Gold Coast, Queensland
The early bird catches the worm—or at least the perfect sunrise. For Australians, surfer culture means riding the waves when the world is quiet and it’s just you against the groggy sun (and aggressive waves, but we’ll save that for another post). Savour it along the Gold Coast, where you’ll find 75 kilometres of unadulterated sand, surf and sun. It may be home to Surfer’s Paradise, but you don’t need shaggy hair to soak it in. Best enjoyed with a Tequila Sunrise in hand, just for consistency’s sake. It’s 5:00 somewhere!
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Laguna Beach, California
It’s safe to say that any beach’s awe-factor increases tenfold while glittering under the sky’s golden disco ball. This rings particularly true for Laguna Beach, where sand dwellers cuddle closer as the sky fades to pink and passengers driving along the Pacific Coast Highway pull over to snap a photo. Maybe it’s something in the air at Laguna, or how the swordfish burritos from Bear Flag near the state beach taste that much better under its sunset—either way, this is a tried, tested and true formula for happiness.
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Haleakala National Park, Maui
If sunrise at Haleakala National Park isn’t first on your bucket list, you’re doing it wrong. For unparalleled views of the clouds 10,000 feet above sea level, book your next trip to Maui, Hawaii. This inert 1.1 million-year-old volcano’s summit is the perfect way to soak in the morning sun—but plan your route ahead and bring a GPS, since your sleepiness likely won’t help you on the poorly-lit roads towards the site. On the (literal) bright side, getting there early enough is a two-in-one show. Watch as stargazing slowly transitions into daylight.