“Clothing optional!”. There are not many places that live up to such a
motto but Gunnison beach is one such spot.
Located on the iconic Sandy Hook barrier split on the New Jersey shore, this is the state’s only legal nude beach. Since it is on federal land, it is managed by National Park Service.
Gunnison Beach takes its name from Battery Gunnison, a coastal artillery fortification built by the US Army in 1904 to protect the New YorkHarbour at Fort Hancock, New Jersey.
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Also known as Beach G, it’s a guarded place with lifeguards watching
over swimmers, surfers & kite surfers. With pleasant summers & freezingwinters, the Gunnison Beach New Jersey weather varies over the year.
The best time to visit the beach is between late June to Mid-August.
Here’s everything you need to know to plan your day out to this famous destination for a fun day out: –
What are the rules?
You’ll find signs saying “Beyond this point, you may encounter nude
sunbathers” since roughly half of Gunnison Beach is clothing-optional.
While you may choose to wear your swimsuit, many people here prefer it the other way around. Also, there’s a no-booze policy at the beach.
What to do?
- Sweat it out
Whether you want to surf, run, or cycle, Gunnison Beach offers a
plethora of options to spend the day. It features 8 kilometres of paths for walkers, runners & cyclists to begin their day with an energizing workout.
- Appreciate the natural ambiance
If you’re a nature lover, you’ll love it at Gunnison. Thanks to its sublime
views, the beach attracts nearly 5000 naturists per weekend in the
summer months. Part of the beach is also a breeding ground for piping
plovers, an endangered species of native shore birds.
- Get a sneak peek of history
You can also explore Fort Hancock, along with the oldest working
lighthouse in the US which can be toured between April & December.
So, if you’re a history buff, satiate your curiosity through a walk down
- Witness a glorious sunset
If your aim is to just unwind, relax and witness the sunset at Gunnison
Beach. As different hues of red & orange colour the horizon, the visual
looks like it’s straight out of a painting. The beach could get crowded,
especially during summertime so grab your favourite spot in time.
- Hang out with your buddies
Miss hanging about with your besties? Invite them for the perfect day out at Gunnison Beach.
Here, you’ll see a lot of people merrily chatting around while sharing food & drinks, making the place livelier & fun.
You can also socialize with other groups of beachgoers and make some new friends to chill with.
What to eat?
There’s an outdoor shower area as well as large restrooms near the
beach entrance. You’ll find a small truck selling drinks & snacks adjacent to the showers.
Pro tip: Pack a cooler. You’ll see the regular beachgoers towing these coolers for a refreshing outing.
If you love picnics, you can also carry your favourite homemade snacks
to nibble on while enjoying the picturesque views of the Atlantic waters.
How to reach ?
If you’re traveling from New York, you can reach Sandy Hook by car in
around one and a half hours if there is not much traffic.
On a crowded summer morning, it could take you two and a half hours to make your way to Gunnison Beach, Middletown, New Jersey. Plan in advance to make the best of your outing.
If you wish to avoid the traffic altogether, then you can also take the
ferry. The ferry originates in Manhattan where you can board at either
East 35th Street or downtown at Wall Street.
They have a full bar on board if you wish to get the fun vibes going early on. After a pleasant & quick 35-minute ride, you’ll find yourself on the shore of New Jersey.
Gunnison beach is just a 20-minute walk away from the Sandy Hook Ferry Terminal.
If you’re travelling during the week, note that there is only one departure and one return trip.
Make sure you don’t miss it. On the weekends, there are two ferries catering to the larger number of beachgoers.
So, get your swimwear out (or not) and get to the most beloved beach of New Jersey for a unique experience.
Stay tuned for more insightful tips for your next refreshing getaway!
Is Gunnison Beach still clothing optional?
Lifeguards are on duty 10 am – 6 pm daily between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day.. Gunnison Beach is a clothing optional beach
How busy is Gunnison Beach?
South Gunnison Beach is clothing-optional and is somewhat removed from the rest of the park. The park and beach areas can attract more than 20,000 visitors on a weekend. The beach crowd — heaviest on weekends between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. — can back up traffic along Route 36 in the Bayshore and on Ocean Avenue.