Wow, witches. We have just about made it to the end of 2020! Can you believe it? This year went by so fast, yet somehow still managed to feel like an eternity. Are you feeling it?
I may have lost my main source of work and income, ability to see my loved ones, and sense of security about the future, but I still feel an overwhelming amount of gratitude just to be here. To clarify, “here” is by the beach in San Francisco, California.
So I can’t exactly complain. It’s scary as hell to be here and not know what’s next, but then again, I’m here, and no one ever really knows what’s coming next if we’re being honest.
My heart goes out to all of you out there dealing with different challenges this year. I may not be powerful enough yet to magically fix all your problems… so the least I can do is share some of the beauty I was lucky enough to witness this year, right? My hope is to share some beauty and light with anyone who needs it as a reminder that there is still so much good in this world!
Here are my top 50+ best San Francisco sunsets of 2020! Most of these photos and videos were taken around Ocean Beach and Fort Funston (so technically a few Daly City sunsets snuck in, too). While San Francisco and Ocean Beach often get a bad rap for their wind and fog, I’d say this year had just as many clear evenings than foggy ones. There’s a reason we have a whole neighborhood called the Sunset District!
Apologies for the less-than-ideal quality! I am not a professional cameraperson, just a sunset lover with a phone in hand. All photos are original from yours truly. Getting a new camera is my next goal because as you can see, this hobby has become an obsession! Also, this is not a ranking and sunsets are shown in no particular order. Don’t ask me to choose between my babies. I would love to hear which ones are your favorites in the comments, though!
- Sunsets over Fort Funston trail:
Did you know you can hike south from Ocean Beach straight to Fort Funston? It might be the area’s best kept secret. The lush area is bursting with botanical bounty and the views are out of control.
2. Clouds on clouds:
This trippy sunset reflection situation was spotted on Ocean Beach in San Francisco. I couldn’t choose which of these two pictures to post! My eyes get lost every time I try to take another look.
3. Streetlights and San Francisco sunsets:
There is something sexy about the silhouette of a streetlight standing stark against a SF sunset. (I’m having fun with alliteration today!) Check it out.
Call me creepy, but speaking of silhouettes, I love when sweethearts walk into my shot. I think my sunset walks are romantic as heck even when it’s just me, so seeing a cute couple adds extra ambiance, okay?
5. Exploding colors:
This sunset exploding with colors was spotted on Ocean Beach in San Francisco! Again, could not pick which photo mesmerized me more!
6. Pink sunset over San Francisco:
Pink sunsets are my favorite sunsets. You can bet I freaked out at the sight of the whole Sunset District turning pink!
7. Pink moon:
The pink cloud detailing around this moon was a sight I will never forget! Wish this photo was better quality, but it’s still pretty cool.
8. Sunset showing off:
Psst, the best sunset views are from on top of the sand dunes on Ocean Beach. Just be careful, as they are prone to collapse! Use your best judgment and steer clear of the tall cliffs, and you’ll be good to go get the best sunset snapshots of your life.
9. Perhaps the most intense pink clouds of all time:
I already went wild for this sunset in my aeromancy post. Check it out for more epic shots of this cloud action! Spotted over Ocean Beach, San Francisco.
10. Vacation vibes:
This epic glow was spotted from atop a sand dune in San Francisco, California! The whole sunset was a pink aesthetic moment and I have more photos of it here.
11. Purple and pink sunset:
Naturally my favorite color combo for my hair also goes great with sunsets. Check out this view from next to the Cliff House.
12. Hella bright California sunset:
I don’t know how to describe it. This California sunset was hella bright, dude. From the dunes on Ocean Beach.
13. Neon sunset:
Sometimes the sunsets are seriously more neon than my hair dye in the early 2000s. Check out this one from Fort Funston!
14. Purple ocean sunset:
This sunset turned the whole ocean purple! Taken outside the Cliff House in San Francisco, California.
15. Fort Funston glowing:
This sunset over Fort Funston was seriously GLOWING.
16. Gradients on gradients:
The clouds and the sky really put on a show over Ocean Beach, California.
17. Trippy reflections:
I love when the ground reflects the sky and the sunset swallows up the whole world for a moment.
18. Plants and Planet Venus:
Venus kept me company to the west earlier this year. Here she is just after sunset! These funny little plants pop up all over the Sunset District.
19. As above, so below:
Reflections and neon sunsets are my jam so naturally it’s a winning combination!
20. Moon on a dune:
I love spotting the moon while perched on a sand dune.
21. God rays:
Did you know these epic rays of light bursting through clouds are called “god rays”? THE DRAMA!
22. Trippy rocks:
A fisherman friend and I had a mutual moment of freaking out over how cool these rocks looked. It was the wholesome interaction I didn’t know I needed.
23. Sea figs, sand dunes, and sunsets:
These became my companions this year and while I still miss my human friends, the company is excellent.
24. Layered neon sunset:
My eyes get lost in these luscious layers of neon! This view is from Fort Funston.
25. Bird watch:
Every night at sunset, the birds line up together to watch it go down. Birds are so wholesome.
Nope, this is a super secret dune with the best view ever! Go on a treasure hunt through Fort Funston to find it off trail. Remember not to go too close to the edge!
27. Pretending I’m in Hawaii:
Can you believe this photo was taken in San Francisco? This is above the Sutro Baths.
28. Lonely vibes:
This lonely moment describes my 2020 pretty perfectly. Social distancing like a pro.
29. Sexy sand dune sunset:
Don’t be fooled, this seductive sand dune does not want you to run down it into the sunset. It’s located right before an epic cliff in the Fort Funston area!
30. Downtown SF:
This magical pink sunset makes me feel weirdly nostalgic. I took it after one of my last shifts at the salon this year. (For anyone who doesn’t already know, I worked full time as a hairstylist for about seven years pre-pandemic.) When I walked out for a vacation in March, I thought I would be back in a week. Little did I know I would be looking back on this at the end of December, still with no clue when I can return. This is the view from my chair! I miss it so much.
It wouldn’t be a San Francisco sunset roundup without Karl the Fog crashing the party. Still, even the foggy sunsets have a mysterious magic that I have learned to appreciate!
32. Foggy Land’s End:
See? Fog can be pretty sexy, especially when framed by cypress trees, with the glow of a sunset slipping through.
33. A feisty sunset:
This one was dark and bright at the same time. Like an enthusiastic goth!
34. California fires caused an epic cloud of smoke over San Francisco:
I went on a walk the first day of fire season before seeing the news, and this is what I saw.
35. Red sun during fire season:
The sun was red for most of fire season in California. When the air quality started to improve, I walked up to this sand dune near Fort Funston and caught this eerie glow.
36. California fire season:
It was intense this year. The sky looked like the world was on fire – and it was.
37. Orange October sunset:
This sunset spotted from a sand dune at Fort Funston was orange, spooky, and a very October vibe.
38. So orange!
We love a glowing orange sunset, and San Francisco delivers.
39. Rays of light:
Sometimes the sunset sends bright rays of light into the sky like it’s trying to summon Batman! They are hard to capture, but here’s one such instance just over the horizon.
40. Soft pink sunset:
When sunsets get soft and pink like this, it makes me feel like I can dissolve into the fairy realm. Is it just me?
41. Beautiful birds:
If you like birds, you better get your butt down to the California coast. Especially near Ocean Beach and Fort Funston, you will find an incredible variety of birds putting on all kinds of synchronized shows at sunset.
42. Epic cliff at Fort Funston:
Again, beware! These cliffs are made of loose sand and rocks that can collapse at a moment’s notice. (Seriously. Cliff rescues happen all the time out here.) Still, if you’re careful, you will get some amazing views. Here is one of my favorite spots. I challenge you to find it!
43. Golden glow:
We all love golden hour! The best is when we get our golden glow served hot with rosy gold clouds.
44. Birds, clouds, and sea figs:
The landscape, skyscape, and bird population are constantly changing here. I love that no two sunsets are ever the same!
45. The Rock Garden:
Located within the Fort Funston area is a post-apocalyptic looking collection of stoney sculptures behind a sign titled “The Rock Garden.” Definitely a trippy experience – you’ll feel like you just walked in on a spell.
46. Surf’s up, dudes:
Every time I see a surfer walk along the shore at sunset, I can’t help but say, “ICONIC!” (I say it a lot.) I want to learn, but I’m a bit intimidated to do it here. The waves are notoriously rough and even experienced surfers are warned to approach with caution (or not approach at all).
47. An attitude of gratitude:
Recently I have noticed many kind, encouraging messages and uplifting images etched in the sand. This contribution came from yours truly, to be nice but also as part of a Samhain ritual. It never hurts to give thanks in advance for good fortune.
48. Happy trails:
I had to post a couple more pictures of the epic view from Fort Funston. This is a seriously underrated hike I almost don’t want to spill the beans about, but I love you, so here you go!
49. Wavy clouds but you swear you haven’t ingested any psychedelics:
Life is trippy.
50. A perfect moon moment:
I love the moon in all phases, yet there is something about a perfect little crescent that stops me in my tracks every single time! This moon hung out over the Sutro Baths.
51. Sea fig flowers:
I’m obsessed with the flowering succulents that grow all over Ocean Beach and Fort Funston: sea figs! This moment was so soft and sweet.
52. Bright pink sunset:
I looked down for a second, thinking the sunset was almost over. When I looked up the world had turned bright pink!
53. SO. MANY. PINK. CLOUDS.
I meant to put this one, like, first. But here we are. SO MUCH PINK!
54. Wrinkles in time:
I love it when the sand wrinkles up and reflects the sky in trippy textures!
55. Be not afraid:
The clouds looked like a giant angel’s eye staring down through the sun!
56. Interdimensional portal sighting!
What else could this be but an interdimensional portal between realms? Seen at Fort Funston, it remained open for two days before collapsing under the sheer intensity of its power.
One more? Of course! Check out this sultry sunset that was a literal smoke show as I took pictures of my book!
A definite highlight of my year was putting my witchy reflections on making life magical into a book. If you want to make your life more magical too, read California Witchcraft: A Magical Trip Through the Universe!
Thank you so much for coming on this magical trip through the best San Francisco sunsets of 2020, my multidimensional friends! This was truly epic to assemble and I can but also can’t believe I made a video for this too. Here are my top 50 sunset videos of 2020! (Clearly I’m obsessed.)
Do you have a favorite place to watch the sunset? Let me know below!