World's Top 10 Gay Nude Beaches

By Mike Boisvert.

It wasn't until the mid-20th century that nude and topless beaches began to "pop up" along the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts of France. God bless zee French! Due to popular demand, I bring you a list of the 10 best gay nude beaches around the world, as selected by regular tourists as well as naturists.

1. Lady Jane Beach, Australia

An easily accessible nude beach in Sydney is the famous gay icon beach, "Lady Jane", right on the harbour and a 10 minute walk from the end of the of bus lines 324 or 325. Ride to the end of those bus lines and ask anyone directions to South Head (a national park). On your walk to South Head you can't miss the park sign for "Lady Bay". The sign also says "Nudity permitted only on beach". Hardly hidden away and not hard to find. You can see naked men from the sidewalk...so you really don't need orienteering skills. 

By Day: Bodysurf the glassy Pacific rollers as they thunder onto a golden half mile of sand, the sprawl on the beach with athletic surfer dudes.

After Dark: Don’t be confused: many of the bars are called "hotel," due to an archaic liquor licensing law. If you saw Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, it should be no surprise to you that drag is popular here. Another activity popular with the local gay and lesbian community is the "recovery" party, parties thrown the day after major party events. Stonewall Hotel (175 Oxford St, Darlinghurst; +2/9360-1963) is a gay hotel with entertainment most evenings. A good venue to meet locals, the Stonewall opens onto Oxford Street during the day. The first floor cocktail bar is good after 11pm. The crowd is young and friendly. Upstairs there’s dancing. ARQ (16 Flinders Street, Darlinghurst; +2/9380-8700) has become the most popular hangout, though you may wish to leave ARQ for a Friday or Saturday night in order to experience the bronzed, buffed and beautiful at their best. The A$15 cover charge affords access to a parade of (predominately) male bodies inside. Although not much happens until midnight, be early, as the queue to enter is horrendous.

What To Eat: Be sure to try some of the local seafood, a real standout on most menus. Australians have no qualms about eating kangaroo or emu. You’ll find it on menus of all cuisines; it doesn’t really taste like chicken. Most of the restaurants around Oxford Street are gay popular, but not particularly memorable for their food. Kings Cross eateries are a bit less gay, but better dining. Pazzo (583 Crown St, Surry Hills; +2/9319-4387) features modern Australian cuisine with a hint of Italian flavoring. The garden courtyard is very popular in the warmer months.

Where To Stay: For an option close to Sydney’s world-famous Bondi Beach try Ravesi’s (118 Campbell Pde, Bondi; +61-2/9365-4422; www.ravesis.com.au, ravesis@bigpond.com.au; AU$116)..

2. Haulover Beach, Florida

JUST NORTH OF world-renowned Bal Harbour in Miami Beach is a model clothing-optional urban beach. Attracting visitors worldwide, Haulover County Park offers over a half-mile of pure white sand and seashore, with parking, trash cans, concessions, restrooms, lifeguards, and signage for the clothing-optional section. This may be the most beautiful clothing-optional beach in the U.S., and the most heavily used.

Directions: From I-95, exit at Golden Glades Interchange on to State Rd., 826 east or go east on 125th St. Find Haulover County Park at about 150th St. on Collins Ave. (Route A1A) and park in the northernmost lot. Walk to the beach through the tunnel underpass. "Parking: Parking lot with fee; recommended arrival by 11:00 a.m.

For more information visit, http://www.haulover.org/

3. Little Beach, Maui, Hawaii
A reader told me that this beach stands out because while Hawaii does not allow nude sunbathing, the law is applied "loosely," adding that Little Beach is the "unofficial clothing-optional beach." You will surely be more than busy watching the beach bums (pun fully intended). 

Directions: Take State Route 31 that begins at the junction of SR-310 and SR-311 in Kihei, a town on the western coast of Maui. Head south on SR-31 about 8 miles, then turn right onto Waikea Iki Drive. Go about 0.6 mile, where the road ends at Tintersection with the coastal road. Turn left at the coastal road, which is Wailea Alanui Drive but soon changes to Makena Alanui. Continue several miles. You'll pass several elegant hotels. Watch for the  Maui Prince Hotel, which is the last of these elegant hotels. Continue a mile or so past the Maui Prince. Once you see a hill formation that juts into the ocean, you're almost there. The beach is behind this hill formation. When you pass the hill formation, look for a road to a paved parking lot on the right. There is an additional lot down the road if this one is full. Park and walk to the beach. Here you'll be at Makena Beach (a.k.a. Big Beach), where clothed bathing is required. Walk to the right when facing the water until you reach a rock outcropping at the end of the beach. Climb over the rocks. On the other side, you'll arrive at the nude beach, Little Beach. Continue to the far end of the beach, where you'll find gay nude bathers.

4. Praia do Abrico, Brazil
Abrico draws a very mixed crowd near Rio de Janeiro and very little walking is required to get there. Even though it is a mixed crowd, it gets its ranking because the beach itself is broad and sandy, with a spectacular panorama of rugged, tree covered mountains.  The beach lies west of the city of Rio de Janeiro within a natural reserve called Parque de Grumari. The park beach, Praia do Grumari, is nearly 2 kilometers long.  Praia do Abrico is basically the extreme northern end of Grumari. A line of boulders separates the two beaches, but this barrier is easy to walk around. The nude zone extends from the boulders northward to the end of the sand at a rocky hillside, a stretch of 300 meters. Praia do Abrico is located 25 kilometers west of the center of Rio de Janiero. It is reached by following the coastal road, which is named Avenida Lucio Costa for much of the route. Avenida Lucio Costa runs along Barra de Tijuca, which is the longest continuous beach in Rio de Janeiro, stretching 15 kilometers. Once you've reached the end of this beach and immediately after crossing a bridge over a river month, turn left towards Prainha and Grumari beaches. When the road begins to straighten out, watch for a sign that says "Bar E Restaurante, Cabana de Praia, Frutos do Mar." This is where you enter the beach. 

5. Super Paradise Beach, Mykonos, Greece
Super Paradise Beach is one of the famous gay nude beaches in the world. However the straight folks have discovered what good taste gays have, and have started to take over. But Super Paradise is separated between gay and straight nude bathers.  

Directions: The right end of Super Paradise is the gay section. Super Paradise is  crowded, lively, has lots of eye candy, and cruisy in the gay section. The beach has a restaurant, bar and chair rentals. 

For more information visit this website: http://www.mykonos-greece.biz/mykonos-beaches.htm

6. Hippie Hollow, Texas

A gay nude beach smack in the middle of Republican/Right-Wing Conservative  country you ask? Yes siree - Hippie Hollow. This is a legally clothing-optional area just west of Austin on the rocky slopes of man-made Lake Travis. Memorial Day and Labor Day Weekends  the madly popular Splash Day with tons of nude homos on the shores and boats, flashing their goodies.Hippie Hollow, is the only legal all-nude sunning area in the state on Lake Travis, and is a 30-minute drive (FM 2222 to Ranch Road from Austin. Drive out Comanche Trail to the parking lot, continue all the way past the paved walkway, over the rocks and around some sturdy trees (about 1 mile walk). Before setting out, you may wish to go over the route with a knowledgeable local and a map, if possible.

By Day: Fish, paddle, windsurf, scuba dive.  

After Dark: In the warehouse district you'll find the popular Oilcan Harry 211 West 4th; (512/320-8823), catering to a professional crowd. It's the A-list, polo-shirt-wearing bar. On weekends it doesn't pick up until 11pm. On Friday and Saturday nights the club stays open till 4 am.

7. Wreck Beach, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Wreck Beach is one of the best-known nude beaches on the globe; probably because you can legally swim and sunbathe here. It's a huge beach, that stretches over 6 kilometers. Large amounts of people gather here. 

Directions: Wreck beach in near the University of British Columbia. From downtown, follow 16th Avenue west through Pacific Park and the University of British Columbia campus until the end of the road at SW Marine Drive. Turn right onto Marine Drive and after 1.5 kilometers, look left where you'll see Gate 6. This is the beginning of Trail 6 which will take you to Wreck Beach. Now that you know where it is, your next challenge is to find parking. You may be able to park in the campus lots. During the week, you can pay for parking in the campus garage. Once you've parked and returned to Trail 6, it goes directly to the beach on a long staircase. You'll know the clothing-optional area once you see the sign. 

For more information visit this website: http://www.wreckbeach.org/wb_frames.html

8. Black's Beach, California

There's a lot of skin being bared at one of the most famous nude beaches in the world. This long stretch of beach in San Diego had been a major straight and gay nudist attraction since the 70's, and nowadays can draw up to 5,000 people on the weekends.  

A drive farther south on the I-5 yields Black's Beach, perhaps named because of the black pebbles and sand often found on the beach. Black's Beach is opposite UC San Diego on North Torrey Pines Road. Exit the 5 freeway at Genesee Avenue and veer right, make a left at the second set of traffic lights, and then a right onto Torrey Pines Scenic Drive. Black's Beach is located below Glider's Point, a haven for hang-glider enthusiasts, where parking is free. A trek down to the beach is necessary. The shortest way to descend the 300 feet needed to reach the beach is to take the "Burro Trail." Though a bit slippery and treacherous, this trail is the quickest way down to the sand; tennis shoes are highly recommended. "Indian Trail," about half a mile south of "Burro Trail," will take you to the "gay stretch" of Black's Beach.

By Day: Walk a typical organic Southern California beachfront - gravel, tidal flats, seabirds - or hike up the cliffs for glorious Pacific vistas.

Where To Eat: Drive to San Diego's gay community at Hillcrest and check out Mixx (3671 Fifth Ave, 619/299-6499; $14-24) is Hillcrest's premier gay restaurant. Partly gay-owned, and staffed by efficient waiters, this restaurant serves eclectic cuisine in a tasteful setting.Reservations highly recommended, especially on weekends.

After Dark: A relatively new addition to the nightlife is that is becoming the hot spot is Bourbon Street (4612 Park Blvd.; 619/291-4043; www.bourbonstreetsd.com), near University Heights, outside of the traditional gay hub of Hillcrest. Its gas lamp New Orleans exterior gives way to the original horseshoe bar accented by stained glass windows, and another more modern "Stable Bar" in the back
features a chic stainless steel interior with wooden beams, and a cruisy patio with a stone fountain surrounded by verandahs and Old World flair. Weekly events include Latin
night, nun bingo, drag acts, and live VJs.

Where To Stay: Bob Korbett runs a homey B&B within walking distance of Hillcrest: Kasa Korbett (4050 Front St; 619/291-3962 or 800/757-5272; www.kasakorbett.com bob@kasakorbett.com; $89-99) features 4 rooms – all with private bath. Rates include pick-up and drop-off at the airport, train station, Blacks Beach and other local attractions.

9. Baker Beach, San Francisco, California

Located only minutes from downtown San Francisco and offering an incredible view of the Golden Gate Bridge, Baker Beach is one of North America's hottest urban naturist beaches. Baker Beach is popular with gay men who like to swim and sunbathe in the nude. Although the water is usually on the cold side, the beach gets really busy on hot days due to its proximity to the city. In several areas, you will find many fully clothed people just "passing through"; you may even encounter a few annoying gawkers. If this happens, just ask someone how to get to North Baker Beach. While the northern part is mainly gay, this is also where most of the nudists congregate.

For more information visit this website: http://gocalifornia.about.com/cs/clothingoptional/l/bl_nb_bakrmap.htm

10. Fire Island, New York

All of gay Manhattan takes a ferry to Fire Island on summer weekends. The expansive beach and car-free boardwalks are the essence of a peaceful retreat.

The population is in fact diverse; aside from Cherry Grove and the Pines, it's predominantly straight. Cherry Grove has the most to offer in the way of bars, restaurants, hotel accomodation and overall outrageous camp sensibility; you'll also find lots of women here. The Pines - having a more understated, albeit intensely gorgeous culture - is a place of elegance and taste where roller coaster sidewalks of raised wooden planks meander through dense foliage past hidden homes in a community seemingly populated with Armani models...and those who can afford them.

In practice, there is little nudity on the beaches near Cherry Grove and the Pines so everyone goes to the stretch of beach between Cherry Grove and the Pines. You'll find the most nude guys here at this beach and the nearby coastal forest is where 'anything goes.' That's because Cherry Grove and the Pines have been left to the gay community to self-govern who don't really care what happens in the undeveloped areas. 

Getting to Fire Island is half the fun. Cherry Grove and the Pines are reached by Sayville Ferry ($11 r/t). Driving there, you'll do better avoiding the Long Island Expressway (LIE) and taking the Northern State to the Meadowbrook Parkway to the Southern State, to the Sunrise Highway (Rt. 27) towards Montauk. Turn right on Lakeland Ave. and follow the signs to the ferry. Note that parking is cheaper at Land's End Marina (100 yards beyond the ferry dock and $6/day) than it is at the lot across from the ferry ($8/day), and is free at the train station.

By Day: Join the surfers, artists, and occasional celebs strolling the beach and braving the cold, steel-blue Atlantic.

After Dark: At 8:00 p.m. head to High Tea for good balcony seat. At 10:00 p.m. go out and have a leisurely dinner. Then go home for some dessert and maybe a nap. At 2:00 a.m. go to The Pavillion which is now in full swing. It's about debauchery and dancing with your friends or housemates, not meeting new people. 

Where To Eat: Cherry Grove Pizza (631/597-6766) has patio dining and moderate prices.

Where To Stay: The Cherry Grove Beach Hotel (631/597-6600; www.grovehotel.com, grovehotel@aol.com; $40-500) is part of the Ice Palace, the Grove's entertainment complex and therefore party-central.

This story was researched with the help of Michael Boyd's book, Naked Places, A Guide for Gay Men to Nude Recreation and Travel, which may be purchased at Amazon.com, by clicking here: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/096560893X/gayoutdoorsco-20.

If you have any updated information about these beaches, please contact us so we can update this story.


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