Nude Beaches

Santa Cruz County

North Marina


Rating: C

Improved directions!

Nude sunbathers have been appearing on a little beach just 300 feet north of Marina State Beach for years. "People have been going here for two decades," says Tom, of Monterey. Adds frequent visitor and local business owner Debbie, "It's warm and secluded." The main sunning area for nudies is between two large sand dunes close to the shore.

Unknown, believed to be private property.Read more »

La Selva

Rating: C

A few naked sunbathers show up here on a periodic basis. "It's duney, but also so wide open in places that rangers can drive up and down and harass people," a regular visitor says. What little nudity occurs usually happens on weekdays or when there aren't many other people present. Use discretion and be prepared to suit up fast, in case a beach cop appears.

Legal status:Read more »

Elsewhere in Santa Cruz County

Rating: C

Women sometimes sunbathe topless on Capitola Beach and Santa Cruz Boardwalk Beach on warm days. For several decades, lifeguards and rangers at the sites have allowed the practice to continue. So far, they've received few complaints. However, full nudity isn't accepted.

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Privates Beach

Highly recommended!

Rating: ARead more »

Cowell State Beach

Rating: C

The wooden deck at Santa Cruz's Cowell State Beach is usually used by surfers to put on or take off their wetsuits. But we've spotted several people jump naked right into the water from the platform on the hottest summer days.

Legal status:

Cowell State BeachRead more »

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Improved directions!

Rating: ARead more »

Laguna Creek

Rating: A

Veteran visitors say Laguna Creek's solitude is perfect for those days when you want to work on the prefect tan without tan lines, read, relax, beachcomb, or even watch birds at its charming lagoon. The beach is located 9.8 miles north of Highway 1 between mileposts 25.96 and 26.01.

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Bonny Doon Beach

Rating: A

Despite the erection of anti-nudity warning signs at longtime nudie fan favorite Bonny Doon Beach, north of Santa Cruz, officials have told us they have no immediate plans to issue citations at the north end of the site, which has traditionally been occupied by naturists.Read more »

Scott Creek Beach

Rating: B

Surfers, nature lovers, and naturists all like to visit Scott Creek, near Davenport, with surfers usually gathering on the north shore. If you're a bird watcher, then you may want to check for waterfowl in the site's little lagoon. For even more nature action, stop at nearby Ano Nuevo State Reserve to look for elephant seals. Tip: before swimming at Scott Creek, check for possible riptides offshore.Read more »