If your one vacation goal is minimal tan lines, re-think your perspective on nudist beaches. We highly recommend a generous dose of sunblock for those areas that may have not seen the sun since the days your parents were still announcing your age in months. Come enjoy the seclusion of these secret nudist beaches in the USA. After all, where else can you parade around outside and feel a free breeze in your birthday suit?
San Mateo County, California
The tiny town of San Gregorio in San Mateo County is located just south of San Francisco. The real draw here is its beach: the two mile long sand beach is the oldest nude beach (since 1967) in the United States. There is also a state beach on site, but you’ll have to walk a little bit further to the private part in order to reach the very laid-back and spacious nude section. It’s a popular jaunt from SF for the gay community who flock to its more northern strip. Straight visitors tend to stay on the southern side, but feel free to wander without judging eyes. The beach is also said to be one of the cleanest in the state.
Directions: South on Highway 1, past Half Moon Bay. Look for mileposts 18 and 19 — on the right side there should be a telephone call box number at the intersection of Highway 1 and Stage Road. You’ll see an iron gate with trees on either side, turn into the gravel driveway, passing through the iron gate, driving past a grass field to the parking lot. There is an entrance fee as it is a private beach.
Further up the Cabrillo Highway in Half Moon Bay, stay the night at the Zaballa House. This independent B&B promises travelers a bit of something special to break up the repetitiveness of chain hotels along the PCH. A complimentary wine and cheese, charming rooms with fireplaces and whirlpools or antique tubs — this is the kind of place where you can really unwind.
Hobe Sound Beach
Jupiter Island, Florida
This little beach is a bit off the grid but it comes with a great deal of privacy. Hide among the cliffs and dunes for your own little piece of paradise on Hobe Sound Beach, apparently the preferred clothing-free beach of the rich and wealthy. This nude beach is rather ‘word of mouth’ and while it’s not officially nude, it’s rare to get bothered by anyone so long as you are discrete, making it the perfect place to take it all off for the first time. Jupiter has plenty of accommodation options. The Wyndham Grand Jupiter is a short, albeit clothed, jaunt away from this magnificent beach.
Directions: Take exit I-95 at County Road 708, (also called Bridge Road) and drive two miles east. Cross the Intracoastal and pass through a road lined with trees. Once you hit the ocean, there is a free parking lot for the public beach. Make a left turn, drive 1.5 miles down the beach road till you come to the parking lot for the wildlife preserve.
San Diego, California
The hidden gem is a true test of faith to get to with steep hiking trails making it difficult to access for visitors. Those who make it are rewarded — it’s uncrowded and the perfect spot for shy naturists to get naked for the first time with plenty of privacy. Surfers also love this spot for its waves and some do partake in the clothing-optional fun. Nude beaches are technically illegal in San Diego but since this one is so difficult to reach, you can work the birthday suit without much risk of interruption. The Hyatt Regency La Jolla is not only close to Black’s Beach, but several others in the area should you decide to work on those tan lines a bit.
Directions: From the 5 Freeway take Carmel Valley Road west toward Pacific Coast Highway. The beach is notoriously hard to access with several different routes possible. Check here to figure out the best option for you — but be ready for a bit of a hike.
Little Beach is surrounded by high shrubs, driftwood and volcanic rock that make you grateful to have remembered your shoes to get here. Come on Sunday evenings for a drum circle and fire dancing celebrations, which are performed, as expected, in the nude. Coming to this beach is more of a hangout than a private affair — since it’s rather small, it can also be difficult to escape the onslaught of welcoming naturists.
Directions: Little Beach is just North of Big Beach in South Maui. Drive south on Piilani Highway with the ocean on your right until the road turns into Wailea Ike Drive. Drive past the Makena Beach Golf Resort, turning right at the entrance with a sign reading “Makena Beach (Big Beach).” Park at the first entrance. Walk to the beach, turn right and go to the cliff at the end where you’ll see a path amongst the rocky cliff — sturdy shoes are highly recommended. Follow the path to the beach!
One of the best value stays close to Makena Beach, according to trivago users, is the Days Inn Maui Oceanfront. It’s “Oceanfront” name doesn’t come with reason, the Days Inn looks onto Haleakala, the neighboring islands and, of course, the Pacific Ocean!
San Francisco, California
Californians have the free-spirited mentality in which naturism thrives. Another fantastic nudist beach is barely out of San Francisco and one of the most iconic places to get a photo of the bridge. Most visitors come for the ½ mile long strand in the northernmost section of the beach to tan not only in the nude, but also in peace. Don’t even think about skinny dipping however — the surf here has huge waves, a violent undertow and rip currents that make the water incredibly dangerous. Sharks have also made unscheduled appearances so unless you want to risk your life, limit yourself to sun tanning. Sleep at the nearby Drisco hotel because the beach is only open during daylight hours.
Directions: Follow Lincoln Blvd. from the Golden Gate Bridge south along the coast. Turn right onto Bowley Street and then another right on Gibson Road to access the parking lots that are closest to the beach. You can also come by public transit with the No. 29 Sunset bus which stops at Baker Beach. The nude area is the north end of the beach, closest to the Golden Gate bridge.
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
Martha’s Vineyard may not be the uptight old-money community you previously believed- a bit of boho lays at the Moshup beach, a small inlet that is well-loved by locals. Visitors have to pay $15 for parking in order to access the beach but it’s worth the money. You’ll be looking around at multicolored cliffs marbled with green, grey, red, white and yellow as well as the surrounding islands. Beware of erosion on the cliffs however as they can crumble without warning.
Directions: Head down the Moshup Trail till you reach the parking lot for the beach, to which entrance is $15. Then to get to the beach itself, it’s a ten minute walk from the parking lot down the wooden boardwalks.
On Martha’s Vineyard, we love the Harbor View Hotel which is walking distance from Edgartown’s Lighthouse Beach. Though not a spot for naturalists in particular, this sweeping beach appears to almost melt into the calm waters hugged in by Chappaquiddick Island.
Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Get naked on both shores of Whale Beach. The secluded little cove on the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe are a hidden oasis of naturists. The long hike there ensures that those who aren’t taking their nudity too seriously stay away, leaving the pristine waters and white sands to be enjoyed by those who really want to be there. The beach actually has an Honorary Mayor whose job it is to ensure the beach stays clean of both garbage and illicit activities. Inn By The Lake is a cozy inn within a couple miles of the alluring Whale Beach and the turquoise water of Lake Tahoe.
Directions: Head to the East Shore of Lake Tahoe, six miles north of Highway 50 or 28. You’ll find a parking lot on the lake side where you park before heading south down a fire road to get access to both South and North Whale Beach.
Sandy Hook, New Jersey
Just south of New York City is the now famous stretch of the Jersey Shore. What’s happening on Gunnison Beach however, is even too R-rated for the dirtiest of MTV shows. This former testing site for the US army once hosted soldiers skinny dipping on hot days. Although New Jersey has outlawed nudism on state and local beaches, this piece of federal land isn’t subject to the same regulations. It can get busy in the summer with over 5000 people flocking here on weekends to get that beautiful view of Brooklyn from the comfort of their nude suit. Stay close by at the Blue Bay Inn, four miles away from sleepy morning swims, although the beach is only 40 minutes on the ferry from Manhattan.
Directions: Take the Garden State Parkway and continue south until Exit 117 onto State Rt. 36 south. Follow the signs for Gateway National Recreation Area, continuing on Rt/36 around 12 miles. Once you get near the shore, look for the Sandy Hook / Gateway National Recreation Area and make a right just before the drawbridge. Take the exit ramp on the right crossing back over to Rt. 36 straight into the park.
Sauvie Island, Oregon
Collins Beach on Sauvie Island is one of a few landlocked secret nudist beaches in the USA. This local hot spot may not be on the coast, but there is no lack of nudity on Collins Beach, smack on the Columbia River in Oregon. Just downstream from uber-hip Portland, be prepared for lots of beards and beers with most visitors choosing to forego covering up for skinny dipping in the slow winds of the river. If you love it enough to stay the weekend, consider the La Quinta Inn & Suites is only eight miles away at the edge of Portland.
Directions: From Portland, take Highway 30 northwest (towards Linnton, Scappoose, Saint Helens, and Astoria). About 10 miles past downtown Portland, make a right turn onto the well-marked bridge over Multnomah Channel. Buy a one-day or full-year parking pass at the Cracker Barrel store in order to (legally) park near the beach. Then drive under the bridge onto Gillihan Road, following it to the end, turning right onto Reeder Road. When the road turns to gravel, you’ll see signs for “Collins Beach, Clothing-Optional Area, Nudity on Beach Only,” you’ll have arrived. Follow any of trails No. 2-6 to the beach!
Bare Pool Lounge
Las Vegas, Nevada
While not quite a beach, the Mirage Hotel Las Vegas dares and invites those brave enough to bare it all to their sumptuous Bare Pool Lounge. Slightly more up upscale than the average nudist beach — expect bottle service, delicious cocktails, two pools as well as daybeds with umbrellas and cabanas to ensure that nothing precious gets too burnt. Europeans love the Bar Pool Lounge so you should feel more than comfortable at least baring your top off.