Getting naked is something Californians always did well. In 1972, a California court case ruled that mere beach nudity is not indecent exposure and, in fact, public nudity is legal these days—well in varying degrees, depending on the city and county. In San Francisco, however, an unusual ordinance was issued in February of 2013, allowing public nudity at permitted parades and activities on city streets but not in marches on the sidewalks.
All year: Marshall Beach
Thanks to the seclusion created by steep cliffs, this is one of the best-known clothing-optional beaches in San Francisco. Access to Marshall Beach is not as easy as taking your clothes off; windy paths and stairways are involved, but the bliss and quiet are worth it.
Bare to Breakers
The annual nude answer to the eccentric Bay to Breakers, is this nude version of the race. It’s even more uninhibited, wild and expressive than the original. This year’s Bare to Breakers happened in May, so stay tuned for next year’s date.
All year: Archimedes Banya
In a non-descriptive part of the city, Archimedes Banya has long been a clothing optional destination for spa and nudity lovers. It’s co-ed (except for a ‘women’s night’ held the first Tuesday of each month), it offers traditionally Russian sauna and water treatments, features nice rooftop city views and has great snacks and beer. In short, everything you need for a great afternoon in the nude.
Folsom Street Fair
Coming up on September 24th, the self-described ‘largest leather event in the world’ is a cornucopia of costume, skin and eyeliner. Folsom Street Fair is never not outrageous, and the amount of leather actually used in costumes is totally up to you, as well as the taste level.
All Year: Kabuki Springs and Spa
The communal baths at Hotel Kabuki’s spa are clothing-optional, with separate days dedicated to men and women, making them a good spot for nudity-loving shy folks. Offering relaxation and chic robes in the middle of the city, the spa is a calm sanctuary for those who like to shed layers without the theatrics.
All year: North Baker Beach
North Baker Beach offers up Golden Gate Bridge views and clothing-optional sun tanning. This area of Baker Beach can be found at the far end, north of the strip. You’ll recognize it when you see it. Swimming isn’t safe, or, in the local climate, even desirable, but coming here for one of the rare heat waves is a good idea.
The ‘No Pants BART Ride’
A popular form of public mischief, the last No Pants BART ride took place last January, and encouraged city dwellers to take to public transportation in their underpants. Organized by No Pants SF on Twitter and Facebook, the aesthetically questionable yet fun event happens once a year, so stay tuned for 2018.
All year: Gypsy Taub’s events
Taub is one of the city’s most prominent nudist activists. Among her recent endeavors: a nudist parade was organized within the Summer of Love festivities in May, participation in a naked Valentine’s Day parade in the city, and more. Her Twitter feed is a goldmine of nude events, organized locally, and it’s worth following, if you want to stay in the know regarding clothes-free San Francisco happenings.