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The Naked Truth

Where to git nekkid in public to enjoy the hot summer sun

SUMMER has no uniform. That's half the season's fun: you can wear whatever the hell you want, from flip-flops and tank tops to absolutely nothing at all. Of course, if you're going to dive in to California's time-honored tradition of public nudity, you'd better know what you're doing. If you're a veteran, you don't need help from us. But beginners beware, 'cause skinny dipping, nude sunbathing, and naked Frisbee aren't as easy as they look!

First tip: use plenty of sunscreen. Second tip: use a little more sunscreen. Third tip: exercise your traditional git-naked rights carefully and with respect for others by stripping down at the starter-list of North Bay nude beaches below.

One final caution: law enforcement attitudes and popular opinion toward nude beaches vary from county to county. People do get tickets for going bare, even on the beach. The Marin County district attorney has a decades-old tradition of dropping anti-nudity charges. Sonoma County, on the other hand, has strict anti-nudity laws, which is why many local nudists head north to Mendocino County, which is bare country.--P.S.

Sonoma County

Wohler Bridge
This popular beach on the Russian River is located on Sonoma County Water Agency land. From Highway 101, take River Road west, turn right on Wohler, cross the bridge, and park in a lot on the right. Walk back to the south side of the bridge, climb over the steel fence, and follow the paved path past the public beach to a riverside footpath, which leads to the clearing.

Marin County

Red Rock Beach
This is one of the most popular nude beaches in the North Bay, probably because it offers a quarter mile of sand, a mellow vibe, and even a few celebrity sightings (think Wavy Gravy, not J. Lo). From Highway 101, take Highway 1 north toward Stinson Beach. Pass the Muir Beach cutoff point and go about five and half miles north to a dirt lot full of cars to the left. The lot is one mile south of Stinson Beach. Park, then take the long, steep trail down to the beach.

Mendocino County

Upper Russian River
This quiet, sandy beach on the Russian River is located just three miles north of the Sonoma County line. From Highway 101, turn left on Cominsky Station Road, follow Cominsky to its end, park, and then walk down to the beach.

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From the July 19-25, 2001 issue of the Northern California Bohemian.

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