A sunset is one of nature’s most vibrant displays of light that happens every single day. Whether you’re looking for a grand view, a change of light on the monuments or the reflective waters, these top five places are the perfect DC locations to watch the sun set.

Kennedy Center
2700 F St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20566
(202) 467-4600

The stunning and memorable Kennedy Center offers a large terrace atop its opulent white columns. The terrace is one of the largest rooftop areas in the Washington, DC region with plenty of space for all the sunset spectators to maintain unobstructed views of the sun setting in the horizon. While you wait for that moment when the lights begin moving through the prism spectrum, check out the views up and down the Potomac River of the monuments and nature while enjoying a nice beverage or dinner from the Terrace Restaurant or KC Café.

Southwest Waterfront
690 Water St. S.W.
Washington, DC 20024

Tucked into the southernmost tip of DC, the Southwest Waterfront offers views of the Potomac and the sunset on the water. Stroll along the Southwest Waterfront Park where you can sit and watch the sunset under the trees, or if you like some dinner and cocktails with your view, head over to the marina where you can sip on margaritas, beer or both together by the water while watching the sun’s reflection on the Potomac. It also offers a menu of seafood and southern-inspired cuisine in a casual atmosphere.

Tidal Basin
900 Ohio Dr. S.W.
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 426-6841

The Tidal Basin at the southern side of the mall offers a gorgeous setting to watch the sunset. Sit on the northern side, closer to the Washington Monument, to get a view of the white-domed marble of the Jefferson Memorial that lights up pink as the sun sets in the distance behind it. The reflection on the still waters of the Tidal Basin makes for a picture-perfect view and there are plenty of benches to sit on as you walk around the cherry tree-lined circle of the pond.

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W Hotel
515 15th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 661-2400

From high atop the streets of DC, the Point of View or POV Terrace offers a bird’s eye view of the sun setting in the distance with a foreground of the National Mall and even The White House. Gaze at the planes landing in the distance at Reagan National Airport while you wait for the moment when the horizon starts changing colors. You’ll have a better view than President Obama from the lounge where you can sip on cocktails and nosh on snacks in a comfortable setting.

Washington Harbour
3000 K St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 295-5007

From the Georgetown Waterfront, gain a different view of the sunset over the Potomac. The Washington Harbour offers waterfront views overlooking the Key Bridge and Rosslyn in the distance. Hang out in the terrace area or tuck into one of the many restaurants for some drinks and dinner with your view. There’s the popular Sequoia’s with its upscale American cuisine, Tony and Joe’s for seafood or Farmers Fishers Bakers for casual American and seafood with killer cocktails.

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Jamie Hardin is the counter-culture Washingtonian in the know. Inspired by food, sustainability issues, and public health, she prides herself on finding DC’s off-the-beaten path treasures. When she isn’t enjoying organic food or reducing her carbon footprint, Jamie’s traveling on her scooter or walking her two pit bulls. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.