Ted Beatie - Travel Photogapher/Writer

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Best Restaurants to Watch the Sunset

Everyone has their favorite memories of watching a golden sun melting into the horizon, surrounded by technicolor clouds. Often romantic, sunsets can be a shared moment during the passing of day into night, watching the planets and stars come out and cities light up. Here are our top picks for the best places to watch the sunset and enjoy dinner before a night out on the town.

Vancouver, British Columbia
Voted "the Best City in the Americas" by Condé Nast Traveler for the last three years and home to the 2010 Winter Olympics, Vancouver is a multi-cultural destination, offering arts and entertainment, adventure and beauty. Surrounded by water on three sides and nestled alongside coastal mountains, Vancouver offers spectacular views of the Pacific Northwest. The best way to take it all in and watch the sunset over the ocean is 533 feet above the city at the Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant (604-669-2220). Like the city itself, an international menu meets every taste.

San Francisco, California
Further down the coast, San Francisco is well known for its distinctive neighborhoods and fine cuisine. At the tip of Ocean Beach, just north of Golden Gate Park, are the ruins of the famous Sutro Baths. Overlooking the ruins, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Pacific Coast, the Cliff House has several restaurants. Sutro's (415-386-3330) specializes in organic produce, fresh seafood, and local ingredients. The floor-to-ceiling glass windows offer a stunning sunset view over the ocean.

Enoshima Island, Japan
Just off the coast of Japan near the town of Kamakura, is a little paradise known as Enoshima Island. Approximately 4km in diameter, and linked to shore by a 600m bridge, this is a virtually unknown island with a botanical garden, souvenir shops, inns, and restaurants. At Enospa (81-466/290-688), one can enjoy dinner while watching the sun set behind Mt. Fuji, across Sagami Bay, and then relax in a hot tub under the stars.

Katoomba, Australia
Two hours west of Sydney, the town of Katoomba borders the majestic Blue Mountains. Known during the 1920s as the "Honeymoon Capital of Australia", it has not lost any of its charm. Perched on a cliff overlooking the national park, Echoes (612-4782-1966) is a boutique hotel and restaurant featuring new local cuisine. At sunset, the blue mist rises out of the green valley and mixes with the red glow of the horizon, making for a truly stunning meal.

Hong Kong, China
For a different experience altogether, Hong Kong is a bustling modern metropolis. There are temples and street markets, as well as museums and Disneyland, spread across the Chinese mainland and numerous tropical islands. The pinnacle of modern design, Felix (852-2315-3188) resides on the top floor of the Peninsula Hotel overlooking Kowloon. The menu is contemporary, and the restaurant has sweeping views of the harbor and skyline.

Greenwich, England
Steeped in English seafaring history, Greenwich is where East meets West at the prime meridian, and from which world time zones are derived. From the top of Observatory Hill in Greenwich Park, one can see all of London as well as deer, foxes and birds. The Cutty Sark Pub (020 8858 3146), which dates back to the early 19th century, is a great place to enjoy the sunset over the Thames and London.

Ted Beatie