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Guide to America’s Best Clothing Optional Beaches

Travel Tips | Rayme Gorniak | July 15, 2023

Good for you! You’ve heeded our advice and started working on that summer bod. Now that the nation is heating up, you might want to ditch your clothes at one of America’s best clothing-optional beaches to work on those tan lines. Well, lack of tan lines.

Please keep in mind that most of the beaches below are not officially nude (luckily the authorities tend to look the other way when it comes to sunbathing in the buff but that is not guaranteed, so be alert) or at least nude-all-over (meaning you might need to plan some extra time in your beach day for a distant trek to the secluded sand and surf to sunbathe in the nude.)

So, if you’re ready to lose your inhibitions and tan au naturel — let’s get nekid! Just be sure to bring the sunscreen.

Fire Island, New York

Lighthouse Beach in Islip, New York might be your best bet to work on your tan while eyeing bronze hotties. A feature of the Fire Island National Seashore it sees an influx of visitors as the season heats up and the visitors try to walk in the footsteps of Logo’s reality TV show cast. Technically, clothing-optional was banned in 2013 but the NPS often looks away. The clothing-optional zone is actually split into two sections—one west of the lighthouse, one east of it. Clothing is required on the area of the beach directly in front of the lighthouse. The western nude zone, closest to the parking lot, is generally preferred by straight couples and families. The eastern zone is where gay men tend to gather.

South Padre Island, Texas

South Padre Island’s UFO Beach, is more than rowdy Texans. Just head past all the clothed families on the main strip to the northern end. Look for a giant sea buoy that is shaped like a flying saucer and you have found the beach that eschews modesty.

San Diego, California

Pack a comfy pair of shoes if your planning to sun on La Jolla’s Black’s Beach. The 15-minute hike down from the cliffs offers stunning views of miles of beaches and a chance to scope out your spot on the beach. Once on the very secluded shore, you’ll be happy to burn those calories when you slip off your suit.

Aquinnah, Massachusetts

Moshup Beach in Martha’s Vineyard is an ideal place to use up all of your SPF as you grab a light hike through the sandy dunes and breathe in the fresh air. Gay Head Cliffs are the aptly named clay walls that protect shy eyes from bare bums.

Miami, Florida

The white sands of Miami’s Haulover Beach will certainly reflect the sun’s rays onto bare skin. A scenic 30-minute drive from the glamour of South Beach will land you in a nudist paradise since this is one of the more popular clothing optional beaches in the U.S., not to mention a great place to brush up on your language skills as it’s a destination for foreign visitors.

Portland, Oregon

Not really feeling salt water? Try Collins Beach along the banks of the Columbia River, just north of Portland. Since the late 1970s, this has been a popular destination to frolic in the wilderness in nothing but your birthday suit. Just try not to stroll to the non-nude area.

Photo by JoeSwickFoto

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And let’s be honest, that’s pretty darn gay.

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