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Golden Gate Bridge from North Baker Beach Bryce (Custom)

The San Francisco Bay Area has several well-known nude beach options for sun tanning in the buff. More so than almost any other stretch of the California Coast, the city of San Francisco and areas nearby to the north and south offer comfortable nude areas.

Closest to the city and free from hassles there is North Baker Beach and Marshall Beach. Each of these two areas are legal clothing optional designated areas. Some folks will bare all at other nearby beaches such as Fort Funston, but park rangers are more likely to ask you to leave or even give citations at these unofficial areas.

On the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County there are several options. The closest are Black Sands Beach and South Rodeo Beach, but both are frequented by tourists in addition to locals so they aren’t always comfortable spots. Farther north near Muir Beach, Stinson Beach, and Bolinas, there are more reliable options. Plan for a one hour drive to most of the Marin County Nude Beaches.

South from San Francisco you’ll find two of the best nude beaches in Northern California. First is the Gray Whale Cove North Beach which gets high visitation from all over the peninsula. Technically nudity is illegal at this beach as it is state property. Second is the Private Beach at San Gregorio, considered to be the oldest clothing optional beach in the US. This one draws from the South Bay Area in addition to San Francisco even though it’s a one hour drive from there.

Santa Cruz is the other area of California that is lucky to have several nude beach options. It’s a drive of less than two hours to the Santa Cruz Nude Beaches.

Note that some of these beaches are on state or federal public property where nudity is prohibited. We are providing this list based on what locals have gotten away with. It doesn’t mean that rules won’t be enforced so do your homework and be discrete if you do disrobe at any of these beaches.

See all of the Nude Beaches in California