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U.S. Cities & States Where You Can Legally Be Nude

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  • U.S. Cities & States Where You Can Legally Be Nude

    Although National Nude Day is not an officially observed holiday, it is a good excuse to go skinny dipping if you have a pool or enjoy lying naked in bed. Every July 14, National Nude Day is celebrated, and although the origins are unknown, nudism, which revolves around the philosophy of naturalism — had been practiced for thousands of years.

    The holiday is meant to celebrate nudity and nakedness, and essentially enjoying your body and escaping from the pressures of wearing clothes all the time. In the United States, being naked is, of course, only publicly legal in certain places or under certain circumstances. Nudity laws have changed over the years, but in most places, there are only laws about indecent exposure of specific body parts.

    Plenty of places have nude beaches and areas where it’s okay to bare it all, but it’s not as common as it was in yesteryears when the 1980s popularized nude swimming and the YMCA used to allow men to be nude together to swim. Now, there are legalities surrounding nudism in the U.S. that involve actual punishments and legal repercussions for walking around nude — the total opposite of some places in the world like Spain, where being nude is written into the country's constitution as an inalienable right. Consequences for indecent exposure can range from and include incarceration, fines, being put on a sexual offender registry, community service time, and more. In Vermont and Alaska, for example, you could still get in trouble for "exposing" yourself.

    The laws all widely differ, and while some pose a threat to freedom, others are intentionally restrictive safety measures. There are states and cities, however, that allow people to celebrate nudity in all of its forms in special locations. Ahead, we've mapped out some of the U.S. cities and states where you can be free to (publicly) celebrate National Nude Day.

    Seattle, WA

    Seattle actually allows for people to be nude anywhere anytime as long as you’re not making anyone uncomfortable. Many people go to relax at beaches or parks without the stress of clothing, and have been doing so since the 1990s when the case of Seattle v. Johnson made it legal.

    Oregon

    Most places in Oregon are pretty lenient when it comes to nudity, as it turns out. There are plenty of nude spas and clubs you can go to (when it’s safe to go places again after the COVID-19 pandemic, of course). There are even lots of hot springs where you can enjoy unwinding totally au naturale.

    Austin, TX

    Surprisingly, Austin is one of the most topless-friendly cities in the United States, where there are no laws specifically forbidding public nudity. In fact, Hippie Hollow is Texas' government-maintained clothing-optional park, which covers 100 acres on Lake Travis's shoreline and is a great place to cool off in the nude.

    New York, NY

    New York is one of the only places where anyone of any gender can go topless publicly without it being considered indecent exposure. However, it's still not legal to bare your genitals, so no summer streaking across Rockaway Beach unless you want a hefty fine.

    Philadelphia, PA

    Philly technically allows you to be naked as long as you're not being "lewd." In fact, there's usually an Annual Naked Bike Ride, which has also been seen in other places like Los Angeles. Still, people usually cover their genitals.

    Florida

    It's actually completely legal to go out in the nude for some sun at many beaches in Florida, where at places like Miami's Haulover Beach it's clothing optional. Feel free to bare it all at Playalinda, Blind Creek Beach, or even South Beach (although, watch out for camera phones). Perhaps the only exception (though there is no legal precedent) is Bunche Beach Preserve in San Carlos Bay of Fort Myers, which definitely does not want anyone to take their clothes off.
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