San Francisco Bay Area Naturist Resources

Table of Contents

The law and public-land nudism in California
Publications and associations
On-line newsletters, blogs, social networks and forums
Climate & Weather

Places
Northern California
North Bay
San Francisco area
San Jose-Santa Cruz area
East Bay
Monterey area
Pfeiffer Big Sur area
Central Coast
Central Valley
Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Southern California
International Destinations

Realtors
Travel Agencies
Women's topfree equality
Personal-growth workshops supporting naturist concepts
Singles and dating
Religion and Naturism
General Information
Sports & Hobbies
Special Events
Theater, Dance, and Performance Arts
Boat Charters
Peace and Anti-War Demonstrations
Music
Podcasts (audio programs)
Merchandise
Barefoot Living

The law and public-land nudism in California

Federal law

There is no federal law against nudity. Nude beaches, such as Baker Beach in San Francisco, operate within federal park lands in California. However, under a provision called concurrent jurisdiction, federal park rangers may enforce state and local laws, or invite local authorities to do so.

State law

A 1972 California Supreme Court decision In re Smith held that simple beach nudity (absent sexual or shock motives) does not constitute the crime of indecent exposure.

The California State Park system is a special case. Simple nudity is illegal in state parks except in areas designated for the purpose. Although the state has declined to officially designate any nude beaches, traditional use has un-officially designated them, according to the Cahill policy.

It is widely believed that health laws require shoes in a restaurant or food store. However, such laws apply only to the food-handling staff. There is no California state health law requiring customers or patrons to wear anything at all. Dress codes are at the discretion of private business management. See letter from California Department of Health Services.

Finally, California Penal Code section 647(a) states:

647. Every person who commits any of the following acts is guilty of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor:
   (a) Who solicits anyone to engage in or who engages in lewd or dissolute conduct in any public place or in any place open to the public or exposed to public view.
However, it would be quite a stretch to apply this law against nudists, since simple nudity is not a lewd act.

Local law

Various counties and municipalities may enact their own dress codes, and many have. For example:

San Francisco

San Francisco is the newest Bay Area city to enact an ordinace prohibiting simple nudity in public, via the infamous Wiener Bill (named after its author SF Supervisor Scott Wiener) formally known as Ordinance 234-12 which, when signed into law by Mayor Edwin Lee on December 6, 2012, added San Francisco Police Code Section 154 to prohibit nudity on public streets, sidewalks, street medians, parklets, plazas, and public rights-of-way, and on public transit vehicles, stations, platforms, and stops, except as part of permitted parades, fairs, and festivals.

San Jose Municipal Code 10.12.030:

A. No person over the age of ten years shall be nude and exposed to public view in or upon any public right-of-way, public park, public lands, or in or upon any private property open to public view from any such park, right-of-way or public property....

B. As used in this section, "nude" means devoid of any opaque covering of the genitals, pubic hair, buttocks, perineum, anus or anal region of any person; or any portion of the breast, at or below the areola thereof, of any female person.

Mountain View Ord. No. 22.73, 7/30/1973

SEC. 21.42. Prohibition against the display of female breasts.

Every female is guilty of a misdemeanor who, while participating in any live act, demonstration, or exhibition in any public place, place open to the public, or place open to public view, or while serving food or drink or both to any customer;

  1. Exposes any portion of either breast below a straight line so drawn that both nipples and all portions of both breasts which have a different pigmentation than that of the main portion of the breasts are below such straight line, or
  2. Employs any device or covering, which is intended to simulate such portions of the breast, or
  3. Wears any type of clothing so that any portion of such part of the breast may be observed.

SEC. 21.43. Prohibition against display of private parts.

Every person is guilty of a misdemeanor who exposes his or her private parts or buttocks, or employs any device or covering which is intended to simulate the private parts or pubic hair of such person, while participating in any live act, demonstration, or exhibition in any public place, place open to the public, or place open to public view, or while serving food or drink or both to any customer.

Santa Cruz County Chapter 8.16 Nudity on Beaches

8.16.010 Purpose of provisions.

The presence of persons who are nude and exposed to public view on beaches in the urban portions of the county is offensive to members of the general public unwillingly exposed to such persons. The provisions of this chapter are enacted for the purpose of securing and promoting the public health, morals and general welfare of all persons in the county. (Prior code § 8.52.010: Ord. 2052, 9/3/74)

8.16.020 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:
A. "Beach" means all of that area lying along the coast between the mean low water line and the bluffs or high lands which rise above the sandy areas of the beach.
B. "Nude" means devoid of opaque covering which covers the genitals, pubic hair, buttocks, perineum, anus or anal region of any person.
C. "Urban area" means the unincorporated portion of the coast of the county bounded on the northwest by the southeasterly border of the city of Santa Cruz and bounded on the south by the Pajaro River. (Prior code § 8.52.020: Ord. 2052, 9/3/74)

8.16.030 Nudity prohibited.

No person shall be nude and exposed to public view in or on any beaches or water adjacent thereto in the urban area of the county as defined in this chapter. (Prior code § 8.52.030: Ord. 2052, 9/3/74)

8.16.040 Chapter not exclusive.

It is the intention of the board of supervisors in enacting this chapter to provide an additional remedy to meet a particular problem in a portion of the county. It is not the intent of the board to supersede any other applicable laws or regulations relating to nudity or to grant a license or permission to the public to appear in a state of undress in violation of pertinent provisions of the Penal Code or other laws. (Prior code § 8.52.040: Ord. 2052, 9/3/74)

8.16.050 Violation--Penalty

Any person violating the provisions of this chapter is guilty of an infraction and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars; provided, however, that any offense which would otherwise be an infraction is a misdemeanor if a defendant has been convicted of three or more violations of this chapter within the twelve-month period immediately preceding the commission of the offense and such prior convictions are admitted by the defendant or alleged in the accusatory pleading. For this purpose, a bail forfeiture shall be deemed a conviction of the offense charged. (Prior code § 8.52.050: Ord. 2411, 4/19/77)

Marin County Chapter 6.76

6.76.010 Findings -- Intent.

The board of supervisors of Marin County finds and determines as follows:

(a) It is the policy of this county that the public beaches, parks and places hereof shall be available for the use and enjoyment of the public to the maximum extent possible.

(b) It is further the policy of this county that members of the public are entitled to use the public beaches, parks and places hereof without being subjected to offensive conduct by other members of the public.

(c) The presence of persons in a state of nudity in public places, places open to the public, and places open to public view, whether such places are publicly or privately owned, tends to discourage the use and enjoyment of the public beaches, parks and places of this county, creates a nuisance, and is offensive to members of the public who wish to use and enjoy said public beaches, parks and places.

(d) The presence of persons in a state of nudity in public places, places open to the public, and places open to public view, whether such places are publicly or privately owned, is offensive to persons residing in the vicinity of such places and interferes with said residents' comfortable enjoyment of their property.

(e) The presence of persons in a state of nudity in public places, places open to the public, and places open to public view, whether such places are publicly or privately owned, creates a nuisance and is offensive as set forth in this section even when such nudity is not sexually motivated and is not otherwise lewd.

(f) The prohibition of nude persons from public places, places open to the public, and places open to public view, whether such places are publicly or privately owned, is necessary to preserve and maintain the public order and the general welfare of the citizens of this county.

(g) It is the intent of this board of supervisors to prohibit nudity in public places, places open to the public, and places open to public view, whether such places are publicly or privately owned, even when such nudity is not sexually motivated or otherwise lewd. (Ord. 2183 § 1, 1975: Ord. 1795 § 1 (part), 1970)

6.76.015 Enforcement by citation.

It is the intent and recommendation of this board of supervisors that this chapter, where practicable and legal, will be enforced by the citation procedure set forth in Penal Code Section 853.6, rather than by arrest. (Ord. 2184 § 1, 1975)

6.76.020 Penalties for violation.

Any person violating the provisions of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine not exceeding fifty dollars or by imprisonment not exceeding thirty days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. (Ord. 2184 § II, 1975: Ord. 1795 § 1 (part), 1970)

6.76.030 Nudity prohibited in public place, place open to public, place open to public view.

Every person who willfully appears in the unincorporated area of Marin County on or in any beach, park, square, preserve, avenue, street, lane, alley or any other public place, place open to the public, or place exposed to public view, whether such place is publicly or privately owned, in a state of dress or undress in which the pubic hair, genitals, buttocks or any portion of the female breast below the top of the areola of such person is exposed is guilty of a misdemeanor. (Ord. 2183 § II, 1975)

6.76.040 Exceptions.

This chapter shall not apply to live theatrical performances performed in a theater, concert hall, or other similar establishment. (Ord. 2183 § III, 1975)

6.76.050 Exceptions.

This chapter shall not apply to an appearance in a state of dress or undress as described in Section 6.76.030 upon private property reasonably screened or concealed from neighboring public or private property or from public view, or on a beach or other facility established as "swimsuit optional" by a duly adopted resolution of the board of supervisors. (Ord. 2183 § 1V, 1975)

6.76.060 Exception.

This chapter shall not apply to children under the age of ten years. (Ord. 2183 § V, 1975)

Berkeley Municipal Code Chapter 13.32: Nudity in Public Places

Editor's note: This ordinance was passed in the 1990's after Andrew Martinez, then a student at U.C Berkeley, who went to classes and generally went about his business nude, showed up nude at City Council hearings on the subject. Naturists owe a debt of gratitude [not] to Martinez, who "pushed the envelope" just a little too far.

13.32.010 Nudity prohibited in any public place.

It shall be either a misdemeanor or an infraction, in the discretion of the prosecutor, for any person to appear nude in any place open to the public or any place visible from a place open to the public. "Nude" within the meaning of this section means the absence of an opaque covering which covers the genitals, pubic hair, buttocks, perineum, anus or anal region of any person or any portion of the breast at or below the areola thereof of any female person. (Ord. 6446-NS 1, 1998: Ord. 6199-NS 1, 1993)

13.32.020 Exceptions.

The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to:

  1. Any person ten years old or younger.
  2. Any female exposing her breast to the extent such exposure is necessary to breast-feed a child.
  3. Performers who are engaged in live theatrical performances performed in a theater, concert hall or other such establishment which is primarily devoted to theatrical performances. (Ord. 6446-NS 2, 1998: Ord. 6199-NS 2, 1993)

Other ordinances

See also Los Angeles County ordinance 17.12.360, prohibiting mere nudity in public areas of L.A. County.

Other Areas

Municipal Code Corporation maintains a library of many of local Codes of Ordinances on the web.

See also Naturist Legal Resources.

Publications and associations

The Bay Area Naturists, P.O. Box 23781, San Jose CA 95153, are a loosely-knit collection of people in the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas who combine ecology awareness with body acceptance.

Photonaturals are a group of naturists who promote the concept of naturism through publishing beautiful naturist photography on the Naked Club web site. So there are two web sites:

The San Francisco Bay Guardian, 520 Hampshire St., San Francisco CA 94110-1417, publishes an annual Nude Beach Issue featuring Gary Hanauer's excellent research.

Betsy Malloy's Nude Beach Guide - California, A Guide to Visiting a California Nude Beach, is hosted by About.com.

Susan Breslow Sardone's Nude Beach Guide, Guide to Finding a Nude Beach Getaway, is hosted by About.com.

Nude & Natural, published by The Naturist Society, P.O. Box 132, Oshkosh WI 54903, (920) 426-5009. This group, headed by Lee Baxandall, began in the 70's as the "Free Beaches Documentation Center" with a quarterly newspaper, the Sun. As a magazine, it was renamed to Clothed With the Sun and later Nude & Natural or simply N. It has expanded into the finest English-language naturist magazine; every quarter it is packed with useful reports and lively discussion of issues of naturist relevance. Subscription included in annual membership, either directly through TNS, or through Bay Area Naturists (includes local dues).

The World's Best Nude Beaches & Resorts, also published by The Naturist Society, has become the definitive work for finding accepted naturist locations throughout the world. Its beautiful color photography enhances any coffee table and is a tremendous aid to explaining our lifestyle to others.

Naturist Action Committee is the non-profit political arm of The Naturist Society (TNS). NAC's nine volunteer board members are elected democratically from and by the membership of TNS. NAC is a grass roots organization that relies on the involvement and participation of individual Naturists and groups at local levels.

Naturist Education Foundation is the nonprofit informational and educational arm of The Naturist Society. NEF is an organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the awareness of Naturism and body acceptance among both Naturists and non-Naturists, and to achieving an understanding and acceptance of Naturists and their activities throughout North America.

The Bulletin, ISSN 0279-8158, a monthly newspaper for members of the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR, formerly American Sunbathing Association), 1703 N. Main St. #E, Kissimmee FL 34744-3396, (800) 879-6833, contains reports from affiliated nudist clubs.

The North American Guide to Nude Recreation, also published by the AANR, is a guidebook for locating affiliated nudist clubs and resorts in the U.S.A.

American Association for Nude Recreation, Western Region is the western branch of AANR, above.

Naturally magazine is a well-known naturist publication edited by Bern Loibl & family under "Internaturally" P.O. Box 317,, Newfoundland, NJ 07435-0317. Its focus is worldwide upscale naturist travel for individuals and families, and is beautifully illustrated with color photographs.

Hot Springs and Hot Pools of the Southwest (ISBN 1-890880-01-9) and Hot Springs and Hot Pools of the Northwest by Jayson Loam and Marjorie Gersh are considered the Bibles of the traveling hot-pool dippers, both nudist and vestist. Northwest covers Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming; Southwest covers California, Baja California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, and Texas. Included descriptions, directions, photographs, and maps to both public-land springs and private resorts, noting the accepted dress code for each. Available at major bookstores or from Thermal Access (831) 426-2956.

Body Freedom Collaborative leads or supports projects including: Naked Freedom Film Festival (NFFF), Free Beach Trilogy (FBT), World Naked Gardening Day (WNGD), World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR), Mermaid Swim, Polar Bare Dip, Seattle Free Beach Campaign (SFBC), Discovery Beach Bares (DBB),

Clothes Free International, formerly International Naturists Association, is an internet-based publisher of naturist photos and videos.

Pasco Naturally is a newspaper (and web site) serving the largest nudist community in North America, specifically Pasco County of Florida. Mostly a local publication, it also has items of interest to nudists worldwide.

Photo Naturals is a project whose goal is to depict nudity as a natural, positive, and uplifiting experience against a backdrop of forest, ocean, river, sky, earth—joyful naked bodies connecting with the universe on a sensual and spiritual level. See also Naked Club, a growing group of free-spirited adults who believe that being naked is a wholesome and enlightened way of experiencing life. This website—our photos and videos—is our message to the world that a truly open and accepting society starts with body freedom. Nude people of any age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation are all beautiful. Come with us on our uplifting clothes-free adventures on planet Earth!

On-line newsletters, blogs, social networks and forums

All-Nudist

Naktiv Nook is like Facebook but nude-positive

Naturist Philosopher Thoughts and ramblings about naturism

Naturist Family Network Forum

Naturist Community is a U.K. based, for-pay membership site for naturists, resembling Facebook.

SkinNaked replaces the old Skinbook with a for-pay membership site for naturists, similar to Facebook except just for nudists.

Nudist-Resorts.Org bills itself as "The World's Most Complete Nudist Discussion Forum / Bulletin Board."

Nudist Clubhouse is a social-networking site for nudists.

Reluctant Parner Community is an on-line support group for Nudists / Naturists whose spouses or significant others are reluctant to participate in naturist activities.

RixPlace offers mailing lists featuring lively discussions of nudist topics.

Skinny Trippers are naturists who take Skinny Trips and share experiences through Skinny Trip Reports.

NIFOC, an acronym for Nude In Front Of Computer, is a family-oriented nudist chat room.

NNN list is a private mailing list for the discussion of the experience of non-sexual nudity as a form of relaxation or recreation, as a social activity, or as a "lifestyle" sometimes known as "naturism" or "nudism".

The Naturist Journal is a web-based newsletter of naturist-related news and opinion.

My Naked Truth by Gypsy Taub, is a series of interviews with interesting people about all matters of life (of which nudism is just one).

Living Nude on Tiger Mountain is a blog in the Seattle Post-Intellgencer by Cynde Moya, who lives year-round in a rustic cabin at Fraternity Snoqualmie Family Nudist Park on Tiger Mountain.

The Fulltime Nudist Daily

Through A Naturist's Lens by Robert G. Longpré

Bare Platypus

Climate & Weather

The San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas are divided into distinct micro-climates. For example, a summer day might be a sunny 100° F in inland San Jose but only 50° F in foggy San Francisco just miles away— that's a temperature gradient of a degree per mile!

Along the coast the temperatures are nearly constant, year-round. In fact, a sunny winter day can be warmer than a foggy summer day. Generally, spring and fall provide the best beach weather, between the winter rains and the summer fog.

Inland, summers are usually hot and dry while winters are cool and rainy.

Before going to the coast, check the current satellite weather (animation).

Northern California

Orr Hot Springs, 13201 Orr Springs Rd. Ukiah, CA 95482 (13 miles west of Ukiah), (707) 462-6277, Several covered soaking tubs, one large covered hot tub, one outdoor soaking pool. Swimming pool just outside the sauna door. Massages available. Community Kitchen (Great full restaurant-size & quality). Several cabins at reasonable rates. Dorm sleeping & camping at a nominal fee. Please call ahead for reservations, no drop-ins allowed. map

Wilbur Hot Springs, Wilbur Springs, California 95987-9709, (530) 473-2306 has been highly rated by many visitors. Clothing is optional in the bathing area (it is, however, required everywhere else on property). map & satellite photo.

North Bay

Red Rock Beach, just south of Stinson Beach on Highway 1 at milepost MRN 11.35, is a mellow, sheltered nude beach. Park off the highway and follow the long trail down to the beach. Aerial photo. map & satellite photo.

Muir beach, one of the best nude beaches around, was in 2001 the center of some nasty conflicts among local residents, with nudists cited for violation of Marin County Chapter 6.76 (for more information see "`Nudies' stir passions at Muir's Little Beach" by Dave Mitchell, Point Reyes Light, May 31, 2001). However, in 2002 it seems that the woman responsible for the complaints has moved away and nudists are returning to Muir without incident. Aerial photo. map & satellite photo.

Bass Lake is a popular skinny-dipping site. It's in the Point Reyes National Seashore, about 3 miles hike north from the Palomarin Trailhead, at the northern end of Mesa Rd. in Bolinas. Map to trailhead Bass Lake is in Zone 9 on this map.

Harbin Hot Springs, 18424 Harbin Springs Rd., P.O. Box 782, Middletown CA 95461. (707) 987-2477. 1100 acres, naturally heated pools (clothing optional), cool swimming pool, sun decks, hotel, vegetarian/organic restaurant (clothing required), health food store, sauna, camping, hiking trails. Massages available, community kitchen, free movies at night. Various classes by advance reservation, including the famed Love, Intimacy, and Sexuality workshops produced by the Human Awareness Institute.

Billy Frog's 10 School Street Plaza, Fairfax CA 94930, (415) 453-7647. Therapeutic massage, private redwood hot tubs, saunas, sun deck, invigorating cold plunge. Open from noon until midnight. Use of facilities half price with any massage. Map

Meadowlark Country House is a B&B on 20 acres near Calistoga, with a clothing-optional pool, hot-tub, sauna, and deck. Seven rooms with private bath and scenic views, TV, VCR, and phone. Full breakfast is served. Owner Kurt Stevens is a naturist and member of AANR. Guests are straight gay, bi or whatever. Phone: (800) 942-5651 or (707) 942-5651; Fax: (707) 942-5023.

Highlands Resort, 14000 Woodland Drive, P.O. Box 346, Guerneville, CA 95446, is a rustic gay, Lesbian, and straight-friendly resort with a clothing-optional pool and hot-tub. Phone (707) 869-0333 or Fax (707) 869-0370.

The Woods Resort at the Russian River, 16484 4th St., Guerneville CA 95446, (877) 887-9218, is mainly a gay resort but they do welcome straight couples as well. Their pool is clothing-optional.

San Francisco area

Fog Heaven: The sun will come out tomorrow. Or maybe not. It's summer in the city, and that means gray skies. by Carl Nolte, San Francisco Chronicle, Friday, August 19, 2005

Baker Beach is in the city of San Francisco, in the Presidio, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The north end (closest to the Golden Gate Bridge) is a long-standing traditional nude beach with no hassle: walk 0.3 miles north from the north parking lot off Bowley St. on Gibson Rd., or walk down the sand ladder from the top of the hill on Lincoln Blvd.. Served by SF Muni bus route #29. Aerial photo. Satellite photo and map.

Gray Whale Cove State Beach, Montara CA. This traditional clothing-optional beach, located at Devil's Slide between Pacifica and Half Moon Bay, has some of the most interesting topology of the northern California coast. Park in the lot on the inland side of Highway 1 exactly 1¼ miles north of the Chart House Restaurant in Montara, cross the highway and walk down the gated driveway, use the restrooms and descend the 145 stairs to the beach. The beach is clean and wide, and the surrounding cliffs block the wind and make for interesting scenery.Photo Aerial photo. Satellite photo and map.

San Gregorio Beach. There are two beaches at San Gregorio, west of Palo Alto where Highway 84 (La Honda Rd) meets the Highway 1 (Cabrillo Hwy). The textile-oriented San Gregorio State Beach is about 200 yards south of the intersection. About 200 yards north of the intersection is an unmarked white gate (map); pass through it and about a half mile to the pay parking lot ($3/person, $5 minimum per car) for the private beach. The nude section is to the north; the south end is designated textile to the state beach. The beach is popular with (but not limited to) gay men. Well over a mile in length, this is one of the longest nude beaches in northern California; as such, people tend to be more spread out than in others. It can be windy, but many users have built shelters from driftwood (resembling low log cabins with no roof). The length and the shelters combine to make this a beach where you and a friend can be quite alone. It is a common practice to hang a T-shirt over a pole to indicate a shelter is occupied.  Aerial photo.  San Gregorio Weather and Web-Cam

San Jose-Santa Cruz area

Lupin Lodge, P.O. Box 1274, Los Gatos CA 95031 or 20600 Aldercroft Heights Rd., Los Gatos CA 95033-8624 (408) 353-9200, is a very pleasant clothing-optional membership resort, in the Santa Cruz Mountains just south of Los Gatos, since 1936. It is well-equipped with heated swimming pool, sauna, spas, tennis and volleyball courts, and clubhouse restaurant. Visitors welcome.

Red White & Blue Beach, 5021 Coast Rd., Santa Cruz CA 95060, (831) 423-6332. (Latitude: 36.977, Longitude: -122.141) is permanently closed to the public since owner Ralph Edwards retired at the end of 2006. He died January 22, 2014, and the family has no plans to reopen the beach. For many decades until Ralph's retirement, the clothing-optional beach on Scaroni Road just off Highway 1 at milepost 24.9 (less than ten miles northwest of Santa Cruz, see map & satellite photo) was a favorite of naturists because it provided flush toilets, showers, an improved campground, and a secure, clothing-optional off-highway parking lot. Aerial photo.

Bonny Doon Beach, at the corner of Bonny Doon Road and Highway 1, milepost "SCR 27.6" (about ten miles northwest of downtown Santa Cruz), has been an extremely popular naturist beach for forty years. Now, advocates are concerned about its future as it comes under State Park jurisdiction. A semi-cylindrical cove at the north end of the beach provides wonderfully warm protection from the wind. Aerial photo. Map. Tide Table Weather Public; free.

Kiva Retreat House, 702 Water St., Santa Cruz CA 95060, (831) 429-1142, is a former single-family dwelling in downtown Santa Cruz converted into a clothing-optional retreat, with several spas and pools, a sauna, massage tables, and sunbathing area. Hours noon till 11pm every day; Friday and Saturday to midnight. No reservations are necessary. Admission includes use of all community areas; private tubs and staff masseurs are available at extra charge. Multi-visit passes and annual memberships are available.

East Bay

Sequoians Clothes Free Club, 10200 Cull Canyon Road, Castro Valley CA 94546, (510) 582-0194. Less developed (and less expensive) than Lupin, this friendly AANR-affiliated club in the east-bay hills has a number of resident members and many more summertime visitors contributing to social events such as luaus and potluck dinners.

Monterey area

Release of the former Fort Ord to civilian use has made some new beaches available for nude bathing. Indian Head Beach at Fort Ord Dunes, just south of the pre-existing Marina State Beach, is increasingly popular with naturists. Aerial photo.

Pfeiffer Big Sur area

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is indeed "totally clothed", but a short walk upstream along the Big Sur river from the State Park Campground brings you to some pools which may or may not be for nude use depending on who else is there. One time, I went there with my then-young son and we happened upon some German tourists who had been skinny-dipping. Seeing us, they dressed so as not to offend us, but relaxed again as soon as we undressed and demonstrated we were like them.

In California State Parks, we live by the Cahill policy, which says that nudity is illegal, but no one will be arrested unless there is first a complaint and then a request to dress which is disobeyed. That is, if you are told to dress, ask if there was a complaint; if there was, you must comply.

If you want a serious hike, start at the U.S. Forest Service office about 1/2 mile south of the State Park and hike the Pine Ridge Trail about 11 miles east until it encounters the river again at Sykes Hot Springs. These natural hot springs feed user-built redwood tubs (carved from redwood tree stumps) and are always clothing optional. To go in and out in one day is a grueling undertaking; you may want to back-pack a sleeping bag and make it two days. Maps available at USFS office.

Across the street from the USFS office is Sycamore Canyon Road, which takes you down to Pfeiffer Beach. On USFS land, there is no rule against nudity here, but the nudists usually go to the extreme north end of the beach--beyond the rock formation, almost to Cooper Point. Aerial photo.

Esalen Institute, just south of Big Sur, has completed restoration of the magnificent hot-spring baths destroyed in the 1998 El Niño storms. The clothing-optional tubs, perched on cliffs just above the Pacific, are and are only available to registered guests. As a workshop and retreat center, access to Esalen Institute is by reservation only. The tubs are open to the public between 1:00 and 3:00 a.m. for a fee. You need to make reservations at (831) 667-3047.

Ventana Inn & Spa, Big Sur, is an upscale resort hotel offering one of whose two pools is clothing-optional and has a clothing-optional sun deck. Phone (831) 667-4222, fax (831) 667-0573.

Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, 39171 Tassajara Road, Carmel Valley, CA 93924, is a Zen Buddhist community which was established by the San Francisco Zen Center in 1966. Its hot springs were used by Esselen Indians, and it has been a hot springs resort from the 1860s. From May through August, Tassajara offers guest practice and work-study programs, workshops and retreats as well as individual accommodations for vacationing guests. For the rest of the year, September through April, the monastery is closed to the public so that students of Zen Buddhism can engage in traditional monastic training periods. Reservations are absolutely required, even for day guests. Phone (415) 863-3136.

Central Coast

Pirate's Cove near San Luis Obispo is a delightful nude beach. It faces south, is sheltered from wind and surf, and has water calm enough for swimming. A closely-knit community of regulars cooperate to prevent harassment and other misbehavior. The sandy beach is about a quarter mile long. Directions: Exit U.S. 101 at Avila Beach Rd. and go west about 1.9 miles, during which you will pass Sycamore Mineral Springs (a commercial spa on your left). Turn left (south) onto Cave Landing Rd. Go about 0.5 miles to the top of the ridge. Where the road turns left (inland), park in the dirt lot on your right. As you face toward the ocean (south), turn left (east) and follow the trail down to the beach. Do not try to access the beach from Bluff Drive. Aerial photo. Maps to parking lot and beach.

Central Valley

Laguna del Sol (formerly called Rawhide Ranch), 8683 Rawhide Lane, Wilton CA 95693-9409, (916) 687-6550, is the largest nudist resort in northern California, with three pools (one indoor), two spas (one indoor), huge clubhouse with dance floor, lake, acres of lawns, plenty of room for RV's. Southeast of Sacramento, about three hours drive from San Jose.

River Dippers, P.O. Box 188366, Sacramento CA 95818-8366, is a non-profit organization dedicated to sharing information about public locations in central and northern California where people may swim or sunbathe free of clothing (or with whatever attire they wish) without hassles. In addition the club facilitates social gatherings hosted by member volunteers.

Northern California Exposure, P.O. Box 188876, Sacramento CA 95818-8876, (877) 653-1999, is a family-oriented non-landed group of social nudists affiliated with the American Association for Nude Recreation.

Sierra Nevada Mountains

Southern California

Beaches (north to south)

Wilderness Hot Springs

Commercial Resorts

Travel Clubs

International Destinations

There are vastly too many sites to list them all. Here are a few.

Realtors

The real-estate agents listed below specialize in housing well-suited to clothing-optional lifestyles. Please contact each agent directly for a description of their services.

California

Alameda and Contra Costa counties

Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties

Florida

Pasco County and North Tampa

Travel Agencies

The travel agencies listed below (in alphabetical order) specialize in travel to clothing-optional destinations. Some are full-service agencies offering travel to your choice of destinations; other put together specific tours exclusively for their clients. Please contact each agency directly for a description of their services.

Women's topfree equality

Personal-growth workshops supporting naturist concepts

Singles and dating

Religion and Naturism

General Information

Blogs

Sports & Hobbies

Special Events

Theater, Dance, and Performance Arts

Boat Charters and Sailing Tours

Peace and Anti-War Demonstrations

Music

Quotations

Podcasts

Merchandise

Barefoot Living


Listing courtesy Bay Area Naturists, P.O. Box 23781, San Jose CA 95153.
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