North Marina Beach is a nice beach north of the town of Monterey. It has long been used by local residents for clothing-optional recreation, with sheltered places for nude sunbathing between the coastal sand dunes.
North Marina is in Monterey County, north of Monterey and near the town of Marina. Get a map and directions on the last page of this guide.
North Marina is mostly a sunbathing area, with nice places to stretch out, protected from the wind in the sand dunes. It can be foggy and cold even in summer, especially from May through July.
Because of the cliffs and sand dunes on the east side of the beach, the morning sun won't hit the beach until about three hours after sunrise.
North Marina Nude Beach
Who's at North Marina Beach
Mostly local residents
North Marina Beach Facilities
Toilets are at the Marina State Beach parking lot. Otherwise, there aren't any facilities at the beach.
North Marina Beach Activities
Sunbathing is the best thing to do at North Marina Beach. The sand slopes steeply from the beach and the surf line hides an even steeper underwater drop-off. The topology creates a very strong undertow that makes swimming (and even wading) hazardous.
More About North Marina Beach
More Nude Beaches Within 40 Miles of North Marina
- Pfeiffer Beach: Monterey County's southernmost nude beach, in Big Sur
- Garrapata Beach: South of Monterey and north of Pfeiffer
- Indian Head Beach: North of Monterey near the town of Marina, this is the most popular place in the area for clothing optional recreation.
Nudity Laws and North Marina Beach
North Marina Beach is just outside the boundaries of the Marina Beach state park, making it unlikely that park rangers will issue citations there. Local law enforcement could cite you, but we haven't heard of this happening.
Laws regarding nudity at the naturist beach vary by location and fines are stiff in some places. The responsibility for knowing the law at North Marina Beach is yours.
Nude or naturist beach neophytes, please be respectful of others and read the Nude Beach and Topless Beach Etiquette guidelines before you go to a nude beach.
Rating North Marina Beach for Clothing Optional Recreation
The Bay Guardian newspaper gives North Marina a grade of "C," but our readers disagree, with nearly two-thirds rating it excellent.
More than 5,000 of our readers voted for their favorite Monterey County nude beach. 52% voted for Garrapata, 24% for Marina State Beach, 12% for North Marina and 11% for Pfeiffer.
More than 500 of our readers rated North Marina as a nude beach. 59% of them said it's excellent and 11% said it's good but with a few flaws.
Getting to North Marina Beach
The map above shows North Marina's location. If you want an interactive version of the map, would like to convert to a close-up satellite map that shows the beaches and trails or if you need driving directions, use our Monterey County Beach map at Google.
- The beach is south of Castroville and west of the town of Marina and west of CA Hwy 1
- Exit CA Hwy 1 Exit #410 (Reservation Road)
- Turn west at the end of the exit ramp (toward the ocean)
- Turn right onto Dunes Drive
- Follow Dunes Drive and go past the Sanctuary Beach Resort to the entry gate shown on the previous page.
Park along the road.
Some sources say that Dunes Drive can be parked full of cars on a busy day, but it's been quiet every time we've been there. If you can't find parking nearby, you'll find a few parking spots on Reservation Road, or you can try to find a spot at the Marina State Beach parking lot at the end of Reservation Road.
Walking from Parking Lot to the Beach
The picture on the first page shows the way to get in. You'll find two gates on the west side of Dunes Drive that block automobiles but not people on foot and both take you to the beach. Look for other sunbathers between the dunes.