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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.