Nude Recreation in San Diego County: Beaches and Resorts

Blacks Beach, San Diego
Dan_H/Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

San Diego County has only one beach that is frequently used for nude recreation. Known as America's most popular nude beach, Black's Beach is just a few blocks away from the University of California San Diego in La Jolla, California, which is just north of San Diego. However, access to the nude portion of the beach is tricky as there are only two ways down the bluffs of the Torrey Pines to the sandy shoreline: one with steep stairs and another footpath carved into the hillside.

Although San Onofre Beach in northern San Diego County used to be clothing-optional and a few out-of-date websites may still say it is, a crackdown on enforcement of local public nudity policies in 2009 resulted in the beach no longer allowing naked sunbathing. When that happened, it left a portion of Black's Beach as the only official place you can bare it all in this coastal region of southern California.

If you are new to clothing optional beaches, please be respectful of others and follow nude beach and topless beach etiquette guidelines before you go to a nude beach in California.

Nude Sunbathing at Black's Beach

Not all of Black's Beach is clothing-optional, so make sure you're not the only one stripping down to your birthday suit if you're visiting Black's Beach for the first time; however, if you make it down the steep trail to the portion that is, you're certain to encounter folks of all ages, body types, and sizes enjoying the warm sun in the nude.

For more detailed information including how to get there and what to take, use the guide to nude recreation at Black's Beach.

Other Places for Nudity in San Diego

Black's is the only nude beach in San Diego County.

If you are in San Diego and want to go out of town for clothing-optional recreation, you'll have to travel a long distance. The nearest nude beaches to San Diego are in Santa Barbara County, but they're a more than 200 miles away and nude sunbathers there are subject to being hassled by local law enforcement officers. Use the guide to Santa Barbara County nude beaches if you want to go.

You might be expecting a sunny day, but Mother Nature may have different ideas. San Diego beaches are subject to foggy conditions any time between May and August. Before you go, find out what you need to know about so-called June Gloom — and what to do if it happens.

If Black's is too crowded or cold and foggy and you don't want to drive all the way to Santa Barbara, your best bet for other nude recreation nearby is to visit one of California's clothing optional resorts.

If you're just looking to visit the beach and don't mind wearing a little clothing, you can also check out one of the many "textile" beaches along the shore in San Diego County. For directions to each one, you can use this San Diego County beach map.

San Diego Nudity Laws

Blacks Beach is jointly owned by the City of San Diego and the State of California, which makes the law enforcement situation complicated. However, the bottom line is that people can use the state-owned portion of the beach for clothing-optional recreation but should not use the city-owned beach for such.

Unfortunately, the city-owned portion of Black's Beach is easier to access, with a gently-sloped, paved path leading all the way down to the sandy beach. For this part of Black's Beach and for nude recreation elsewhere in San Diego County, the local laws have this to say about public nudity:

San Diego City Nudity Law: San Diego, California, Municipal Code 56.53 Nudity on Public Lands says: "No person over the age of ten years shall be nude and exposed to public view in or on any public right of way, public park, public beach or waters adjacent thereto, or other public land, or in or on any private property open to public view from any public right of way, public beach, public park, or other public land."

San Diego County Nudity Law: San Diego County Ordinance SEC. 32.1004 Public Nudity in General says: "It shall be unlawful for any person in the unincorporated area of the County to appear nude in a public place. This does not apply to theatrical performances,"

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