I had never been to nude beaches in New York before, or anywhere else actually, but I have to say that I was always curious to see what it would be like. I mean, I think many people also have this curiosity but, like me, never really had the guts to go.
Thankfully I have a great group of friends that planned a special Sunday for us this past weekend! The weather was perfect, the sky was as blue as it could get and I decided to give it a go!
Result: I loved it and can’t wait to explore another nude beach!
So, I decided to write this post to share my experience, tell you about prepping for the day, share some do’s and don’ts, and list you a few places to go in New York and around!
We actually went to a beach called Gunnison Beach, in Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Gunnison is known for being the only legal nude beach in the State, plus it’s a LGBTQ+ friendly spot too. It’s known as one of the oldest and best nude beaches on the East Coast to go to.
The gay-friendly section of the beach is mostly near the parking lot, but you can see families and straight people enjoying the day too. One of the cool things at the beach is that even though it is encouraged to just go full on naked, it’s optional.
So, if it’s your first time explore nude beaches in New York, like it was mine, you can go at your own pace and comfort. I actually just decided to get in the mood, after 5minutes I was there…
It’s like a cold lake. Better to just jump straight in, instead of putting first your feet to get used to the water. You might never get in…Hahaha!
Every single person at the beach is extremely respectful, no one is making fun, or talking or even stopping to look at other people. They are just enjoying the day, chatting with friends, sunbathing and refreshing in the ocean.
I didn’t see any sign that said “No Cameras”, but I do think it’s implicit that no one should be taking pictures or recording anything, right? My recommendations is to just forget about your phone and enjoy your time there.
The sensation? It’s actually extremely liberating! You just feel free and in peace with yourself and your body. Everyone there is beautiful the way they are and no one is there to judge.
How to get there?
I left from Manhattan, so the best way was to head to Pier 11, near Wall Street and get the Seastreak Ferry to Sandy Hook, New Jersey. My recommendation would be to purchase the round-trip ticket, since I didn’t really see where you could buy tickets at Sandy Hook back to Manhattan.
Ticket prices are a bit steep and a round ticket costs $46 per person, but I do recommend the experience. Steeper prices also mean a more controlled crowd.
We left on the 11am ferry and in 30 minutes we were at Sandy Hook. Arriving there you’ll see, right by the docking area, some friendly Rangers guiding you to the yellow school buses that will take you to the beaches. We dropped off at the 1st stop, Gunnison Beach, but there is another stop called North Beach.
Arriving at Gunnison, you’ll walk through a nice wooden path that will lead you to the beach. It’s maybe a 10min walk from there, to where you’ll probably settle in.
Oh! Do use the bathroom, before getting to the beach, since it not that close, sand is hot and fluffy, so it’s not that fast to walk through when you’re super tight.
If you go by car from Manhattan, you might take up to 2h, so the ferry is definitely easier. But, if you decide to go by car, if I’m not mistaken, parking it $10 a car/day.
How to Prep?
Gunnison doesn’t really have good food options. There is only a small food truck that sells some snacks and refreshments, but to spend a full day, it’s not really a great place to depend on.
We had been to the market the day before and we bought things to prepare a couple of sandwiches for lunch and we also bought fruits, snacks like blue corn tortilla chips, hummus, nuts, a few sweets and some water bottles. It was all inside these thermal carrying bags.
Guys! Do hydrate during the day! Even though there is an amazing constant breeze you might not notice, but you are dehydrating there.
We took 2 big portable sun umbrellas for our group of 7 people and it was just perfect.
Also, no need to say, but yes, take sunscreen and keep reapplying through out the day, plus a hat and some cool shades. You WILL burn…
And lastly, we took towels to lay on, just to be more comfortable.
A few Rules & Etiquette Tips for the 1st Timers:
So, these are just a few of my own thoughts, ok? Feel free to comment below with more that I might have forgotten!
1. Respect each and every single person around you. They are there to have fun too!
2. Don’t EVER stare. I mean, come on, we’re there to have fun and not to check people out, make fun and point at strangers.
3. A nude beach is NOT a place to pick up dates or hit on people. It’s a beach like every other beach, not an eye candy spot. Stay with your group, unless you’re invited otherwise to join someone else.
4. Don’t EVER film or take pictures. If you do decide to take a quick selfie, be 1000000% sure no one is appearing in the back of your picture. But, as I mentioned, better to just enjoy your time there and forget your phone for once.
5. Be sure to see WHERE you are allowed to strip down! Not every public space at the beach is a spot to go naked. Ex: People are dressed at the restroom area at Gunnison, so put your clothes on to go there. And also, some public spaces might be allowed to go naked, but have a towel with you, so you don’t sit bare-bum, ok? This is for sanitation purposes.
6. If you’re with your loved one, be discrete, please! No one is making out like crazy on the sand, so just act as if you’re at any other public space. Also, don’t sit on laps or touch each other’s private areas, ok?
7. This is for the MEN! Guys, I believe it must hard to control your friend down there, when you see something attractive. It’s ok if that happens. There is no shame, BUT be sure to be discrete and, as we said, respect everyone there. Keep an extra towel close by, just in case.
8. Should I go with friends or alone? Well, friends are always good since you know them, but you might think it’s weird to see a close friend totally naked… If you decide to go alone, you have to be careful too. Have something to give your attention too – a book, good music, a coloring book, sunbathing, etc. Going alone and just “staring”, might be a bit weird and not welcomed.
9. If your group has music playing, be sure it’s not disturbing your neighbors. Also, DON’T put on a show with your crazy “Dancing Days” moves. Keep that for when you get back into the city, with your clothes on!
10. EMBRACE this moment of freedom and total liberation from anything and anyone. Just have fun in the sun!
A few other nude beaches to explore:
- Gunnison in Sandy Hook, New Jersey, is where I went.
- Fire Island, in Long Island, NY, has a few spots to explore like Lighthouse Beach and Cherry Grove
- The Rockaways is also known of having a few spots and specific areas in Fort Tilden and Jacob Riis Park
Upstate New York has a few options too, if you’re more a mountain-person:
- Juniper Woods Campground, in the Catskill, says it’s “a clothing optional nudist recreational park and campground”
- Split Rock Hole inside the Mohonk Preserve, located in New Paltz, is a great natural pond to cool off during summer
- Empire Haven in Moravia, NY “was founded in 1959 and is a family-oriented nudist park located in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region”
- Full Tan Sun Club, in Sprakers, NY is a “family nudist campground” and opened over 50 years ago
- Stony Kill Falls, also in New Paltz, has clean spring water in their Nudist Pool
As I mentioned a few times, be sure to see all the rules of each spot you go explore, ok?
Let me know if there are other places and nude beaches in New York that I should add to this list on the comments below!!! I’d love to know them!!!
For other beaches, not nude this time, you might want to explore a place I love called Sag Harbor! Great escape from our concrete jungle too!
Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC
*Late Update on March/2020.*