn’t be complete without a Malibu sunset on the beach. Walk down from the cliffs to get eye level with the ocean at the popular Zuma Beach, just off the Pacific Coast Highway. Zuma is the quintessential Southern California beach, with its wide, 1.8-mile stretch of white sand, paved board walk, volleyball nets, and pastel blue lifeguard posts. It makes for the perfect setting to honor the end of a day. Simply look out to the ocean and watch the glowing globe disappear. Don’t forget a jacket or blanket, as the temperature drops at sunset.

4. Malibu Pier

A gorgeous sunset at Malibu Pier

The Malibu Pier, originally built in 1905, is a registered Point of Historical Interest and a spectacular place to watch a Malibu sunset. Make early dinner reservations at Malibu Farm Restaurant, located at the start of the pier, where you can feast on fresh fish and colorful vegetarian dishes on the outdoor patio. With its chic coastal vibes and magnificent view of the Pacific, you may be tempted to stay here. However, we suggest that you request the check and wander on for an evening stroll down the Malibu Pier. At the end of the boardwalk, watch the surfers below and say goodbye to another magical day in Southern California as the sky lights up in shades of pink.

5. El Matador State Beach

A pink malibu sunset at El Matador State Beach

While both offer stellar ocean views, this spot is in stark comparison with the soft beaches of Zuma. El Matador State Beach is a unique, geological wonder, complete with craggy rock formations, coastal caves, and a stunning sea arch that shines at sunset. Photographers especially appreciate El Matador State Beach as they strive to capture the fading light, contrasting dramatically against the dark rock formations and crashing waves. To get here, find a parking spot off Pacific Coast Highway (arriving early is recommended). Head to the overlook before walking down to the beach via a steep dirt path that transitions to stairs. Once on the beach, find a spot to lay out your blanket and get ready for the show. You shouldn’t have a problem finding space, as the limited parking prevents overcrowding.

6. Carbon Beach Club

A beautiful view and elegant dinner setting at Carbon Beach Club.

For an elegant end to the day, catch the Malibu sunset at Carbon Beach Club while dining on the oceanfront terrace. Sip on a cocktail from the award-winning barman or have our sommelier hand select a wine to pair with a locally-sourced, Mediterranean-inspired dish. Connected to the restaurant is Malibu Beach Inn, our luxury beachfront sanctuary and a splendid place to retire after a day well spent, if we may say so ourselves. To search for a reservation at Malibu Beach Inn, click here.