As the dog days of summer have drawn to an end, we thought it might be nice to reminisce over the summer of 2018 with another list – this one, our Top Ten Nude Beaches in North America. Buns out, sun’s out, fellas!
Florida’s only legal nude beach, just south of Sunny Isles Beach in North Miami, is also the busiest public nude beach in North America, attracting an astounding 1.3 million visitors per year, making it number one on our list. The nude section of Haulover Beach is its northern stretch, with lifeguard station 15 being the unofficial, arbitrary dividing line between the predominantly straight section (to the south) and predominantly gay section (to the north).
Black’s Beach in San Diego, California, was one of the first legal nude beaches in the U.S. in the mid-1970s. The legally clothing-optional section is beneath the bluffs of Torrey Pines within Torrey Pines State Beach. It was named for the Black family who had a horse farm overlooking the beach.
One of the geographically largest nude beaches in North America, and New Jersey’s only legal nude beach, Gunnison Beach is located on federal land in the Gateway National Recreation Area. It is named for a fortification built by the U.S. government in the 1800s that still overlooks the beach, providing fantastic views of Brooklyn and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. Soldiers used to skinny dip there until the base was decommissioned in 1972 and opened to the public.
Maui’s Little Beach is a relatively small, 660-foot beach is just a short climb over a lava outcrop separating it from the swimsuit-wearers on Big Makena Beach. Little Beach is one of the few Hawaiian beaches where local police tolerate nudity. Its more hippie, laid back vibe, with an aroma of marijuana wafting in the air, is especially evident on Sunday afternoons and evenings, when it is host to celebratory drum circles and fire dancing.
While not a legal nude beach, prohibitions against nudity are rarely (and when they are, erratically) enforced by park rangers at beautiful Playalinda Beach near Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Kennedy Space Center’s rocket launch pad is visible to the south of this surf beach, which is part of the Canaveral National Seashore.
6. Hippie Hollow, Austin, Texas
Hippie Hollow Park, on the shores of Lake Austin in northwest Austin, is the only legal nude beach in Texas. The groovy nickname was adopted in the 1960s in the era of Woodstock. The park contains steep limestone steps, which means you’ll need your climbing shoes to find a spot to get some sun. No one under 18 is allowed.
Located in Pacific Spirit Regional Park, Canada’s sole clothing optional beach on our list is located at the base of a cliff about 12 kilometers from downtown Vancouver, and is especially popular with students and staff at the University of British Columbia, which is located right next to the beach. The most popular part of the beach is at the bottom of Trail 6.
8. Kehena Beach, Big Island, Hawaii
This well-shaded black sand beach off Highway 137 on the Big Island’s eastern shore near Hilo is protected by steep cliffs and tall trees. Rough currents and large waves can make swimming hazardous, but it is popular with local residents.
Despite a statewide ban on nudity on New York beaches, the beaches in front of the homes of Fire Island Pines are private property, and as such, typically free of patrolling/ticketing except for periodic crackdowns spearheaded by the occasional irate homeowner.