With the days getting longer, and the sun setting later, there’s plenty of opportunity to catch a beautiful sunset in and around St. John’s. Our rugged coastline and epic ocean views provide the perfect sunset backdrop and somehow also make the dramatic colours even more impressive. All three of these spots can be accessed by car but, if you happen to be a hiker, these locations also offer amazing adventures that you can choose to enjoy either before or after you catch the sunset.

Topsail Bluff

A gorgeous sunset shot out over the ocean at Topsail Bluff.

Topsail Bluff is a local hidden gem about 20 minutes from downtown St. John’s. It’s a small lookout that is less than a 10 minute walk from a convenient parking location. The lookout sits on top of a cliff overlooking Topsail Beach and gives a stunning view of Kelly’s Island, Little Bell Island, and Bell Island. On a warm evening you can expect to see fires on the beach, a striking unobstructed view of the sun setting on the horizon, and you may even spy some ships passing through. For hikers, there is a roughly 2km loop that starts and ends at Topsail Beach!


A sunset view from the wharf at Bauline overlooking the ocean. The wharf itself, and the ground, are covered with a dusting of snow.

Bauline is the smallest incorporated community in the St. John’s region. It’s full of small saltbox homes, boats, and fishing gear. Bauline is about half an hour drive from the heart of St. John’s but its small-town feeling and fantastic views make it well worth the drive. This wharf is accessible all year around and it makes for the perfect viewing spot to catch the end-of-day sun. Looking at the town of Carbonear in the distance straight across the harbour, you’re bound to see some amazing colours. Bauline is a point where the East Coast Trail (ECT) can be accessed from either side, with the Picco’s Ridge Path to the South, or the White Horse Path to the North. However, both of those hikes are at least 10km so, if you would like to end in Bauline, some planning would have to be done.

Portugal Cove-St. Phillip’s

A view of an orange sun set across the ocean. A boat is sailing by in the distance.

Portugal Cove-St. Phillip’s is a 15 minute drive from St. John’s and it’s where the ferry terminal to Bell Island is located. While the town itself is well known, most people wouldn’t think to go to the trailhead for the Picco’s Ridge hike on North Point Road to catch the sunset. There are a few parking spots available if you’re visiting by car. But, if you’re looking for a bit of an adventure, you can opt to hike the Picco’s Ridge portion of the East Coast Trail in the daytime and finish off the hike here to catch the sunset! With this incredible viewpoint, you’re bound to catch a spectacular sunset anytime of year. Keep an eye out for lots of wave action, ferry crossings and, if you’re lucky, marine life!

Lauren O’Dell is an outdoor enthusiast from Torbay, Newfoundland. She is a full-time student at Marine Institute, but in her free time she loves getting out into nature and exploring. Although she enjoys trying new trails, her favourite is the Stiles Cove trail in scenic Pouch Cove. When she isn’t hiking or taking photos she spends time doing art, driving around with friends, or researching new travel and hiking destinations! Check out Lauren’s spectacular posts on Instagram.

Published: April 29, 2021