This page last updated May 12, 2004 by Lloyd JohnsonSend Lloyd email.
There was some talk about Silver Strand Beach in San Diego. I believe my experience there should put this to rest.
I visited Silver Strand Beach June 9, 1996 with a friend. We followed the directions in Nude and Natural 15.4, page 61 and arrived about 12:00. The south parking lots were closed, so we parked in the north lot. Apparently they wait until a lot is full before they open another. I'm sure the south lot would be the last to open. We walked south, past the entrance and continued. There were beautiful shells littering the beach, even large, intact sand dollars.
We walked a half mile, as explained in Nude and Natural, and found the dunes. Standing up, we were still in view of the highway and houses across the highway. Between us and the houses there was a short stretch of dunes, 4 lanes of highway and a 2 lane residential street. If someone was sitting on a balcony, I could describe what they were wearing. Those houses must have been closer than 100 yards.
We continued walking. I saw a man's head in the dunes. I walked over to ask him my concerns. When I reached him, he was wearing a swim suit, sitting in a crater. He told me the lifeguard rarely passes. True, they had just passed and they didn't pass again the rest of the day. Very few people pass this far away. He says he always walks down to the water and swims nude.
None of that seemed encouraging enough. He was only out of sight in the crater. When he stands in the crater, he is probably visible from the waist up. When he walks from the crater to the water he is fully visible from some of those houses. Being seen from a car on the highway would be glimpses only.
We went north a little to find our own spot. We found a crater, though not as good. This particular crater was only big enough for one, or a cozy couple. She is not that kind of friend, so we each told the other to take the crater. Neither of us would take it. I set up my umbrella and sheet. She laid out her stuff and striped down to her bikini. We were still within view of the houses and glimpsed from the highway.
We sat there for a while. We saw a pod of dolphins pass by heading north. Eventually, I decided to lay out in the crater. People could not see most of me from the surf line or anywhere else. I caught a few photons there.
I'd left most of my stuff under my umbrella. If I walked over from the crater, I could be seen from the highway and the houses across the highway. I dressed once or twice to get something and I risked it nude a few times too.
My friend and I laughed at each others' paranoias. I would put my suit on when some people passed. She never took all her bikini off. She did take off the top, but she was on her stomach most of that time. We saw a couple coming our way, looking in the dunes, just as we had. I decided that they were also looking for the nude beach and the best way to find out was to not put my suit on when they reached us. They only passed by.
I did get in the water twice. Both times I walked down to the water nude and ran back, carrying my suit. I did a little free diving and carried my suit in my net bag. There were just as many shells under the surf as on the beach. My swim was much shorter than my swims at San Onofre and Black's.
We left about 4:30, very disappointed.
Neither of us see this becoming an established nude beach before a major change in nudity attitudes in this country. Nudity at this beach is risky at best. We were within view of houses and the highway. I would expect complaints often and accidents occasionally. Making this a clothing optional beach would be quite a fight. We should choose our battles better.
If you still want to go there, cross the Coronado Bridge and turn left at Orange Ave. Watch your mileage starting at 10th Street. Follow Highway 75 another 4.9 miles and exit just past call box 75-145 at Coronado Cays. Turn right then right again. Access will cost you $4. Park as far South as you can. Walk South 1/2 mile or more from the entrance and try to find a place where you can be comfortable nude.