Our 38th annual survey of Northern California naked fun in the sun
Meanwhile, while Sacramento was cutting back beach services, activists were making additions to the section of San Francisco's Baker Beach used by nudists. Naturists have erected driftwood art sculptures and tent-like structures without walls, called "dunies," at the north end of the beach. And they've vowed to keep the site free of gawkers by staring them down in what organizers call a non-confrontational approach to self-policing. "They usually decide to leave pretty soon," says Santosh, 46, an artist and street fair producer.
Speaking of policing, in the past year cops have raided Garrapata and put up signs about nudity at Bonny Doon Beach and at least two other beaches north of Santa Cruz.
At Garrapata, rangers and lifeguards cited over a dozen persons for public nudity last summer and began patrolling the beach at least two times a day after receiving what lifeguard Eric Sturm told the Carmel Pine Cone were reports of "sex acts on the beach."
And at Bonny Doon, Laguna Creek, and Panther Beach, "Nudity In The State Park System Is Prohibited" signs have been posted, although naturists there remain defiant and are still visiting the sites. "A 50-year tradition (of clothing-optional use at Bonny Doon) cannot be extinguished by a simple sign," said Rich Pasco, coordinator of the Bay Area Naturists, after the signs went up. He urged nudists to "be polite and respectful" of rangers and suit up "if requested," but to engage them in "intelligent conversations." After two months, the signs at Bonny Doon, though, were taken down because, according to Joe Connors, public safety superintendent for state beaches in the Santa Cruz area, "we don't get a big volume of complaints there."
Want to join others in having fun at a clothing-optional spot this summer? The USA's only naked "Full Moon Hikes" will take place in Castro Valley in late July, August, and September (see our listings online at SFBG.com for Last Trampas in Contra Costa County for details). Another idea to meet and socialize with fellow naturists: drop by Bonny Doon on September 15, when fans of the site will be gathering to keep it pristine by finding and removing trash.
Finally, you can aid the naturist community by sending me your new beach discoveries, trip reports, and improved directions (especially road milepost numbers), along with your phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org or Gary Hanauer, c/o San Francisco Bay Guardian, 71 Stevenson, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105.
Our ratings: [full moon] signifies a beach that is large or well-established and where the crowd is mostly nude; [half moon] indicates places where fewer than half the visitors are nude; and [quarter moon] means small or emerging nude areas.
NORTH BAKER BEACH, SAN FRANCISCO
Social activists have begun streaming onto the sand of America's biggest urban nude beach, creating what visitor Santosh calls "a tone that's like Burning Man," with regulars bringing guitars, drums, and Frisbees to the sand, putting up art work best described as eclectic, and occasionally staring down gawkers." There's no requirement that you go nude," says Santosh, an artist, graphic artist, and producer of San Francisco's How Weird Street Faire, an outdoor street fair held each year in the SoMa neighborhood as a fundraiser for the World Peace Through Technology Organization. "But if a creeper dude plops down next to a (nude) person or if they are staring at someone's private parts and it's happening close to where we are, on the far north end (of North Baker), then they will start being the object of ridicule.