The US state of California is known as a mecca for gay tourists. West Hollywood in Los Angeles, Castro in San Francisco and Hillcrest in San Diego are three of the most famous gay neighbourhoods in the whole world. In addition, all along the coast you will find breathtaking beaches, warm climate, surfer boys and handsome men. In the Spartacus Gay Travel Index USA, California was ranked first of all US states due to its social acceptance and state laws. We have visited the best gay beaches for you:


1. Santa Monica State Beach, Santa Monica


The southern part of Santa Monica Beach is the part where most gays meet. It is located near the lifeguard tower 26 and there are many possibilities for sports activities, which of course also offer possibilities for watching. The famous Muscle Beach can also be found here – training equipment invites you to train directly on the sand.


2. Will Rogers Beach, Pacific Palisades

Will Rogers Beach is a large, beautiful beach that attracts many different types of visitors. Most gays can be found in the area called “Ginger Rogers Beach”, near lifeguard tower 18, north of “The Beach Club”. Swimwear is mandatory. There are many guys from West Hollywood, from where it takes about 35 minutes to get there – from downtown Los Angeles it takes about an hour.


3. Bonny Doon Beach in Santa Cruz

The beach with the highest density of gays near Santa Cruz is the Bonny Doon Beach. Although not explicitly gay, it’s a great place to watch, relax and get to meet others. It’s a very nice, secluded beach. The beach can be found at the intersection of the Bonny Doon Road and the Cabrillo Highway. From Santa Cruz it takes about 20 minutes, from Palo Alto about 60 and from San Francisco about 120 minutes. But it is worth it!


4. West Street Beach, Laguna Beach (Southern California)

West Street Beach is located in Orange County at the Pacific Coast Highway and attracts many people. It is one of the most beautiful beaches in California, so on hot summer days it gets pretty crowded in the small bay. The access to the gay area is hard to miss, it runs parallel to the intersection West Street / Pacific Coast Highway.
In the gay area, there are some heterosexuals, but it’s a nice togetherness. There are many local boys on site, most of them come from Laguna Beach, Los Angeles or San Diego.
Also the nearby town of Laguna Beach is worth a visit, there are some gay bars, museums worth seeing and great restaurants.


5. Baker’s Beach in San Francisco (Northern California)


Closer to San Francisco is Baker’s Beach. It’s a nudist beach where many gays hang out. Most visitors come from San Francisco – it’s only a 25-minute drive from the gay neighbourhood Castro to the beach. There is a great, relaxed atmosphere. The beach was also the birthplace of the famous Burning Man Festival between 1986 and 1990.


6. Gaviota beach in Santa Barbara

Gaviota Beach is an official naturist beach, but not explicitly gay. There is also no gay section, but you can still find many gay and bisexual men here. The beach is protected from view by the high cliffs and is very secluded. You can also reach it on foot from downtown Santa Barbara.


7. Blacks Beach, La Jolla / San Diego

Blacks Beach is a famous beach near the city of La Jolla and only 30 minutes drive from San Diego. From Los Angeles it takes about 3 hours by car.
Blacks Beach is widely known: It has been a nudist beach since 1970 and is considered one of the largest nudist beaches in the country. However, clothing is optional. The access to the beach is steep and the way is difficult, but it is worth it. The gay section is at the northern end.


8. Venice City Beach, Los Angeles

Venice City Beach is the main beach of the city district Venice in the west of Los Angeles. The gay section is located near Market Street, one mile north of the Venice Pier. This is also the place of Venice Muscle Beach, the world famous outdoor training center, which is featured in many fitness videos. This is where steel muscles can be admired.


9. San Onofre Nude Beach, San Clemente


The nudist part is outside the State Park property and can be reached after a walk along the beach to the south. The nudist beach is not explicitly gay, so there are also heterosexuals. But especially many gays can be found near the fence at Camp Pendleton.

Please note: Drinking alcohol is not at all allowed on any of the beaches throughout California.

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