Gary Hanauer

Drake's Beach

Rating: C

Suitless sunbathing occasionally occurs on the Point Reyes shore that "bares" the name of British explorer Francis Drake, who is said to have landed his Golden Hinde there in 1579. The beach is near a memorial named after him. Not everyone, though, agrees where Drake came ashore; some experts think it happened in Bodega Bay, Tomales Bay, way to the south in Santa Barbara, or even considerably north, in Coos Bay, Oregon.Read more »

Limantour Beach

Highly Recommended!

Rating: BRead more »

Sculptured Beach


Rating: BRead more »

Starlight Meadow

Starlight Meadow

Rating: B

Rimmed by a large tract of woods, a Dogwood area field emerged as the USA's first clothing-optional meadow decades ago. Since then, though, there have been few recent reports about its status. From Hagmier Pond (see next entry), expect about a 20-minute walk to the 60-acre site, which is good for picnicking, sunbathing, reading, and relaxing.


Legal status:

GGNRA land managed by Point Reyes National Seashore.


How to find it:Read more »

RCA Beach

Highly recommended!

Rating: ARead more »

Nude Beaches Guide 2014

NUDE BEACHES 2014 Well, it's been 40 years since I turned over on my side and asked a totally naked woman at Red Rock nude beach, near Stinson Beach, if she knew of any other clothing-optional beaches in Northern California.Read more »

Nude beaches

Our updated guide to places to strip by the shore

In 1967, Northern California gave birth to America's first nude beach, at San Gregorio, near Santa Cruz. Now, 40 years later, there's great news coming from the sand: in the biggest surge in more than a decade, clothing-optional beaches and other skinny-dipping sites are booming once again. Check out our miniguide below. And in the near future, visit an expanded version on the web that includes our unveiling of a pristine cove near Capitola and directions to a place where you can take a naked full-moon hike.

The one bummer? Read more »