Tired of tan lines? Wish you could experience nature au naturel? The good news is, you don’t have to go all the way to the south of France to skinny dip. The United States has plenty of nude beaches – some very popular, some only visited by a few people in the know – where you can legally bathe in the buff. (Sorry, Hawaii: nude sunbathing or swimming in your state is considered indecent exposure and is punishable by six months in jail or a fine of up to $1000.)
Nude Beach First Time Tips
If it’s your first time at a nude beach, here’s how to have the best time and avoid any faux pas.
- Slather on the sunscreen. Otherwise, parts of your body that have never see the sun’s rays will sizzle.
- Don’t stare at the naked people. Even if they’re really hot.
- Don’t touch people you don’t know.
- Don’t take photos. The people around you may not want their bare bums Instagrammed for the world to see.
- Save the sexytimes with your partner for after you’re gone. Nudity is OK at US nude beaches, but public sexual activity is not.
9 Great US Beaches For Going Bare
1. Baker Beach, San Francisco, CA
Photo by Ernest McGray, Jr.
On the seaside edge of the City by the Bay, this beach was the first location of the Burning Man arts festival back in the 1980s. It’s located on the edge of the Presidio, with stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Warning: the Pacific Ocean runs very cold in this area, so if you’re male prepare for a bit of shrinkage.
2. Haulover Beach Park, Miami, FL
If you’ve been wearing the tiniest swimsuit you can legally get away with at Miami’s other beaches, then take the plunge and dare to bare it all at Haulover Beach. The water is warm and blue, the crowds are friendly and the tan lines are nonexistent. It’s the largest public nude beach in the country, with 1.3 million visitors a year.
3. Lucy Vincent Beach, Chilmark, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
Courtesy of Massachusetts Department of Tourism
Only in Massachusetts would a nude beach be named after a librarian. When Lucy Vincent owned the beach in the early 20th century, she allowed the commune down the road to use it for nude swimming. (Yes, there were communes and skinny dippers in the early 20th century!) If your media tastes run toward C-Span or Town and Country Magazine, don’t be surprised if you see someone you recognize.
4. Collins Beach, Sauvie Island, Oregon
Eric Gropp via Flickr
In a city as rainy as Portland, getting wet may seem redundant. But if you want to splash around without your raincoat, or anything else, this beach on the Columbia River just outside the city will do the trick. It’s extremely popular in summer, so prepare for a lively, friendly atmosphere. While you can be completely nude, your dog can’t – if you bring Fido, he needs to stay on a leash.
5. Hippie Hollow, Austin, TX
LoneStarMike via Wikimedia
When locals say “Keep Austin weird,” Hippie Hollow (yes, that’s the real name!) is one of the things they’re talking about. It is the only public property where one can legally swim nude in the entirety of the giant state of Texas. Technically, this isn’t a beach. It’s a series of stone outcroppings leading down to a sprawling, clear lake. Don’t bring the kids; everyone has to be 18 or over to enjoy the pleasures of skinny-dipping.
6. Gunnison Beach, New Jersey
3.26 via Flickr
If you want a nude beach with both a scene and a view, this is the one. Its unofficial slogan is “Get naked or get lost.” Arrive early on a hot summer’s day if you want a place to pitch your beach towel. Then skinny dip with the scenic New York City skyline as your backdrop and some of the Big Apple’s sexiest residents on either side of you. Like Baker Beach, it’s at the edge of a former military base.
7. Lake Willoughby, Vermont
LostDrewID via Wikimedia
In Vermont, it’s legal to be nude so long as you’re out of public view, whether it’s private property or secluded public land. Obviously, that means the state is loaded with skinny-dipping spots. One of the best is at gorgeous Lake Willoughby. Make sure you’re on the correct beach before you take everything off. The nude beach is the one in the southwest cove.
8. Black’s Beach, La Jolla, California
Kenneth Hagermeyer via Flickr
This beach is located just a few miles north of San Diego and is backed by scenic cliffs. The northern end of this beach is part of a state park, and clothing in that area is officially optional. It’s popular with locals, but rarely crowded.9. Denny-Blaine Park, Seattle, Washington
9. Denny-Blaine Park, Seattle, Washington
Joe Mabel via Wikimedia
In Seattle, according to a 1990 judicial ruling it’s OK to be nude so long as you’re not lewd, especially in areas with a tradition of nakedness. The ruling has defeated neighbors’ attempts to stop skinny-dipping at Denny-Blaine Park, which has been popular with nude swimmers since the 80s. It’s right on Lake Washington and offers terrific views of Bellevue and the snow-capped mountains beyond.
Looking to explore outside of the US? Read about 10 Exotic Couples’ Resorts!