NUDE BEACHES 2013 - Page 4

From Bonny Doon to Supermoons: our 39th annual survey of Northern California naked fun in the sun

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Directions: Follow Geary Boulevard to the end, then park in the dirt lot up the road from the Cliff House. Take the trail at the far end of the lot. About 100 yards past a bench and some trash cans, the path narrows and bends, then rises and falls, eventually becoming the width of a road. Don't take the road to the right, which leads to a golf course. Just past another bench, as the trail turns right, go left toward a group of dead trees where you will see a stairway and a "Dogs must be leashed" sign. Descend and head left to another stairway, which leads to a 100-foot walk to the cove. Or, instead, take the service road below the El Camino del Mar parking lot 1/4 mile until you reach a bench, then follow the trail there. It's eroded in a few places. At the end, you'll have to scramble over some rocks. Turn left (west) and walk until you find a good place to put down your towel.

GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE BEACH, SAN FRANCISCO

RATING: A

Mostly a gay male cruising scene, "Nasty Boy Beach" is also visited by some straight men and women. Though fairly rocky and packed with people on hot days, everyone seems to enjoy the trio of coves you can find by walking along the shore. Oh, and did I mention the view? If you want to feel immersed in a picture postcard of the famous bridge, then this is the place to plop down. On warm days, some users even swim in the usually chilly, undertow-plagued water. "You can sometimes go out over 100 feet during low tide," says a woman.

Directions: from the toll booth area of Highway 101/1, take Lincoln Boulevard west about a half mile to Langdon Court. Turn right (west) on Langdon and look for space in the parking lots, across Lincoln from Fort Winfield Scott. Park and then take the beach trail, starting just west of the end of Langdon, down its more than 200 steps to Golden Gate Bridge Beach, also known as Marshall's Beach. Despite recent improvements, the trail to the beach can still be slippery, especially in the spring and winter.

FORT FUNSTON BEACH, SAN FRANCISCO

RATING: C

Known as Fort Fun by its fans, this Golden Gate National Recreation Area sun spot, located south of Ocean Beach, attracts hang gliders, dogs and their walkers, and even from time to time a few naturists, the latter of which sometimes tuck themselves between the dunes on the shore. But not all is fun on its magnetic sands and the cliffs above them. A few months ago, a tussle between two dogs ended when a canine was stabbed by the owner of one of the pets. Besides pugnacious pooch protectors, watch out too for sharp winds, especially in March and October. And to stave off hassles from rangers, disrobers should stay away on weekends or when families or rangers are near. If anyone seems upset or gripes about you being au naturel, be sure to suit up fast since the authorities will bust naturists if they see them or they receive complaints. The good news: usually, only a few citations a year are issued at Fort Funston, so if you are discreet and stay in the dunes, you may be rewarded with a suntan without lines.

Directions: From San Francisco, go west to Ocean Beach, then south on the Great Highway. After Sloat Boulevard, the road heads uphill. From there, curve right onto Skyline Boulevard, go past one stoplight, and look for signs for Funston on the right. Turn into the public lot and find a space near the west side. At the southwest end, take the sandy steps to the beach, turn right, and walk to the dunes. Find a spot as far as possible from the parking lot.

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