When San Diego Said No to Nudes

by on June 15, 2010 · 3 comments

in San Diego

blacksbeach nudes

Bare butts at Blacks Beach in the Seventies. (Photo tip to Travels in San Diego.)

Originally published June 15, 2010 – Note: none of the links in this 10-year-old article are good.

Editor: With all the mostly-talk about public nudity these days – the nude guy at the OB Pier on Sunday, the nude bicyclists, etc, we wanted to join the action and republish a recent piece by the Voice of San Diego’s Randy Dotinga of when San Diego voters decided to ban bare butts at Blacks.

by Randy Dotinga / Voice of San Diego / Originally posted June 2, 2010

There’s a funny thing about the San Diego anti-nudity law that’s in the news this week: It used to actually allow people to be naked in public. But only at Black’s Beach, the country’s only city-sanctioned nude beach and only for a while.

Then city voters had their say in 1977 and told folks to cover up already, thank you very much. But 33 years later, beachgoers still flaunt the law and rarely get in trouble for it. It’s not clear when people began skinny dipping (and skinny sunbathing) at Black’s Beach, a tiny and isolated strip of sand below the cliffs of northern La Jolla. By the 1960s, however, the beach definitely had a reputation for nudism.

In 1974, the City Council looked upon the sunbathers sympathetically (but perhaps with eyes averted) and voted to allow nudity on the city-owned part of the beach. Famous signs went up that proclaimed “Swimsuits Optional Beyond This Point. San Diego Muni. Code 56.53.” (The San Diego City Store sold copies of the signs until it shut down in 2008.)

For the remainder of this article, please go here.

Here’s the link to Travels in San Diego.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

OB Joe June 15, 2010 at 9:38 am

Finally!!! Some real nudity on the OB Rag!


Shane Finneran June 15, 2010 at 2:53 pm

“The dispute landed on the city ballot in 1977 when Proposition D asked voters if they wanted to revoke the 1974 exception to the nudity law… By a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent, voters rejected nudity and changed the municipal code.”

I’d wager that just about everyone who voted for 1977’s Prop D also voted for 2010’s Prop D. Curmudgeons suck.


peter nolan smith May 9, 2012 at 3:51 pm

I visited black’s beach in 1974. It was totally nude and the only clothed people were the men in the colorful shorts and black sox taking photos for their collections. The police were cool, but they did ticket the cars after closing. Sad to hear this freedom has been taken away. I reckon it’s a question of enforcement. Do they send naked undercover cops to arrest offenders.


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