Shares
7.9k
Share on Pinterest
Share with your friends










Submit

If you’re the type that wraps a towel around your waist at the gym while shimmying in and out of your garments, nude beaches probably aren’t for you. But contrary to popular opinion, the clothing optional beach (long considered a European phenomenon) is alive and well in North America and includes at least several dozen places in the U.S. and Canada where folks can legally strip down—including many that are family friendly. Leave your preconceived notions (and swimsuit) at home and check out these celebrated spots where hundreds gather on hot days to swim, frolic, catch a few rays and—ahem—hang loose. Here are the 9 best nude beaches in North America ranked (and with plenty of um, “cheeky” puns):

ALSO: The best locations for recreating a movie kiss: clothing strongly recommended

9. Hippie Hollow: Austin, TX

America’s mid-section is modest compared to its coastal counterparts—and to be fair, also lacking in coastline—so it’s a bit of a surprise that the Lone Star State even has a clothing optional beach. Nevertheless, it’s suns out, buns out at beloved Hippie Hollow. Located on the shores of beautiful Lake Travis, about 40 minutes from downtown Austin, Hippy Hollow is less a beach than it is a series of tiered, limestone rocks cascading toward the water (making for some slippery situations for skinny dippers). A paved path, which is also clothing optional, leads the way to the areas where folks can strip down and the very end is popular with gay sunbathers.
Pros: Sunny wand warm year round, social atmosphere, well maintained
Cons: No sand, only accessible via car, parking fee, cramped on busy days

Get cheeky at Kehena Beach

Get cheeky at Kehena Beach | Flickr CC: Eli Duke

8. Kehena Beach: Big Island, HI

Millennials leaping naked into the surf from a giant rock might be the first thing to come into sight at this gorgeous black sand beach tucked away in the steamy jungle of the Big Island‘s Puna District—a haven for artists, free spirits, adventure seekers and yogis on retreat. Sparse in population, the remoteness of the region means there’s hardly ever a large crowd at this secluded stunner where the sand is literally obelisk black, dolphins sightings are common and the water inviting (but beware a serious undertow). The Sunday drum circle, however, packs the beach by the hundreds and likely to leave seekers of solitude a little, dare we say, testy?
Pros: Stunning scenery, social atmosphere, warm water
Cons: Out of the way, rough undertow, rocky in parts, frequently rains

RELATED: How to plan your Big Island road trip

7. Marshall Beach: San Francisco, CA

A series of three smallish coves, Marshall’s fame has skyrocketed in recent years thanks to a footpath that has made the beach more accessible to visitors. About as close to the Golden Gate Bridge as a person can get without standing directly underneath it, many tourists to Marshall come to snap a pic before toddling off to the next tourist attraction. Insiders, however, know this to be the best place in SF to strip down and take a naked selfie with the bridge as a backdrop. Downright treacherous in high tide, Marshall manages to pack ’em cheek to cheek (pun intended!) on hot weekends and the furthest cove enjoys a celebrated following among gay men.
Pros: Secluded, stunning views
Cons: Cold water, cramped on weekends, unpredictable weather

6. Wreck Beach: Vancouver, BC

So laid back are the denizens of Vancouver that you could ask your hotel concierge for directions to this massive nude beach near the University of British Columbia and the likelihood of her even batting an eyelash is slim. You may actually need a concierge’s navigational skills as Wreck is a bit of a trek from downtown. The best way to reach it is either via a lengthy bus ride or Uber, but it’s worth it. The closest thing to Burning Man you’ll see at a nude beach, the hippie, communal vibe at Wreck includes vendors peddling items like hand-crafted jewelry, sarongs, food, beverages and more. The water is freezing so instead try joining a nude guitar jam.
Pros: Social atmosphere, lots of amenities
Cons: Out of the way, freezing water, short season

Haul over your bums to Haulover Beach

Haul over your bums to Haulover Beach | Flickr CC: osseous

5. Haulover Beach: North Miami, FL

If there’s one thing nude beaches have in common—aside from sunburnt buns—it’s that they’re often off-the-beaten-path and difficult to reach. Not so at Haulover, a sprawling, sun-drenched patch of coastline whose easy accessibility may have something to do with the region’s abundance of retirees. Located in Haulover Park, a mere stone’s throw from the literal northern tip of Miami Beach, Haulover offers changing facilities (not that anybody needs them), paved walkways and plenty of parking. The vibe is chill and the calm, turquoise waters are warm and ideal for skinny dipping. Most folks strip down and those who don’t may feel like an, ahem, boob.
Pros: Easy access, abundant parking, changing areas, food trucks, warm water
Cons: Not as social as other nude beaches, not particularly scenic

4. North Baker Beach: San Francisco, CA

San Francisco’s famously liberal vibe reaches its apotheosis at North Baker, a beach with both clothed and nude halves. Folks of all ages, races, genders and sexual orientations mix and mingle at this tolerant beach (this was the original site of Burning Man from 1986-1990) while soaking up both rays and stunning Golden Gate Bridge views. While the famously cold water will make you shiver (and shrivel) most months of the year, Baker is nevertheless a convivial place to sun and socialize in a relatively secluded and gawker free environment. There’s no ifs ands or—dare we say it—butts about it, North Baker is a great nude beach for first timers.
Pros: Fun atmosphere, beautiful scenery
Cons: Parking lot fills up fast, unpredictable weather, cold water, no facilities

Gunnison Beach

In case you miss the sign at Gunnison Beach | Flickr CC:Jackie

3. Gunnison Beach: Sandy Hook, NJ

Jersey might seem an unlikely destination for one of the busiest nude beaches in the U.S., but packed Gunnison is as much a hangout for New Yorkers as it is for residents of the Garden State. Part of the the stunning and remote Sandy Hook National Recreation Area, folks reach cramped Gunnison either by car (the parking lots fill up very quickly on weekends) or via Manhattan ferry. The latter is the preferred choice for New Yorkers who are then bussed for free to clothing optional Gunnison. Most folks go completely naked and on weekends the beach packs ’em in booty to booty. Check out the unobstructed, or shall we say full frontal, skyline views.
Pros: Fun and lively, calm waters, facilities nearby, food trucks on weekends, picturesque views
Cons: Parking lots fills up fast, very cramped

2. Little Beach: Maui, HI

Where there’s a Little Beach, there must be a Big Beach, right? Indeed there is although the two couldn’t be anymore different. Located in serene Makena State Park, just south of all the fancy resorts in Wailea, Big Beach is family friendly (not that Little Beach isn’t) with stunning scenery and inviting waters. But walk to the far north end of the beach, climb a little cliff and—voila!—everyone is naked. The beach is compact and cozy and the surf is perfect for swimming. But Little Beach’s claim to fame is its Sunday sunset in which hundreds gather for a drum circle (once famously led by Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler) and accompanying fire dancing.
Pros: Easy to reach, good for swimming, convivial crowds
Cons: Parking is tight on busy weekends, beach is smallish

On the way to Black's Beach

On the way to Black’s Beach | Flickr CC: Bill Coons

1: Black’s Beach: San Diego, CA

The best nude beach in North America is an expansive, perfectly sun-kissed stretch of sand in sunny, San Diego. It’s quite the hike down a very steep bluff (one entrance to the beach does include steps), but its remoteness is also its charm. Black’s guarantees relative privacy for nude sunbathers and elbow room for all given that the clothing optional portion stretches more than a mile end to end. Body surfing is the norm as the waves are generally strong without being overpowering and the waters temps just right between July and September. Weekdays are quiet, but numbers swell well past a thousand on holiday weekends.
Pros: Social, roomy, good for swimming, lifeguards on duty
Cons: No amenities, hard to reach, occasional stingrays

 

Orbitz, app, iPhone, travel, deals

Tagged: California

Jason Heidemann

Jason Heidemann

Jason is an associate editor at Orbitz, a social media marketing consultant and a freelance cultural reporter for numerous publications. His works has been featured in the Huffington Post, Time Out, Passport, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine and many others.

9 thoughts on “Grin and bare all at North America’s 9 best nude beaches (NSFW)”

  1. Don’t blame the editor for passing on Hanlan’s Point Beach, Toronto Islands, since it is over run by clothed people now. Too close to the city perhaps. You still have the right to be nude and about 100 plus do. We attracted over 1000 per weekend day a few times this year.

    Dave

  2. I have to disagree with the rankings. I think Haulover should be #1 or 2, definitely above Gunnisen beach.
    Little Beach in Maui has great views, but parking is very tight, almost no facilities and climbing that “cliff”, is risky. Inaccessible to people with limited mobility.
    Gunnisen isn’t as easy to get to as Haulover. Isn’t any more scenic than Haulover. The water isn’t any smoother than Haulover. I’ve never seen food trucks there, although they do have a snack shop. Is not year round like Haulover. The water is cold and brown, not warm and generally clear like Haulover and not any more fun and livelier than Haulover.

  3. Europe has the best nude beaches. We were stationed in Sardinia (a large island north of Sicily) and found a beach where clothing was optional. We’d just throw on shorts and a top and drive out there. The north end was all nude, the middle was mixed, and the south end was where the clothed people went. Even our sons were comfortable going sans suits. We had another couple we ran with that started going with us with their 2 kids. Met some great folks there. FYI…it’s just south across the rocks from Rena Majore beach on the west coast of Sardinia.

  4. In the Pacific Northwest 15-miles from Portlandia, Collins Beach on Sauvie Island has a mile of sand.
    During hot sunny summer weekends, this is NO parking because it is THAT popular!

  5. Every beach is a nude beach, until someone complains. Lakes are surrounded by beaches. Find your own.

  6. Damn shame Governor Walker took away Mazo Beach, along the shores of the beautiful Wisconsin River. I am still in mourning . . .

  7. Too bad Governor Walker stole our nude beach , Mazo Beach along the shore of the Wisconsin River was the only destination for decades. Friendly, beautiful and bald eagles flying over the bluffs . . .I’m still in mourning. . .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *