7 gay-friendly urban beaches for cruising this summer

Vacations often require carefully navigating maps in the direction of the desired museum, boutique or dinner reservation. With big city buzz, we try to pack it all during a short time-frame, forgetting to make time for actually hanging out with the local LGBTQers--and just relaxing with brownie or two.

From New York to Berlin, GayCities rounded up some urban beaches where it's perfectly acceptable to sprawl on a blanket with a picnic and bottle of wine. In each of these places, there's usually a place where the gays congregate--and more! We even found some locations where it's ok to strip down completely--for a full sun (or moon) experience.

Dolores Park

Overlooking San Francisco's gorgeous skyline, on warm days in Dolores Park sun worshipers pack onto the grass. Check out the "gay beach" near 20th and Church Street where most everyone has stripped down to their swimsuits.

Open Now

Dolores Park

Gay urban "beach"
3800-3898 20th Street San Francisco

Central Park

Sheep Meadow is the place to meet boisterous New Yorkers hanging under the sun. Homos mix with hippies, activists, dancers and strangers. Grab friends and spend the afternoon in Central Park.

Central Park

It's a must
14 E. 60th Street New York

El Parque del Buen Retiro

The magnificent park Buen Retiro park is filled with beautiful sculptures, monuments, galleries, and a lake. Near the statue of the Fallen Angel is where guys have been known to get frisky.

El Parque del Buen Retiro

A lush retreat from the bustle of Madrid.
La Puerta del Alcalá Madrid

Tiergarten

A short walk to/from the bars, Gay Meadow gets crowded on warm afternoons. Sunbathe or lay out completely naked in this park, passersby won't even care. Meet friends here with a picnic basket, blanket and a frisbee.

Tiergarten

Massive, super-gay-friendly nature oasis
Tiergarten Berlin

Hippie Hollow Park

If you're looking to cool off, travel on down to Texas and splash around in Austin where everything is bigger. Folks have been coming to swim naked at Hippie Hollow, on the shore of Lake Travis, for decades.

Hippie Hollow Park

Splash beach on Lake Travis
7000 Comanche Trail Austin

Parc La Fontaine

In the local Plateau neighborhood, Parc La Fontaine is a popular outdoor gay hangout. During summer, locals gather for free theatrical performances, live music, film screenings, and dance recitals.

Parc La Fontaine

Plateau Mont-Royal’s biggest park
Rue Sherbrooke Montreal

Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath is known as the world's number one cruising ground and while the men's bathing pond is not exclusively gay, it's very homoerotic. The sheltered concrete sundeck allows nude sunbathing and the changing rooms are full of friendly winks.

Hampstead Heath

A Midsummer Night's Dream all year long
London

Washington DC

P Street Beach in DC is just west of Dupont Circle. Part of Washington’s huge and iconic Rock Creek Park, this is a popular gay hangout on sunny days. But beware, this place gets notoriously cruisy after dark.

By Tony Taylor