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Best Sunrises & Sunsets: Both Might Be On The East Coast

Islamorada Is Made Of Beautiful Sunrises And Sunsets

Yeah, yeah I know the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, but I’m here to tell you why Islamorada, Florida is where the most beautiful sunrises AND sunsets occur anywhere on the East Coast– and are possibly just as good, if not better, than anywhere in the country.

Islamorada, Florida is known as the jewel of the Florida Keys. It is a chain of islands connected by bridges like the rest of the Florida Keys. For most travelers, the Florida Keys and Islamorada in particular are known as a tourist destination for people all over the world. You can get out on the water, eat great seafood and get into the best offshore deep sea and back country fishing in the country.

Surrounded By Two Beautiful Bodies Of Water

Photo by Marc Serota

Most people who visit Islamorada Florida are fully aware that they are on a peninsula and surrounded by water, but what most tourists don’t realize is that the water they are surrounded by are two totally different bodies of water. On the east side of Overseas Highway you have the Atlantic Ocean, but on the west side you have the Gulf of Mexico. On many parts of Overseas Highway (US Highway-1) you can stand in the middle of the road, throw a rock to your left and hit the Atlantic Ocean then throw another rock to your right and hit the Gulf of Mexico.

The Sun Rises In The East And Sets In The West

Photo by Marc Serota

On the Atlantic side you get the most amazing sunrises and on the Bayside (or the Gulf side) you get, what I believe, is the greatest sunsets anywhere in the United States.

There are usually layers of clouds all the way to the horizon that create bands of amazing colors, and at times, the clouds can create awesome images in the sky like this selfish sunset photo.

Photography Opportunities Galore

Photo by Marc Serota

There are always opportunities to silhouette sailboats, speedboats, Kayaks and paddle borders against the amazingly clear views of the ball of the sun kissing the water. At the end of my street, people come from all around the world just to watch the sunset. I have met dozens of people who stumbled onto this particular spot in the Florida Keys, saw an amazing sunset and continue try to get back to that exact spot as many times as they can after that.

A Drink and A Sunset

Photo by Marc Serota

There’s something very majestic about taking time to watch the sunset. In Key West there is a public square known as “Mallory Square“ where cruise ships dock There is a street market, many street performers and (most importantly) people sit with their favorite beverage and simply watch the sunset every single day.

It’s pretty amazing when you see a crowd of people in the same spot every day watching the sunset no matter how clear or cloudy it may be. It is a reminder to stop and smell the roses and enjoy the time you have. After all, you will not get it back. Live for the moment. The sun will come up tomorrow.

Many other sayings are born from the ritual of just sitting and watching the sun come up or go down. How many times a week do you watch the sunset? How many times a month do you watch the sunset? How many times a year do you sit and just watch the sunset? If your answer to the last question is in the single digits, then you’re missing out on one of the most amazing things life has to offer- reflection and appreciation to be alive.

The Sun Gives You Time To Reflect

Photo by Marc Serota

I’m no profit or philosopher., I’m just a photographer who lives in the keys, but I can tell you one thing for sure, in all my travels and all my experiences the one thing that I can appreciate most about visiting other places and enjoying the company of other people is that, you can always sit and watch the sunset together and be thankful for all the positive things in your life. If you happen to feel like there’s not very much positive in your life then watching the sunset is even better because at the very least you can enjoy those few moments of beauty and bliss and appreciate just being in the moment

Photo by Marc Serota

Take some time to stop and watch the sunset and if you’re anywhere near the Florida Keys you can watch the sun both Rise and fall over the ocean on the same day, from the same spot.

*Photos all by Marc Serota.

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About The Author
Marc Serota
Marc Serota
As a Portrait photographer Marc Serota has lensed iconic athletes and celebrities for CORBIS and GETTY as well as major brands such as Sports Illustrated, ESPN, the NBA, NHL and the NFL. Serota is a renowned award winning photographer having logged 25+ years with news agencies such as REUTERS, Getty Images, The Associated Press and UPI shooting the biggest entertainment, news and sports stories from the early 1990’s to the present. Marc has covered numerous Super Bowls, Olympic games, NHL Stanley Cup’s, NASCAR races, ATP and PGA events. Visit Marc's website: marcserota.com. Follow Marc Serota @G_O_A_T_shooter on Twitter and @marcserota on Instagram.
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