Natural selections

New England's nude beaches
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  June 14, 2006


Bare beaches.
If your goal is to feel the sea air and salt water against every centimeter of your bare skin, your pickings are rather slim in New England, where nude beaches are few and far between.

Not surprisingly, Provincetown, that gay-and-lesbian mecca at the tip of Cape Cod, is a haven for naturists, who can feel comfortable disrobing at Herring Cove Beach. Beachgoers tend to split off into sections by gender and sexual orientation: straight people first, then lesbians (many of whom go topless), then gay men. And then, when you start seeing lots of naked people, you’ll know you’ve reached the nude beach. Gay Head Beach on Martha’s Vineyard is also unofficially considered a nude beach.

However, don’t think that the region sticks up its nose at naturists in general. If your goal is to be nude, and you don’t care whether you’re surrounded by sand dunes or pine trees, you have yet more choices.

One popular clothing-optional day-trip destination is the Ledges, in Wilmington, VT, where you can swim, hike, and sunbathe au natural along the woody shore of the Harriman Reservoir (ledges.dimentech.com/).

And for those who want to do more than dabble, New England is home to several resorts that cater to naturists, such as the Berkshire Vista in Hancock, MA (413.738.5154, berkshirevista.com/); Cedar Waters Village in Nottingham, NH (603.679.2036, nhnude.com/); and Maple Glen, in Sheldon Springs, VT (802.933.2274, mapleglen.net/). Make sure to call ahead, as some establishments are couples-only.

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