Whether enjoying dinner on a bustling patio overlooking the setting sun or soaking up the last few minutes of daylight on a serene shoreline, Oklahoma’s sunsets have the power to stop you in your tracks.
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The sun sets every day over Oklahoma, but despite its frequency, sunsets in the Sooner State still command attention and appreciation. As twilight begins, the luminous glow of the sun gives way to radiant skies and cool breezes. These stunning views of the sun dipping into the horizon and bursting into a brilliant show of light and color can be seen throughout the state, but we’ve rounded up our top picks for spectacular sunset spots.
Catch a spectacular sunset year round surrounded by nature in southwest Oklahoma. At Quartz Mountain State Park in Lone Wolf, winter sunsets provide just enough light to see a magnificent eagle as it soars through the area. In spring, summer and fall, catch an enchanting sunset while out on an ATV tour or hike. Climb to the top of Baldy Point to watch the bright rays strike enormous granite boulders and you’ll feel as if you’re watching the sun set for the first time. At nearby Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge in Lawton, climb towering Mount Scott to watch neon hues fade behind the rocky terrain for a memorable experience.
When it comes to sunsets, Lake Eufaula reigns supreme. Boasting more than 100,000 surface acres, this lake in Eufaula provides a shimmering backdrop for a sparkling sunset. Head to any spot along the 600 miles of shoreline at twilight and you’ll be welcomed by the glorious view of reflective water meeting striking rays of pink and gold. If you prefer to enjoy the sunset over a delicious plate of pasta, take a seat at Stuffed Olive, where every table both inside and out boasts a gorgeous view of the lake.
A hot spot for sunset watching since the 1920s, the Mayo Penthouse Bar on top of the historic Mayo Hotel boasts spectacular city views that look best at twilight. Today, patrons head to the roof for a breathtaking glimpse of the Tulsa skyline and it’s even rumored that Elvis Presley himself used to sneak from his penthouse suite up to the roof to enjoy a cigar when in town for shows. Watch Tulsa’s streets drenched in warm rays before giving way to shadows dotted with twinkling city lights. As dusk settles in, the stark red Mayo sign lights up, giving the rooftop patio a warm glow. Enjoying a sunset here means watching it all while sipping an old-fashioned cocktail fit for “the King.”
For a terrific way to soak up the last few minutes of the day, indulge in complimentary appetizers and a refreshing drink while aboard an Oklahoma River Cruise in Oklahoma City. Sail across the Oklahoma River aboard a luxurious boat enclosed by panoramic views of the sun setting over the sparkling water. The boat ride allows the perfect venue to catch the final moments of sun strike the towering buildings of downtown as it fades away to the flickering city lights.
Spring-fed and crystal clear, Ardmore’s Lake Murray boasts enchanting views all day long. However, when the smoldering sun begins to set, swimmers, campers and hikers alike pause to take in the neon glow. As daylight fades, turn your eyes to Tucker Tower, a historic landmark situated on the south shore of the lake that will take your breath away when cast with the warm setting sun. Top camping amenities beckon visitors to stay night after night to get their sunset fix.
The Rock House Ristorante in Talihina and White Dog Hill in Clinton both offer serene settings for experiencing the breathtaking turn of day to night. Nothing goes better with a succulent steak and smooth glass of wine than a picturesque view of the sun dipping below the horizon and these restaurants deliver both. The cozy Adirondack chairs on White Dog Hill’s sprawling deck offer the ideal setting to see a supreme sunset against the unobstructed views of western Oklahoma that stretch for miles. Guests at the Rock House Ristorante are seated at perfectly appointed tables on the patio to watch the light fade behind the verdant Ouachita Mountains.
Located within the scenic Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Veterans Lake in Sulphur is so private many visitors overlook it. Pack a picnic and grab a front row seat along the shoreline for a spectacular show that happens every day at dusk. The peaceful setting makes it ideal for lingering while the sun sinks below the water. As day melts into night, watch the tranquil waters reflect the captivating colors of the sky.
A sprawling prairie teeming with wildlife, the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Pawhuska is a great place to see a wild American bison silhouetted against a setting sun. Home to one of the largest bison herds in the country, this wildlife preserve boasts four scenic turnouts and a self-guided nature trail perfect for catching the day’s final sunrays. As day turns to dusk, the preserve is bathed in a golden glow while the troves of white-tailed deer, bobcats, woodchucks and coyotes that call Pawhuska home turn in for the night.
The stretch of the Arkansas River that winds through Tulsa presents the perfect backdrop for unforgettable sunsets. Tulsa River Parks presents more than 26 miles of trails along the shoreline for biking, jogging or walking. Set out on the path at early evening to catch the resilient rays as they fall behind blue shadows at dusk. Just as the sun sets behind the water, pull up a patio seat at Blue Rose Café, where a deck over the water provides the ultimate spot to enjoy the final moments of the radiant sun.