Gary Hanauer

Garrapata Beach

Improved directions!

Rating: B

For now, Garrapata State Park, where rangers have posted anti-nudity signs, remains open. But it is expected to be closed, due to state budget cuts, by July 2012. The remaining nude sunbathers have been pushed to the northern edge of the beach. Officials say the nudists are vulnerable to citations if complaints are received. The property, located between Carmel and Big Sur, is breathtakingly beautiful, with picturesque coves, hidden caves, a lagoon, and hills that are bursting with spring flowers.

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Carmel Meadows

Rating:C

Want to work on your tan near a place that actor Clint Eastwood made famous? At Carmel Meadows, you'll be just a half mile from a cypress tree featured in "Play Misty For Me," which starred Eastwood, who later became the mayor of Carmel.Many of the visitors who sunbathe here do so completely naked. Suited users seem to prefer nearby Carmel River State Park.

Legal status:

Carmel River State Park property.Read more »

Los Padres Reservoir

Rating: C

You're not supposed to swim in Los Padres Reservoir, much less dive into it while you are naked. But when summer temperatures soar, it not unusual to see a few naked youths to take the plunge.Instead of risking citations, others like to sunbathe without suits in lakeside areas sheltered from easy view.The swim spots are around 20 miles east of Carmel and some 5 miles east of Carmel Village, off Carmel Valley Road (G-16).

Legal status:Read more »

Elsewhere Near the Bucket

Rating: C

Two more swimming holes are located just upstream from the Bucket. Bucket Bend, the most private and deepest of these pools, has a small, sandy beach approximately 50 feet from the Bucket.The Rope Swing (named after a rope swing that was on the property) is a large, shallow, clothing-optional swim spot.

Legal status:

Believed to be private property.

How to find it:Read more »

The Bucket

Rating: C

Local residents love to take dips in Carmel Valley's most popular swimming hole, the Bucket, and two other holes near it on weekends.But on weekdays when others aren't around -- best bets include morning and late afternoon -- these Carmel Valley Road sites still get a few skinny-dippers.Usage by them dropped off after a flood washed away some of the plants that kept the hole hidden from view.

Legal status:

Believed to be private property.Read more »

Pebble Beach

Rating: C

WTF, there are some naked people in that sand trap on Hole 9!While that isn't quite the situation in Pebble Beach, naturists do occasionally sunbathe on the sand just below the world-famous golfing greens. "It's remote, out of the way, and people can't see you from nearby Carmel Beach," says Fred, of Pacific Grove, who found the site while walking along the shore one day.

Legal status:

Believed to be Monterey County land.Read more »

The Crater

Rating: C

Tourists are sometimes surprised when they come across completely naked people sunbathing just across the street a popular mall in Monterey County.The location: a crater-like depression of sand about a block from Edgewater Mall, in the town of Seaside.Used by a few naturists for nude sunbathing, the bowl-like formation has high walls that keep it nearly hidden from view.

Legal status:

Unknown, but may be part of Fort Ord Dunes State Park.Read more »

Indian Head Beach

Rating: C

A few naturists visit this beach in the town of Marina from time to time on warm summer days and during trips by nudist groups."Some walkers and fishermen also come by," says Tiburon lawyer Charles Harris II, who's been helping push a project to make the spot an officially designated nude beach for years.So far, despite Harris' persistence, that effort has fallen on deaf ears.

Legal status:

Part of Fort Ord Dunes State Park.Read more »

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 »