- This Week
From Bonny Doon to Supermoons: our 39th annual survey of Northern California naked fun in the sun
07.16.13 - 3:13 pm | Gary Hanauer |
NORTH BAKER BEACH, SAN FRANCISCO
North Baker's neo-hippie revival is continuing for a third straight season, with more art work springing up on the USA's largest urban nude beach. Guitar- and drum-playing was added to the scene last year. This summer, a second so-called "art tree" made of driftwood and festooned with seaweed has appeared. "I call it the Sea Hag," says Santosh, an organizer of alternative activities at the beach who also produces San Francisco's annual How Weird Street Faire. "Anybody can add things to it. They bring mementos, flowers, anything you can think of. I tend it, but it attracts a life of its own. Several tourists per day usually drop by. One child looked up at the things dangling from it and asked, 'Is it some kind of voodoo?'" Baker's own "beach language" is also evolving. Last year, "duney," which describes the site's tent-like, shade-providing structures without walls, and "Baker Day" (when the sun's out and it's not too windy) came into usage. "Now, we've added 'rock block' and 'cosmic volleyball,'" adds Santosh, who describes the former as any stretch of three Baker Days in a row, while cosmic volleyball allows visitors "to keep playing, even if the ball bounces off one of our driftwood poles."
Directions: Take the 29 Sunset bus or go north on 25th Avenue to Lincoln Boulevard. Turn right and take the second left onto Bowley Street. Follow Bowley to Gibson Road, turn right, and follow Gibson to the east parking lot. At the beach, head right to the nude area, which starts at the brown and yellow "Hazardous surf, undertow, swim at your own risk" sign. Some motorcycles in the lot have been vandalized, possibly by car owners angered by bikers parking in car spaces; to avoid trouble, motorcyclists should park in the motorcycle area near the cyclone fence. Parking at Lincoln's 100 or more nearby parking spaces was limited to two hours recently. But through June, there had been no reports of cops actually writing tickets for parking too long.
LAND'S END BEACH, SAN FRANCISCO
One of the better locales in the Bay Area to enjoy a little naked sunning without many people present, a visit to the little cove off Geary Boulevard known as Land's End may make your worries melt away, at least during a quiet afternoon. Cops only occasionally visit it. But don't be shocked if you see more clothed visitors than nudists — many locals and tourists who wander down to the sand don't realize it's a clothing-optional beach. Tip: on hot days, arrive before noon or there may be no unoccupied sand left on the little, semi-rocky shoreline. If possible, try to use one of the rock-lined windbreaks left by previous sunbathers. Pack a warm covering in case the weather changes.