The coast at Marina State Beach is lined with small sand dunes interspersed with a flat beach in front of a cliff. The sand at the nude area is exceptionally soft making it perfect for sunbathing. The water is frigid and dangerous, so visitors are advised to stay on the beach and enjoy the views of the water and the occasional sea lion or sea otter. This guide has everything thing you need to know to have a great visit to Marina State Beach.
Nude Recreation at Marina Beach
Local nudists love the beach they have been calling Indian Head since before the state park was created.
It's a bit of a hike to get to the part of the beach used for nude recreation and few people make the trip. You might have the beach to yourself, and gawkers are likely to be less of a problem than they can be elsewhere.
What You Need to Know About Marina State Beach
Because of the cliffs and sand dunes on the east side of the beach, morning sun won't hit the beach until about three hours after sunrise.
There are no facilities at the beach, and that includes restrooms. Bring water and snacks and take out what you take in.
This part of the coast is often foggy (and cold) all day, especially during conditions called June Gloom which can happen anytime between May and August.
How to Get to Marina State Beach
Marina State Beach is between Castroville and Monterey off CA Highway 1 near the town of Marina. You can try to find it using a navigation app, but below are some helpful directions:
- Exit CA Highway 1 at Exit #410 (Reservation Road).
- Turn east at the end of the exit ramp toward Central Marina (away from the water).
- At the second traffic light, Reservation Road turns right and so should you.
- Past a couple of motels and a church — and across from the tall antennas, make a right turn onto Lake Drive.
- Lake Drive curves immediately to the left. Follow it for 0.6 miles through a residential neighborhood, passing Marina del Mar Elementary School and the Animal Shelter.
- You'll drive under a highway overpass and see a sign that says "Not a through street," which is true — but it goes far enough.
You can park beside the road or in a small parking area that's easy to find.
Walking from the Parking Lot to the Beach
Sand tends to encroach on the walkway up the sand dune by the parking lot, and it might disappear completely. Don't let that worry you and keep going straight up. Follow the trail to the top of the dune where you can see the beach.
At the beach, turn left and walk about a half mile south to the nude area. It begins at the section of the cliff face which is covered with ice plant.
Nudity Laws and Marina State Beach
Technically, the beach is in a state park. You can read about California state nudity laws and the so-called Cahill policy at state parks in the guide to California nudity laws. However, the nude section of the beach is isolated and park rangers seldom visit although locals say they may come by around 4:30 p.m. If they do, they're likely to be driving along the beach, and you can see them coming, it's a good idea to keep your clothing nearby just in case.
If you are going to a nude beach for the first time, please be respectful of others and read the guidelines for nude beach and topless beach etiquette.