Naked San Francisco: 7 places where you can take it all off

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For decades, San Francisco was known for its “unrestricted public nudity.” This meant that residents and tourists alike could casually roam the streets of San Fran wearing nothing more than the skin they were born in. However, in 2012 a ban on public nudity was put into place and by 2013 public displays of nudity became illegal…

…but worry not, adventurous vacationers! If you’re headed to the Bay Area and yearn to liberate yourself from the confines of clothing, it’s still a possibility. To get you started, we have just the place for you to find flights (Cheapflights.com flight search, of course), and we’ve put together a handy guide of all the places and events you can explore in the buff once you land in San Fran.

Baker Beach

gags9999, There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune (CC BY 2.0)
gags9999, There is a tide in the affairs of men… Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Beyond providing a stunning view of the Golden Gate Bridge, Baker Beach is also known for offering a section of sand and surf where no shirt is no problem. If you head towards the northern region of the beach, you’ll find a clothing-optional oasis where most of its occupants opt to enjoy the sun sans bathing suit and you can experience beach activities such as Frisbee, volleyball and sunbathing in a new (and nude) way. It’s no coincidence that this stretch of the beach was the original site of the Burning Man festival.

Bare to Breakers Race

A unique spin on the official Bay to Breakers race has you running in the nude. If you happen to be visiting San Francisco in mid-May (when the race takes place) and feel the urge to run like the wind without the pesky constrictions of clothing, check out the organization Bare to Breakers. These individuals gather in a large group and run the Bay to Breakers footrace in their birthday suits. Yes, this means that you’ll be running alongside people who are clothed. However, the amount of participants who make the decision to run in the nude is quite large. The goal of Bare to Breakers is to reclaim the body and demonstrate that its natural state is not something that need be hidden. If you do participate, be sure to load up on sunscreen pre-race.

Kabuki Springs and Spa

kennejima, Kabuki Springs & Spa (CC BY 2.0)
kennejima, Kabuki Springs & Spa Flickr CC BY 2.0

Sometimes the best way to relax is to do so in the buff. At Kabuki Springs and Spa, you can treat yourself to a traditional Japanese communal bath in the comfort of your own skin. The spa promotes harmony and relaxation and offers facilities such as a dry sauna, steam room, cold plunge and a hot pool. Kabuki also provides traditional Japanese-seated bathing areas. If you are vacationing with both men and women, it’s important to keep in mind that the spa only offers one day a week (Tuesdays) where both can experience the bath together. On that day, bathing suits are required for everyone. Alternatively, women-only days are Sunday, Wednesday and Friday and men-only days are Monday, Thursday and Saturday. On these days clothing is completely optional.

Folsom Street Fair

This street festival takes place in September and is hailed as the “World’s Biggest Leather Event.” If you have a love of leather or are simply looking to explore your exhibitionist side, this event has been crafted for you. Participants are free to shed their clothes and inhibitions as the the nudity ban is lifted in the police-issued designated area (which is spread over 13 blocks). Leather aside, the fair also offers an array of food and drink and boasts two designated dance areas. So don your best leather (or don’t) — this is an event where you can let loose and let it all hang out.

Archimedes Banya

Hotel Punta Diamante, Aqua Spa. (CC BY 2.0)
Hotel Punta Diamante, Aqua Spa. Flickr CC BY 2.0

Unlike Kabuki, this Russian bathhouse does not separate men from women. Both are encouraged to disrobe and enjoy saunas, steams, cold plunges, hot tubs and cold pools. In addition to these facilities, patrons can also enjoy massages, food and wine without a stitch of clothing. Keep in mind Archimedes Banya is a VERY sought after spa and wait times tend to be lengthy. If you are traveling to San Fran and want to experience the luxuries of a spa in the nude, it’s suggested you book an appointment a couple weeks in advance.

Bay Area Naked Club

Looking for an activity to do in the nude but not exactly sure where to begin? Hit up the Bay Area Naked Club online for an ever-changing and evolving list of activities that participants do sans clothing. If you are a nature lover, checking out this group may be especially (birthday) suited for you, since a substantial amount of their outings are of the nature-viewing variety. As an added bonus, some events (such as their photo day-trips) are free.

Valentines Nude Love Parade

While you’ll have to be in San Francisco on February 13th to enjoy this parade, it’s still a great opportunity to gather with like-minded people and enjoy a day without clothes. This parade made its inaugural outing on Feb. 13, 2016, but it was so well-received that 2017 is a go. Whether you are single or in a relationship, this parade is for anyone who wants to promote good vibes and love (who just happen to be doing it without their clothes on).

Interested in searching out any of these clothing-optional places and events? First you’ll need to search for flights. And with the Cheapflights app, you can search whenever, wherever and wearing (or not wearing) whatever you like.

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Any naked attractions that we missed? Let us know in the comment section.

Naked San Francisco: 7 places where you can take it all off was last modified: December 22nd, 2016 by Nicole Rashotte
Author: Nicole Rashotte (48 posts)

In addition to travel writing, Nicole creates content for several startups in the fashion, tech and corporate world. When not writing or doing community management, Nicole can be found forcing her dog into cuddles and Instagram photos, and searching for the perfect green tea.