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Stunning Summer Sunsets

A local guide to finding beautiful sunset retreats

From the mountains to the sea, Virginia hosts some of the most beautiful and spectacular sunsets. To be sure, Williamsburg has no shortage of her own. Whether you are driving the Colonial Parkway, sitting on the bank of the James or York river, or resting by your favorite swimming hole, the nightly explosion of pinks, yellows, purples, blues and reds radiate throughout the sky signaling the end of another day. Often, the best sunsets are on display after a summer shower, when a cool breeze washes away the day’s heat and smells of fresh rain enliven our senses. Warm colors from the closing day still dance around the sun in the western sky, and crimson tones tend not to stray too far from the sun as they grasp for the last few moments before falling beyond the horizon. 

For a while there is a precarious waltz of colors. Clouds become the celestial ballroom as the warm and cool hues sway back and forth through the rippling clouds in the sky. It is during these moments we watch the waning glory of day dance with the waxing splendor of night. Finally, the somber night subdues the last wisps of the sun; one magnificent glory is traded for another. The deep lavender and navy-blue herald the night sky as another day is done and we return home blessed to have watched.

If you are looking for sunsets on the James River enjoy a picnic on the shores of Jamestown Beach, Chickahominy Riverfront Park, or simply bring a chair and relax along several pullouts on the Colonial Parkway. Yorktown Beach, York River State Park, and Gloucester Point Beach Park are excellent locations on the York River. If you are looking for a place in town, check out College Creek Landing Park overlooking College Creek not far from the college and downtown.

Elinor Maxi dress provided by Three Sisters Boutique. Find more summer styles at

  • Grab a throw blanket, chair, or pillow and flowers from Morrison’s Flowers to set a relaxing mood.
  • Pour a glass, or two, of your favorite vintage; Saude Creek wine selections are highly recommended.
  • Enliven the senses further with berries and an assortment of cheeses topped with local honey.

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