Monterey County nude beaches are easily accessible. Most of them can be reached by a hike across the sand dunes. Some are also sheltered from the wind by coastal cliffs. They're nice places that some people really like, but they get far fewer visitors than the nude beaches further north do.
Because they get fewer visitors, it's also harder to get accurate, current information about the clothing optional beaches around Monterey.
During the summer, the California coast is often foggy. If you find one of these Monterey County beaches shrouded in fog, don't give up. Within an hour on the same day, I have found North Marina Beach foggy and cold, while Garrapata was sunny. A weather app like Dark Skies can help you find out the short-range forecast for each location.
Clothing Optional Beaches in Monterey County
- Garrapata State Beach: Garrapata is a lovely beach noted for its scenic beauty. It's mostly used by clothed visitors and is in a state park where rangers can cite nudists if anyone complains. Nevertheless, our readers voted it their favorite Monterey County nude beach.
- Marina State Beach (Indian Head): People who go to Indian Head talk about how gorgeous it is. You'll find small sand dunes interspersed with a flat beach in front of a cliff. The sand at the nude area is extremely soft. Sunbathing is the most common activity. This beach is one of the most unspoiled stretches of sand in California, protected for decades as part of the now decommissioned Fort Ord military base.
- North Marina Beach: This beach has been used for nude recreation by local residents for years. It has sheltered places for nude sunbathing between the coastal sand dunes.
- Pfeiffer Beach: Pfeiffer Beach is a beautiful spot that's famous for sunsets, with striking purple sand and offshore rocks. It only gets a few visitors for nude recreation. On many days, it may too cold or windy to disrobe. Pfeiffer Beach is in a day use area of the Los Padres National Forest.
The area in Sand City called "The Crater" is sometimes used for nude sunbathing. It's not a beach but instead a bowl-shaped depression in the sand dunes, with a wide, sandy beach nearby. Visitors have to cross a gate and go past private property signs to get there, something we don't recommend.
Rating Monterey County Nude Beaches
More than 5,000 of our readers voted in a poll for their favorite Monterey County nude beach. 52% of them voted for Garrapata Beach, 24% for Marina State Beach, 12% for North Marina Beach and 11% for Pfeiffer Beach.
Mapping the Monterey County Nude Beaches
If you want to see where all the Marin County clothing optional beaches are located, use this Monterey County Beach Map at Google maps, where the nude beaches are marked with pushpins. You can use it to get directions to each one.
Nudity Laws in Monterey County
I have been unable to find any information about Monterey County nudity laws, but most of these nude beach locations are in state parks, which have their own regulations Find out about how California state parks handle nude beaches here.
More Clothing Optional Recreation Nearby
You'll also find clothing optional resorts in California. Some of them have swimming pools and offer overnight lodging, too.