Nude beaches

Wanderlust announces its first Nude Beach of the Week.

By Salon Staff
Published July 10, 1998 7:00PM (EDT)

This week we continue sharing Wanderlust readers' tales of their favorite nude beaches from around the world. Since requesting these stories two weeks ago, I have been amazed and heartened by the enthusiasm and variety of your responses. This week we have selected four tales that address some of the perils and pleasures of exposing yourself to the world -- whether on America's East and West coasts, or the bare-all shores of Greece. We hope you enjoy them, and please, if you have a favorite nude beach or tale to share, send us e-mail -- and photos -- at And don't forget that sunscreen!

-- Don George

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Shark bait

The best "nude beach" in America can be found at Apollo Beach on the north end of the Canaveral National Seashore. This central Florida Atlantic coast beach is all sugar-sand with no rocks and a gently sloping sand bottom. The water is clean, the beach is flat and wide and protected bird species abound. It is possible to take a nude walk between Apollo and its sister beach 15 miles to the south, Playalinda Beach, but you have to know what you're doing to pull it off.

Apollo Beach is not an official nude beach, but there have been ongoing negotiations to place signage designating a preferred area for clothing optional recreation. You will see dolphins and, in season, whales, working their way up and down the coast at Apollo. Shore fishermen catch their lunch most every day.

Although this beach looks like a great opportunity to slip away from civilization and do some skinny dipping far from the madding crowd, caution is advised. It is not unusual to see small sharks in shallow water. Don't go swimming alone. A good source of information on Apollo Beach and Canaveral National Seashore can be found on this page.

-- Tom Pitton

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Nude-on collision

My favorite nude beach is in Greece -- on the island of Santorini -- in a little town called Vlichada. It's a beautiful beach surrounded by cliffs of volcanic rock that are ever changing with the wind. My boyfriend and I drove our mopeds there and parked for the day. It was very private, and everyone seemed to follow that nude beach code of ethics (i.e., no obnoxious gawking). He failed to put sunscreen on some important parts, which put a slight damper on our vacation for a time. At one point I was feeling particularly free and adventurous and decided to take a stroll down the beach while still in the buff. As I was passing by some larger rocks there appeared an older and toothless Greek man -- we nearly collided! Needless to say he had quite a smile -- but his Greek hospitality persevered and I went on my way down the beach in peace. The day I spent there was one of the most wonderful ever. I highly recommend it!

-- Carrie Trojahn

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Beach volleyballs

The best nude beach has got to be "Jungle Beach" -- past the big rock on Lucy Vincent Beach in Chilmark, Mass., on Martha's Vineyard. It's gotten a bit more conservative in recent years, but the first time I went there (with an all-female group from the famous Chilmark Writing Workshop) I was pleased to encounter an all-male nude volleyball game. This turned out to be a very lively, competitive game, and the balls were flying, I can tell you. This is not a sight one often sees -- a group of men bouncing around in their birthday suits! With the exception of the "flash" scene in the movie "Braveheart," I've never seen quite so many natural wonders all at one time. Remember, you can get a really mean sunburn in certain places there. Definitely bring along the sunblock!

-- Patrice Barth

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Jiggling in the buff

Since I moved to the hills of Santa Cruz, Calif., my new favorite nude beach is Bonny Doon, on Highway 1. When I first started going to this beach, I became a "regular" fairly quickly. One weekend a guy started teaching a bunch of us to juggle, which was a lot of silly fun. When asked by one woman I worked with how my weekend was, I very innocently described my juggling lessons. Word spread around the agency that "Judy was juggling on the nude beach." A day later my boss (who should have been a lot more concerned with his own reputation and personal habits) accused me of creating a bad image for the firm by "jiggling on the nude beach." I couldn't stop laughing long enough to slap him.

My experience has convinced me that the nude beach environment supports fairly healthy and positive interactions between men and women, be they sexual, playful or conversational. But these special little ecosystems are too small to accommodate all seekers, and at least in Marin, are already verging on overcrowded. We should probably be grateful for the modest majority.

-- Judy Frabotta

Salon Staff

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