6 Places to Watch Spectacular Philadelphia Sunsets

There's just nothing like a great sunset. Here's where to make the most of the golden hour.

Cira Green is one of the best, and lesser-known, places to take in a Philadelphia sunset. Photo taken April 25, 2021, at 7:51 p.m., by HughE Dillon

A few days back, there was a spectacular sunset in Philadelphia, and my timeline filled with brilliantly colored photos. There’s something magical about catching the sunset, and a really good one—whether it’s an explosion of color reflected off the clouds or a calming orange hue against a clear sky—will stop us in our tracks. I try to catch the sunset a couple times a week. I especially enjoy watching sunsets around other people so I can see their smiles; it makes me feel connected to them in a spiritual way. Here are a few of my favorite spots to watch sunsets in Philadelphia.

The sunset as seen from behind the Art Museum. Photo taken on June 6, 2020, at 8:25 p.m. by HughE Dillon

Behind the Art Museum

This spot is beautiful at any time, but late in the day, often after work and especially on weekends, people gather behind the Art Museum to watch the sunset. Some bring blankets and chairs; others sit on the grass. (It’s also popular for picnics and friend catch-ups.) You can’t go wrong with a summer sunset here, especially on the hill overlooking the Water Works or, closer to the water, on Boathouse Row.

The sunset reflected off the skyline as seen from the Art Museum steps. Photo taken December 14, 2020, at 4:36 p.m. by HughE Dillon

The Art Museum Steps

Technically, you’re not watching the sunset from the Art Museum steps; you’re catching it reflected off the skyscrapers of the Philadelphia skyline. But once the sun is down, you get to enjoy the city lights coming on, another spectacular show.

The sunset as seen from FDR Park. Photo taken February 5, 2021, at 5:11 p.m. by HughE Dillon

FDR Park

FDR Park’s 348 acres are teeming with great vantage points for enjoying the sunset — from the South Philly Meadows to the baseball fields, from the skateboard park to the gazebo. I like watching from the banks of the lakes to catch the light dance on the surface.

The sunset as seen from Cira Green. Photo taken April 25, 2021, at 7:51 p.m. by HughE Dillon

Cira Green

A lot of people still don’t know about this gem, one of the best places for views of the skyline as well as for magnificent sunsets. Cira Green is an elevated park set 12 stories up atop a University City parking garage; it’s free and open to the public from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday night is movie night, so starting at 6 p.m. you can catch a classic and the sunset, all for free. If you don’t want to BYO food, grab picnic fare from the Sunset Social restaurant.

The sunset seen from the Camden waterfront. Photo taken April 2, 2021, at 7:23 p.m. by HughE Dillon