Nude Beaches: Resources and Info

Posted Feb 14th 2011 01:30 PMUpdated Feb 14th 2011 03:18 PM


nude beaches

Getty Images

Author's note: Don't be surprised if some of the websites linked to in this article contain photos of people without clothing. If you have a personal objection to public nudity, you probably won't be terribly interested in an article on nude beaches anyway.

People around the world take to various beaches sans clothing, unafraid to bare some or all of their bodies. While the legality of the practice varies from place to place, nude beaches remain an important draw for tourists and local beach dwellers alike.

Sure, you could chance slipping off your swimsuit at the more remote beaches in the U.S. and other parts of the world. Standard practice, however, is to bare your skin at beaches designated as clothing-optional or nude beaches. In fact, most nudists (sometimes referred to as "naturists") maintain a fairly strong code of ethics regarding the practice. Organizations like the International Naturist Federation work to promote those ethics, including the idea that "nude is not lewd."

Despite efforts to educate the public and promote nude beaches, significant controversy remains regarding them. Most recently, the U.S. state of California cracked down on nudity at the beaches of its state-owned parks after a nearly 30-year period of lenient enforcement was ended in June 2008. Nudists who frequented Trail 6, a formerly clothing-optional beach in San Onofre State Park, mounted a legal battle against the State but ultimately had their case overturned in 2009. Visitors to the beach are still fighting back today, making small victories.

In other parts of the world, people are creating proposals for topless and nude beaches, though not always successfully. Back in July of last year, AOL Travel's Fran Golden reported that New Jersey's Asbury Park City Council declined a topless beach proposal due to inflexible city ordinances. And last month in Australia, the Nudist Association of Victoria was planning to organize a petition for a new nude beach in the City of Bayside, a suburb of Melbourne.

But what of the areas that are already legally considered to be safe for topless and nude activity? Which of those topless and nude beaches tend to be receiving the most praise? Up until 2006, used to give an annual list of top topless beaches. While a little dated, their list still holds merit. (Black's Beach is an exception to the list; it faces the same problems as the previously mentioned Trail 6.) Tom Johansmeyer over at Gadling also ventured a list of five top nude beaches back in 2009. But for those who want more detailed information about the world's topless and nude beaches, here are some solid resources: Kept relatively up-to-date, this site offers an extensive look at the world's clothing-optional beaches. The site owners focus on publicly accessible beaches only, shying away from private nudist resorts and retreats. They also do their best to verify that the beaches are indeed legal for nude activity. Users are able to submit additional beaches that meet the site's criteria. The nude beach listings include links to maps, neighboring towns and cities, hotels, and additional beach information. Although not as organized as, this site still has pertinent information about nude beaches around the world. Beaches can be found using their world map or their more localized maps. Click on a red dot on the map to open a page with more information about the beach. Some of the information may be a little outdated, however.

Wikipedia – Social Nudity Places in North America and Wikipedia – Social Nudity Places in South America: Since anyone can edit Wikipedia, you should be sure to do additional research on any particular location. Still, this is a good jumping off point. – Top five tips for newbies visiting nude beaches: Tom Johansmeyer reviews nudist etiquette and things you should bring if you're new to spending time on a nude beach.
Filed Under: Beach

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:
Shawn Douglas

@snaps: I checked out the Caliente website. It looks like they're targeting the younger crowd, though I'm curious how successful they are. I'm also now curious about the average age of people who check into a clothing-optional resort.

@Derek: Thanks for sharing the story, and best of luck to you with your book.

@Naked Cowboy: According to the SFFB, the beach will this year celebrate 20 years with a clothing-optional area. I hope that it can continue for many more years and not get closed down as Trail 6 did in California.

February 16 2011 at 2:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Naked Cowboy

One of the oldest nude beaches(also clothing optional) is Haulover Beach in Aventura/North Miami Fla. Been there done that had fun!

February 15 2011 at 1:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Derek Lantin


I have reached the age when I try to keep my body covered up whenever possible, - it looks better that way.

I grew up on the French Riviera where topless beaches have been common for as long as I can remember; in the South of France nobody gives a second thought about it.

On one occasion I was walking along a beach in France with an Asian girlfriend, she was shy and insisted on keeping her bikini top in place. Everybody was staring at her and she became very self conscious. I suggested that it would be best of she removed her bikini top; she did so, and then no-body paid her any attention at all.

Sincerely, Derek Lantin.

February 15 2011 at 1:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

there is a new nude reality show too! called nak'd truth. you can do a google search on... nak'd truth reality

its shot at the caliente resort in tampa florida the top nude resort in north america for younger people.

February 14 2011 at 8:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Don't Miss


Take in the sights of autumn across the country.

Hit The Road

Tales of learning to expect the unexpected.

Change Your View
Getty Images

Unexpected encounters and wildlife tours.

Cows, Sharks, Monkeys & More

Travel Careers

amtrak train conductor

See the world and interact with people from different cultures.

flight attendant plane interior

It's as crazy as you think.