The United States has become somewhat of an expert when it comes to questionable holidays: Fruitcake Toss Day, Squirrel Appreciation Day, Ice Cream for Breakfast Day — all of these are, for better or worse, engrained in the fabric of our society. One national holiday that you may need to be immediately aware of is National Skinny Dipping Day. On August 13th of each year, brave souls daring to bare it all, come together to celebrate the simple joy of nakedly plunging into water.
Now — the question becomes — where to take a dip? To our disappointment, the holiday is currently not recognized enough to go marching into any available body of water. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. Here’s your list of the best places in the US to get cheeky and celebrate National Skinny Dipping Day.
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, MI
Although “porcupine” and “nudity” in the same sentence may make you cringe, this state park in Michigan is an internationally-renowned spot for swimming in the buff. The park offers expansive views of dense evergreen forests, gushing rivers and jagged ridgelines. Take any of the famous trails — Escarpment, Big Carp River, or Lake Superior — and head for the park’s primary lake. Surrounding the lake are ample opportunities for cliff jumping, lounging, and skinny dipping. Feel free to find your own little nook, but there are some more social areas as well. Porcupine is easily the best option for skinny dipping in the Midwest.
Strawberry Hot Springs, Steamboat Springs CO
No matter what season it is, Colorado’s Steamboat Springs is one of the most beautiful and colorful places in the country. A snowy wonderland in winter, a browning paradise in the fall, and a blue-green hotspot during the summer — visiting Steamboat is a must. And, in a progressive state known for legal marijuana, skinny dipping is pretty well-received. Strawberry Hot Springs is an amazing facility that offers spa treatments, rustic log cabins, and it’s clothing-optional after nightfall. Depending on the crowd, the vibe can range from a lawless and rambunctious nudist party to awkward little pockets of naturist first-timers. Regardless, the 104-degree water and beautiful surroundings make this an excellent destination to drop trou.
Black’s Beach, San Diego CA
San Diego in the summer months is a warm-weather paradise, plain and simple. All 70 miles of unimpeded coastline beckon sun-seeking travelers, but for those particularly keen on swimming and sprawling nude, Black’s Beach is the best bet. Public nudity is technically illegal in San Diego, but because it’s fairly secluded and difficult to access, local authorities at Black’s tend to turn a blind eye. The Ho Chi Minh trail that winds down to Black’s is an adventure in its own right, requiring visitors to walk across makeshift bridges and slide down slippery sandstone. Once you get down to the beach, enjoy the white sand and watch the surfers. The water is really only bearable without a wetsuit between June and October, which makes this a perfect destination for August’s national skinny dipping day.
Hippie Hollow, Lake Travis TX
Just outside of Austin, Hippie Hollow is Texas’ best spot to take a dip au naturel. With over 100 acres of beautiful shoreline, Lake Travis is serene and full of wildlife. It’s not even that skinny dipping is allowed but frowned upon — there’s a sign boldly declaring this area is “yours to enjoy naturally.” Hippie Hollow has a long history as a nudist destination and locals are known to be particularly friendly, so if you don’t mind socializing in your birthday suit, Hippie Hollow may be your go-to spot.
Little Beach, Maui HI
Little Beach is Hawaii’s modestly-named destination for nudists and is arguably the best in the state. Again, it’s “don’t look don’t tell” when it comes to legality, but nudity is generally accepted here. Little Beach is a beautiful little stretch of sand that has been given the stamp of approval from the American Association for Nude Recreation, a surprisingly influential organization that has lobbied for nudist policies around the U.S. If you’re looking to go all-in on being a free spirit, Little Beach hosts a drum circle every Sunday where locals and tourists alike are known to join in on singing kumbaya.
Haulover Beach, Miami FL
Haulover is a 99-acre — yes, you read that right — nudist park and beach area north of Miami. Considering the 1.4 million visitors that frequent the park each year, 99 acres is enough surface area to be concerned about the rise of a cultish nudist society that threatens to secede unless sweeping nudist-friendly policies are implemented. There are so many nudists roaming Haulover, it seems abnormal to see people with clothes on. If you’re feeling shy about skinny dipping for the first time, consider hiding in plain sight. Absolutely no one is going to judge you or think twice about the particulars of your birthday suit. That being said, just because it’s widely accepted doesn’t mean there aren’t rules. Guests can be ushered out for taking unsolicited photos or being overtly sexual. In fact, these are good rules of bum (sorry) to apply to all the destinations on this list.