Gay Nude Beaches: The Best of the Best

For almost a century, gay men have been at the vanguard of the naturist movement. Thus, it should be no surprise that clothing-optional beaches are largely frequented by gay or bisexual men. None of the beaches listed in this article are exclusively gay. However, they are all popular with gay nudists and have gay sections where most queer men gather. Which is the gay section? Just look for the absence of women and children.

Black’s Beach, La Jolla, San Diego, California
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

1 – Black’s Beach, La Jolla, California. Nude sunbathers gather in the northern section of Black’s Beach, America’s most popular nude beach. Though Black’s is by no means a gay beach, it is frequented by gay locals and tourists alike. Black’s Beach is hard to reach, which seems to keep away gawkers and law enforcement officials. (Visit Black’s Beach in San Diego, Ca. for detailed instructions.)

Golden Gate Bridge as seen from Marshall’s Beach
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

2 – Marshall’s Beach, San Francisco, California. Perhaps the closest thing we have to an all-gay nude beach, Marshall’s Beach is located right next to the Golden Gate Beach and is mostly unknown to the pedestrians who stroll along the sidewalk on the eastern side of the Bridge. Marshall’s Beach is on the west side, reached via a sidewalk reserved for cyclists. Recently the federal government refurbished the area and added walking paths. This has been a mixed blessing, because while Marshall’s is as gay and as nude as ever, more unsuspecting straights also end up there.

San Gregorio Beach
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

3 – San Gregorio Beach, San Mateo County California. Not to be confused with the adjacent state beach of the same name (stay north of the “hazardous surf” sign to avoid park rangers), San Gregorio Beach is America’s oldest nude beach, dating back to 1967. It is also the gayest, especially the northern end. San Gregorio is privately owned, which allows it to ignore California’s anti-nudity laws. It boasts of two miles of soft sand strewn with driftwood, tide pools, and a lovely lagoon, all of it framed by dramatic cliffs.

Nude bathers at Haulover Beach
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

4 – Haulover Beach, Miami-Dade County, Florida. My hometown favorite, the clothing-optional section of Haulover Beach is the most popular nude beach in North America, and the most accessible. On a warm, sunny day, Haulover’s gay beach is what heaven would be if God was a gay nudist. Just remember to wear a hat and apply sunscreen.

View of Playalinda Beach at Canaveral National Seashore from South end.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

5 – Playalinda Beach, Brevard County and Apollo Beach, Volusia County, Florida. Playalinda and Apollo Beach, part of Canaveral National Seashore, are attractive and popular naturist hangouts. Playalinda has been a naturist playground since the sixties. Unfortunately, Playalinda is in Brevard County, where anti-nudity laws are strictly enforced. Not surprisingly, nudists moved their beach-going activities to Apollo Beach, located in the more tolerant Volusia County. Though Apollo is an unofficial nude beach, it is the Sunshine State’s most nudist-friendly beach outside of Haulover.

Sandy Hook seen from an airplane (looking west) on its approach to JFK
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

6 – Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, Gunnison is the Jersey Shore’s only legal nude beach. The largest nude beach on the East Coast, Gunnison is head-over-bare-feet above other nearby beaches. In addition to its nude recreation opportunities, Gunnison offers fishing, hiking, bird watching and views of the New York City skyline and the Statue of Liberty. Gays hang out at the southern end of the Beach.

Hippie Hollow Park, Austin TX
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

7 – Hippie Hollow, 18 miles west of Austin, Texas. Though not technically a beach, McGregor County Park (its actual name) js a naturist paradise. Located on a rather steep slope above Lake Travis, Hippie Hollow attracts visitors from all over the world with its steep, rocky shoreline, nature trails and designated swimming areas. Though every day is Gay Day at Hippie Hollow, the best time to visit is during Splash Days, on the first Sunday in May, and on Labor Day Weekend. Make a left turn at the parking lot.

Wreck Beach in Vancouver, British Columbia
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

8 – Wreck Beach, Vancouver, British Columbia. According to Michael Boyd (Naked Places), Wreck Beach is “perhaps the best-known nude beach on the globe.” It’s located in Pacific Spirit Regional Park, at the foot of the cliffs that surround the University of British Columbia. The clothing-optional section stretches for 4 miles from Acadia Beach to the north to Booming Grounds Creek on the south. As in other nude beaches, the gay section is off the beaten path, in this case the remote area south of Trail 6. Keep an eye out for the naked vendors who, in G.T. McCallan’s words, “ply the beach offering water, beer, sandwiches, and a surprising array of narcotics.”

Jesse’s Journal
By Jesse Monteagudo

Jesse Monteagudo is a freelance writer and South Florida resident since 1964. Share your own experiences with him at


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