7 Nude Beaches In California Where You Don’t Have To Worry About Tan Lines

Clothing is optional at these gorgeous destinations.

​Pirate's Cove beach in California. Right: A woman sitting in the sand.
Georgia Contributing Writer

Pirate's Cove beach in California. Right: A woman sitting in the sand.

One of the best ways to soak in the full potential of the Golden State is by paying a visit to one of California's nude beaches. No need to fret over tan lines, clothing is optional at these seaside destinations.

While the California Code of Regulations states that public nudity is still a fineable offense, many public beaches have "clothing-optional" zones where it's widely accepted to bask in the sun in your birthday suit.

It's always important to keep in mind proper etiquette while visiting nude beaches and respect those around you by not staring or taking photographs without clear consent.

These are seven of the best beaches in California where clothing is not a requirement, just be sure to remember sunscreen, of course.

North Baker Beach

Location: Bowley St and Gibson Rd, San Francisco, CA

Description: This picturesque shoreline has an unbeatable view of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. If you trek up to the far north end of the strip, there is a hidden cove that's popular with nude sunbathers.

While this beach is beautiful, it is unsafe to swim in because of intense rip currents and high tides. However, you can lay up on the shore and work on your tan while taking in the iconic city views.


Secret Cove

Location: Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, Highway 28, South Lake Tahoe, NV

Description: Located just on the Nevada side of the lake, Secret Cove is a hidden stretch of beach in the shimmering waters of Lake Tahoe where clothing is optional.

A winding trail will take you to your secret destination, nestled in a world of natural beauty. You can take in the breathtaking views of the crystal clear lake, or relax on the sand and boulders taking in the crisp mountain air.


San Gregorio Private Beach

Location: 19429 Cabrillo Hwy, San Gregorio, CA

Description: This private beach lined with driftwood and hidden caves is rumored to be one of the first modern nudist beaches in the entire country. It is also known for being LGBTQIA+ friendly.

The owners allow for you to explore the rocky shoreline during daylight hours in exchange for a small parking fee. Keep to the north side of the beach, however, if you wander too far south you will drift into state park territory.


Pirate's Cove

Location: Cave Landing Road, Avila Beach, CA

Description: What better place to embrace your booty than Pirate's Cove at Pismo Beach? This Southern California gem has winding seaside trails and seaside caves ready to be discovered.

One cave forms a large tunnel which you can walk under as you wander the seashore.

There is a large local presence for people looking to comfortable enjoy the coastline in their natural states. It's also a great destination for beach-combing and seashell hunting.


Red Rock Beach

Location: Shoreline Hwy, Stinson Beach, CA

Description: This Bay Area nudist beach tends to see smaller crowds due to the steep hike required to access it. But once you're there, it's worth the trek.

During high tide, water conditions and rip tides can be intense and should be navigated with care, but during low tides, hot springs seep through the soft sand and pool around boulders that line the shore.

The massive cliffs and bluffs make for a picturesque scene while you lay out on the pristine sands. And of course, clothing is optional.


Black's Beach (North)

Location: 2800 Torrey Pines Scenic Dr, La Jolla, CA

Description: Black's Beach is located near San Diego, in the town of La Jolla, right around the corner from Torrey Pines State Park. The high cliffs provide a comforting sense of privacy while you strip down to enjoy this destination.

The entirety of the beach is nudist-friendly, and while most congregate on the north end, the south is popular with surfing crowds due to the beach's impressive waves.

This destination is a popular hot spot, so you can expect larger crowds to form during peak times.


The Crater Beach

Location: California Ave and Cabrillo Hwy, Sand City, CA

Description: This unique beach has a large, crater-like indent in the sand that is known for being the "clothing-optional" area of the Sand City Beach.

This secluded area is fun for exploring the slopes, basking in the sun and enjoying the warm Pacific waters.

You can access the nudist-friendly areas by trekking to the north end of the shoreline.


This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Maeve Browne
Georgia Contributing Writer
Maeve Browne is a Contributing Writer for Narcity’s USA Desk focused on food and Internet trends and is based in Savannah, Georgia.