The Aloha State isn’t quite the nudist paradise we want it to be, but on every major island there’s at least one place we know of where you can ditch your clothes and that, combined with lush rainforests, active volcanoes, and gorgeous native islanders, is good enough for us!
Maui is everyone’s favorite island and why shouldn’t it be? Only here can a person begin the day by watching the sunrise over an active volcano and end it by watching the sunset while at a naked drum jam. We’re talking of course about famous Little Beach, Hawaii’s most beloved clothing-optional hangout. Not to be confused with nearby Big Beach (which attracts families), Little Beach is just a hop, skip and a jump away via a trailhead made of lava flow. This little gem of a beach attracts all kinds of nude sunbathers, including straight folks, gay men and lesbians, and a healthy mix of both tourists and locals. And yes, naked drum jams happen every Sunday.
The Big Island is big enough that many folks choose to stick to either the Kona side (dry and sunny) or the Hilo side (jungle like and wetter). Don’t worry: Both offer nude beaches. On the Hilo side of the island there is a tiny town called Pahoa. It makes for a nice base and has a bit of a Wild West vibe to it. About 20 minutes away by car and not far from undulating lava fields is Kehena Black Sand Beach, the second most famous nude beach in Hawaii. You might arrive to a smorgasbord of Sunday stoners banging on their bongos or naked hippy boys leaping into the water off nearby rock formations. The black sand is gorgeous, the vibe totally welcoming, and the crowd, which boasts a sizable gay following, totally convivial. Kehena does not disappoint.
On the other side of the island is Kona: think dry, sunny and touristed. It’s the complete opposite of rainy Hilo and we love it as well. A dude on Scruff tipped us off to a nudist beach about 20 miles north of Kona Airport known simply as Beach 67. It’s technically not a legal nude beach (though that’s true of all beaches in Hawaii), but that doesn’t stop locals in the know from stripping down. When we stumbled upon it there were maybe a half dozen folks around (including two opposite sex couples we’re certain were swingers). The water is heavenly, but make sure not to stumble onto nearby Beach 69 with your
sausage out. It’s not nude.
Oahu is the gayest island of them all in that it offers a smattering of fun and lively queer bars in Honolulu. At the edge of the city is Diamond Head Crater, the island’s most iconic feature, and tucked away at its base is Diamond Head Beach, a low-key and easy-to-reach nude beach. Head to Diamond Head Lighthouse to access the main beach and walk a bit west until you reach the lighthouse. We’ve heard reports that nudity is less common here than it used to be, but the website Hawaii.com recognizes two other clothing-optional beaches on Oahu including Polo Beach and Kahuku Beach, both
located on the island’s famed North Shore.
BARCELONA AND SITGES
Wanna see a Spaniard blink? Stripping down in front of them in public won’t do the trick. Home to more than 400 clothing-optional beaches according to the Spanish Naturist Federation, the Spanish are so blasé about nudity that not only does Barcelona boast two nude beaches smack in the middle of the city, but most nude beachgoers rinse off in the buff alongside everyone else, and not even the families walking by look twice at them.
The gayest beach in Barcelona is Mar Bella. Some locals we know call it a tourist beach, but we were hooked the moment we strolled down the ramp toward the strand and saw the hottest Spaniard ever built chatting up his amigo while the Mediterranean sun baked his nude and chiseled body. On sunny weekends the beach is packed bum to bum, and the crowd is mostly (though not exclusively) LGBTQ. In fact, this sunny strand is so queer-friendly that when you’re hungry for a bite, slip into your Speedo and head to the aptly named beach bar Chiringay.
Located right next to the port (i.e. tourist central) and near the W hotel is San Sebastian Beach. A section of the beach is clothing optional and much less LGBTQ than Mar Bella, though some local gays prefer San Sebastian thanks to its proximity to the Eixample and other nearby ‘hoods. The views are impressive (and yes, we’re referring to all the Spanish cakes on display), but the skyline views are also pretty rad. Tourists are everywhere, so don’t visit if you’re shy.
There’s not much spoken or written about suburban Platja de la Mora, and we get the feeling its devoted following of beachgoers (almost everyone here goes naked) like it that way. There’s not a tourist in sight at this rocky outpost easily recognizable via the trio of smokestacks that loom over it. A sizable following of gay men add to its allure, though this beach is really for dedicated nudists looking to get away from the crowds. It’s reachable via a 40-minute subway ride followed by a 15-minute walk through a warehouse area.
Speaking of 40-minute train rides, Sitges may just be Europe’s reigning gay weekend getaway right now. Enticingly close to Barcelona in proximity and packed with gay nightlife, Sitges also boasts one of our favorite nude beaches. If you do your research, you’ll actually discover that there are several nude beaches in Sitges, but the gayest, busiest, and easiest to get to is Playa De Las Balmins, which has been a nudist beach for nearly a century. The beach is not the prettiest in Spain, but
on summer days you’ll see plump, uncut ding-dongs as far as the eye can see and a small restaurant overlooking the beach, which is a godsend when you’re craving carbs. Head to the bushes on the other side of the train tracks to meet fellas who seem to have lost their way.