September 12, 2012

Best Places To Watch The Sun Rise

Sunrises, in general, are beautiful, but some are just a cut above the rest. These 10 locations offer incredible early morning views and are well worth setting an alarm for.

Tres Cruces, Peru: The angle of the sun combined with the elevation and extreme humidity causes the sun to appear to dance as it rises. You might even see multiple suns. For best viewing, stake out a spot at the Manu Biosphere Reserve around the southern hemisphere’s winter solstice (Jun 21).

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona: As the sun clears the horizon, it casts warm hues and shadows through the canyon. The National Park Service issues an entire publication dedicated to sunrises and sunsets at the Grand Canyon and recommends watching morning spectacle at Mather and Yaki points.

Haleakala National Park, Hawaii: At 10,000 feet above sea level, Mount Haleakala delivers a stunning morning show. To experience it, dress warmly and arrive at the Haleakala Visitors Center early to watch the sky and clouds change colors before the sun rises.

Cadillac Mountain, Maine: Part of Acadia National Park, the 1,532-foot mountain is the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard and is the first place to view a sunrise in the United States from October 7 through March 6.

Stonehenge: No one knows for sure how this megalithic circular ensemble in Southern Britain came to be, but is theorized to have been a sanctuary for worshipping the sun. Regardless, it serves as an incredible foreground as the fiery sphere rises behind it.

Erg Chebbi, Morocco: One of Morocco’s best Sahara Desert destinations, Erg Chebbi provides unobstructed views of the sunrise and sunset. Plus, you can ride into the windblown dunes for the early morning display.

Cable Beach, Australia: Although it is quite a distance from any major city, Cable Beach is one of Australia’s most popular beaches. Its long stretches of white sandy beach make it the perfect place to greet the morning. Crescent Head Beach, just south of Sydney, is a close second.

Nagarkot, Nepal: It’s hard to nominate just one place in Nepal where stunning sunrises are on tap, but Nagarkot, with its views of the Himalaya, edges the others out. Others worth checking out first thing in the morning include Annapurna, Dhulihel and Kathmandu’s Monkey Temple.

Lofoten Islands, Norway: This Nordic archipelago lies within the Arctic Circle. Depending on which town you visit, the sun is continuously above the horizon from May 25 to June 17 and does not rise from December 9 through January 4. But, the rest of the year is worth the wait. The rugged coast adds stunning dimension to the sunrise.

Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya: “Big skies” and open savannahs make Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya one of the best places in the world to watch the sunrise. And, because it is a game reserve contiguous with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, chances are you’ll see plenty of wildlife, too, including wildebeest, zebra, lion, African elephants, rhinoceroses, hippopotami and crocodiles.

Image Credit: Max Earey / Shutterstock

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