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Top 4 Places to Experience a True Cape Henlopen Sunset

Sunset is a magical time at Cape Henlopen State Park.

By: Abby Shepard + Save to a List

Cape Henlopen is a true gem of a park, situated at the point where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. I love everything about this park: beautiful beaches, a diverse bay ecosystem, access to both Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay beaches, the Gordons Pond salt marsh, extensive bike trails, horseshoe crabs galore, and absolutely mind-blowing sunsets. I lived and worked as a naturalist in this park for 3 months, and saw countless sunsets in many different locations within the park. Each one seemed more stunning than the last. 

If you visit Cape Henlopen State Park, I believe your visit is not complete without witnessing a sunset. Here are my 4 favorite places to experience a true Cape Henlopen sunset.

4. Main Beach 

While you won't actually see the giant fiery ball disappear on the horizon, when the sun starts to set, the main beach lights up with color. The crashing waves sparkle, and the sky turns hues of orange, pink, red, yellow, and purple. Sometimes, the air itself seems to glow with warm, golden color. 

3. Herring Point

Again, you won't actually see the sun  this location. However, as the sun sets, the long rocky jetties catch the golden rays of light. When waves crash against these boulders, ocean spray glitters in the golden light. Herring Point is a popular place for surfers, and as the sun goes down, they ride to shore along hazy waves of light. 

2. The Fishing Pier

Where else can you watch the sun set over a large body of saltwater on the East Coast? Sunsets from the fishing pier are picture-perfect. Stroll along the 0.25 mile fishing pier and watch the glorious sun sink beneath Delaware Bay while igniting the sky with intense reds and oranges. Stick around after the sun disappears to watch the sky fade from orange to purple and then a deep inky black. 

1. The Point

A sunset at The Point is unlike any other. Stand where the calm Delaware Bay meets the powerful Atlantic Ocean, and watch an epic sunset over the 2 magnificent bodies of water. During the summer months, the tip of The Point is closed for nesting shore birds. However, from around September through March, you can walk out to the very end of the point for another perspective of the sunset, as in the above lighthouse photo. 

Wherever you go, you are sure to enjoy an AMAZING sunset. Make sure to bring a camera!


We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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