5 top spots for Labor Day from our (just-posted!) complete Nude Beaches Guide 2012

Favorite, cover, ever.

You saw the abridged version in our now-famous print edition last month, but just in time for the three-day weekend, Gary Hanauer's complete guide to the clothing-optional watering holes and breezy beaches of NorCal is available for your pants-free perusal. Didn't have any outings scheduled for your Labor Day lazefest? Here's five of the top spots for nudeling included in the 100-plus listings. 

1. Hop on over to Marin County's highly-recommended RCA Beach, where Hanauer affirms driftwood dragons can sometimes be spotted. "Want to recharge your life? ... a single stopover at the beautiful beach will probably inspire you to keep coming back."

2. No, not that spot by the GG bridge. Humboldt County's Baker's Beach has a differently-placed apostrophe, as well as a carpeting of sesame seed-sized pebbles just perfect for your naked footsies. "Baker's features a quarter moon-shaped shoreline lined with tide pools and agates that make it one of the best beaches in Humboldt County," says Hanauer. Sold! 

3. Although nude-levels rarely approach those of its heyday, when hundreds of unclothed sunbathers could be seen dotting its sand, Devil's Slide (Gray Whale Cove) in Santa Cruz County is boxed in by orange-colored sandstone heights. Says Hanauer: "Devil's Slide is a great place to read, tan, jog, play Frisbee, or watch (true to its state beach name) gray whales, pelicans, and surfers."

4. In the mood to earn your naked? Check out the listing for Sykes Hot Spring in Monterrey County, six warm pools stationed a 10-mile hike in from a Big Sur ranger station. Afterwards, a couple of campsites await you so that tomorrow you can wake, soak, and luxuriate in your natural state. 

5. Of course, not all nudies have autos. And in light of that, let us highlight an easy-to-get-to, A-rated gem in the guide: North Baker Beach. Tucked up by the Golden Gate Bridge, Hanuaer's source on the spot Santosh affirms you have nothing to worry when it comes to leering voyeurs -- "Jedi mind tricks" are employed by the naked community to get creeps to shove off. And what community! Quoth the guide: "'I sometimes invite people into my duney [sheet-covered driftwood structure] to get out of the sun'" says Santosh, who lives about 20 blocks from the beach. 'We even have a driftwood bar. It's like a day at Club Med.'"

Related articles


    Hurrah! Here's our 40th annual survey of Northern California naked fun in the sun.

  • Wind it up

    Always wanted to try kitesurfing? Here's how to get started

  • Woods for you: Best redwood parks for family times, wowwing out-of-towners, quiet reflection