4 Vacation Destinations That Come Alive at Night

These four popular travel sites are widely known for their attractions often visited by day, but not many realize how beautiful they are at night. Consider spending an evening in a few of these gorgeous locations, witnessing the breathtaking light shows meant for the guise of nightfall. It will be a completely different way to experience these epic views.  

Niagara Falls, New York

As the oldest state in U.S., its beauty landed the falls on the 2016 list of World Wonders. The variety of activities and sights make this a popular vacation destination, and people flock from all over the world to be drenched in the turquoise waters and take the famous Maid of the Mist tour.

While you will be elbow to elbow with tourists in the hot summer sun, be sure to return at nightfall for an amazing show of colors. Hundreds of LED lights are placed in three locations at the falls to make it come to life with color. Check the illumination schedule to see what days you can catch the light show and what colors you can expect.  

Niagara Falls at night Credit: Niagara Falls State Park


Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Easily my top favorite all-inclusive resort in Mexico for 2018, Grand Velas Los Cabos, just announced it is relaunching its signature stargazing experience just in time for prime-time viewing season. My family and I received a small glimpse of a similar type of program last summer, and while we were in a light- polluted area, everyone in the family was enamored by the experience. I can only imagine what it will be like to participate in one of the top 20 places to research the night-sky by NASA.

Guests will be able to enjoy unparalleled viewing of the Los Cabos Baja Peninsula night sky, with the help of a high-quality Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope. As a special bonus treat, they will offer guided Stargazing tours monthly, in conjunction with a meteor shower, led by Luis Camarena, a NASA certified astronomer. I can't think of a better family friendly nightcap after a sun and fun filled day on the beach. The full schedule is available on the resort’s Facebook page.

Cabo San Lucas stargazing experience Credit: Grand Velas Los Cabos


Tilikum Crossing — Portland, Oregon

Tilikum Crossing is the largest car free bridge in the U.S., and is often called the “Bridge of the People.” Located in Portland, Oregon, this bridge captures the unique culture and spirit of the city. It was completed in 2015 with LED light installations that change color based on the conditions of the Willamette River. Every night the bridge is bathed in a new light show. This incredible blending of functionality, design and art is what makes Portland such an eccentric attraction. If in Portland, this bridge ablaze in beautiful colors against the night sky is a must see. 

Tilikum Crossing - Portland, Oregon Tilikum Crossing - Portland, Oregon


Golden Gate Bridge — San Francisco, California

When Irving Morrow designed the Golden Gate Bridge over 85 years ago, he wanted the lights to illuminate the bases of towers making the bridge look taller as if stretching into the dark, night sky. When the bridge was built, no such technology could make it happen, but on the 50th anniversary of the bridge’s opening, lighting was installed to achieve Morrow’s idea. It makes for an epic nighttime view, especially after an annual Summer of Love Festival. Take a long stroll and drink in its massive beauty.

So, if you’re looking for a few cities where the nighttime is just as spectacular as the day, consider one of these amazing places for your next must-visit destination!

Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco, California Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco, California
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About the Author

Jeana Shandraw

Jeana Shandraw describes herself as an adventurous traveler, with a passion for people, cultures and food all over the world that she documents on her blog Surf and Sunshine. When Jeana is not traveling the world, Jeana enjoys crafting delicious recipes and cuddling with her son.