From horses to airplanes, Sunset Magazine endorsed almost all forms of private and public transportation as it encouraged its readers to explore the wonders of the Western United States and exotic destinations throughout the world. The magazine’s history coincides with the evolutions of the automobile, which was Sunset’s favorite form of family conveyance.

Bronco and motor car

“Introduced to his successor -- ­the bronco and the motor car at Silver Peak, Nevada.” Travel by either could be adventurous on the roads of the time. February 1902, p. 282.

Sunset Magazine cover. February 1911
Old Witch tree, Monterey
Sunset Magazine cover. February 1960

Left: 1911 February cover. A very early depiction of female motorists exploring the scenic West Coast in this cover.

Center: “The Old Witch tree, among the ancient cypress along the famous Seventeen Mile Drive, at Monterey, is the symbol of the enchantment that holds this region of surpassing beauty.” Monterey has long been noted for its natural splendor. February 1914, p. 298.

Right: February 1960 cover. (photo: Martin Litton)

Campers at Jalama Beach
Mobile home
Monument Valley

Left: “Fall campers at secluded Jalama Beach have good opportunity to fish, or walk, or collect bounty of the heavy surf. Campsites are mostly right along the wide beachfront.” California coastal paradise remains accessible, if occasionally a bit crowded. November 1968, p. 67. (photo: Ken Niles, Jr.)

Center: A (mobile) home on the range. February 1938, p. 6. (photo: Cy. Le Tour)

Right: Family vacation on the road in Monument Valley: pure Sunset Southwest. January 1958, p. 37.

Glacier National Park

Enjoying Glacier National Park: family pleasures on Western public lands. June 1958, p. 64.

Sunset Magazine cover. May 1930
Clipper plane
Sunset Magazine cover. April 1959

Left: Maynard Dixon’s May 1930 cover illustration suggests the joys of Western commercial flying.

Center: “Clipper now. She clips off the miles between California and Hawaii in about 19 hours.” A great publicity shot for the successor to the westward-leading railroad. The Golden Gate as a backdrop hearkens to the original 1898 Sunset cover. May 1938, p. 11. (photo: Pan American)

Right: 1959 April cover. (Photo: Martin Litton)