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Good News for 2018 and Beyond?

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  • Good News for 2018 and Beyond?

    I've posted here about the challenges facing Pirate's Cove in Avila Beach, California over the years. It was privately owned for decades, and the owners always protected the clothing optional status of the beach. When it was sold to San Luis Obispo County a few years back, we were afraid that the County would ban nudity, but they did not. However, they planned to make improvements to parking and access to make it more "family friendly", and we all know what that means. Fortunately, the California Coastal Commission shot down those plans, stating it would change the character of the beach. Unfortunately, the beach had been going down hill, and was plagued with drugs and booze parties, car break ins and people having sex on the cliffs, used needles on the trails and the beach...nasty stuff.

    Now, the County has approved a plan to clean up the parking area, increase police presence and, most importantly, close the parking lot at night to prevent the (clothed) teen booze parties. With all that, the County has stated the improvement plans include keeping the beach clothing optional. So, positive news about a nude beach for a change. Let's hope it sticks.

  • #2
    That is very good news! We've only visited Pirate's Cove twice. Seems we're always in a hurry to get up to Cambria or get back home. Hopefully we'll be able to stay in SLO and visit this beach more often in the coming years. Is it still tricky at the end of the trail to get down to the sand? Last I remember there was a sizable drop.


    • #3
      A few years back there was quite a drop, and you had to slide down a big rock to get onto the beach. If the tide was high, you would also get wet. Then there was the challenge of getting back up off the beach, and someone had tied a rope to the bushes above to help. Last time I was there (about a year ago) the cliff face had been eroded enough just past the big rock so that people could cut steps in the cliff and you could walk around it and get on the beach easily and without getting wet. Unless there is a particularly bad winter storm, that should not change. The County wanted to install a real trail, with steps and hand rails, but the Coastal Commission shot that down. It's a difficult balance we face. If they did install a good trail, more non-nudist visitors would come down the trail and inevitably complain about the nudity. By keeping the trail as it is (dangerous and challenging) it keeps those people away. Funny how that works.

      There is a sign at the trail head warning people that nudity will be encountered on the beach below, so they are warned, unless the sign gets stolen (again). If you go to Pirate's Cove, make sure to also visit Sycamore Mineral Springs for a soak in one of their tree covered hillside hot tubs after the beach. Clothing is optional there as well. You drive right by it on the way to the beach. Make reservations a few days before though.


      • #4
        Great info! Thanks for sharing that! We have friends from CO that are wanting to visit the central coast with us and these two spots will be great places to take them.


        • #5
          Here is a link to the hot tub information at Sycamore Mineral Springs. It's also a resort and spa with an amazing restaurant.


          • #6
            Thanks for the link! I put it in my Favorites for future use!