Topless Beach Vacations

woman topless at beach

Topless sunbathing spots can be found at a surprising number of beach destinations around the world. Beach-goers who want to avoid unsightly tan lines or who simply want to experience the beach in as natural a way as possible have plenty of seaside destinations to choose from. The best of these beaches not only allow top-optional swimming and sun-bathing, they are also some of the most beautiful stretches of sand in the world.

Ten Popular Topless Beaches

Travelers who want the option of going topless to the beach would do well to put one or more of these sunbathing hotspots on their itinerary.

1. South Beach, Florida

South Beach stretches along the coastline of Miami Beach, Florida. The public beach runs from 5th Street to 15th Street, and then continues up the coast. A lively gay scene can be found in the middle of South Beach (at about 12th Street). Aside from this small area, South Beach is actually quite family-friendly, though topless bathing is allowed along the beach. South Beach is also attractive away from the sand and seashore. A lively nightlife and restaurant scene and some interesting Art Deco architecture make for plenty of away-from-the-beach fun.

2. St. Tropez, Cote d'Azur, France

Southern France's Cote d'Azur (called the French Riviera by English-speakers) is arguably the birthplace of modern topless beaches. St. Tropez has some of the most beautiful stretches of sand in the region. The impossibly blue Mediterranean water and warm sea breezes make this a great spot for sunbathing. Pampelonne Beach (Plage de Pampelonne) is the name of the beach that covers much of the city-side coastline. It is dotted with both public and private beaches. In general, this is a good place for topless beach novices. There is absolutely nothing taboo about topless tanning in this region of France; it is treated with a nonchalance that will put novice beach-goers at ease.

3. Black's Beach, San Diego, California

Black's Beach is one of the largest nude beaches in the US. It is run by the California State Park authority and by the city of San Diego. Clothing is optional only on the state park section of the beach. This is a prime piece of seaside real estate, located near the upscale suburbs of La Jolla and Torrey Pines, and is home to one of the most famous and scenic golf courses in California.

4. Paradise Beach, Mykonos, Greece

Paradise Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Greece. This is a party spot and is packed with people throughout the warm summer months. Full nudity is allowed, but simply going topless is the norm. This is definitely a top choice for people seeking a topless beach that has a lively party atmosphere.

5. Guadeloupe, French Caribbean

Guadeloupe is an overseas territory of France. It sits in the Caribbean's Lesser Antilles region near the larger Francophone island of Martinique. Resorts and hotels throughout the island allow topless sunbathing. It is also quite common to see some topless beach-goers at most public beaches. Members of the general public are allowed on many resort-owned stretches of sand, though they may have to pay for a chair, umbrella or towel rental.

6. Cannes, Cote d'Azur, France

Cannes is another beach hotspot on the French Riviera. It is best known for its sunny weather and as the host of the world-famous Cannes Film Festival. This is definitely a glamorous destination, and arguably the best place to experience the glitzy side of the French Mediterranean. Topless bathing is allowed and is in fact the norm on many of the city's beaches.

7. Seven Mile Beach, Negril, Jamaica

Negril is a tourism hotspot in Jamaica, drawing resort-goers, spring-breakers, and singles in search of a good place to party. Negril's Seven Mile Beach allows topless sunbathing. It has a decidedly over-the-top vibe, with famous (or infamous) resorts, like Hedonism, located near the beach. This is definitely not a good place for people seeking a casual clothes-free tanning session, but for topless beach-goers in search of a party atmosphere, it is arguably the Caribbean's top destination

8. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora is the very definition of an idyllic beach destinations. Many travelers consider this island in French Polynesia, neighbor to Tahiti, to be the ultimate beach destination. Topless sunbathing is common, even on public beaches like Matira Beach. Much of the seaside land is owned by hotels and resorts, most of whom also allow nude sunbathing. Some resorts have bungalows that come with their own small private beaches.

9. Little Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Little Beach is an unofficial clothing-optional beach located on Maui. It is only an eight-of-a-mile long, but draws large crowds throughout the year. Though topless sunbathing is technically illegal on Maui, there is little enforcement and many people choose to go completely clothes-less on Little Beach. Shallow water with a sandy bottom makes this a great place to swimming and snorkeling as well as tanning. The gentle breaks off-shore are also good for surfers and body boarders.

10. Les Salinas, Ibiza, Spain

Ibiza, one of Spain's Balearic Islands, sits in the Mediterranean. It is known for its all-out parties and for its nightclubs, hotspots that regularly host the world's best DJs and electronic music luminaries. Some beaches have a party atmosphere and are frequented by younger travelers. Others, such as Les Salinas, allow topless tanning and draw people from all walks of life. Es Cavallet is another popular clothing-optional beach set amongst the dunes south of Les Salinas.

Traveling to Topless Beaches

Travelers who seek out topless beach destinations will come up with their own list of favorites. They may feel more comfortable on certain stretches of sand and may enjoy the overall beach scene at certain places. That said, the destinations on this list are a great starting point for anyone who wants to enjoy topless sunbathing.

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Topless Beach Vacations