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The Best New Jersey Gay Beach: Gunnison Nude Beach

best New Jersey gay beach
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Why Gunnison Is the Best New Jersey Gay Beach

I absolutely loved spending a day at Gunnison Nude Beach, the best New Jersey gay beach there is. It was such a delightful experience taking in the sun, dipping my feet in the water and having some hilarious conversations. I joined a couple of my friends, but left with quite a few more. 

Being in Gunnison’s judgement-free space with such a friendly crowd makes this New Jersey gay beach such a special place. You absolutely have to visit!

New Jersey gay beach

I found the crowd to be very social. Guys would frequently pass by and say hello, quite similar to how people greet one another in Fire Island Pines. Even though it’s a nude gay beach, nothing felt predatory in any way. Everyone loves to mingle and bop around to some music in the sun.

While some leave beforehand, the majority of people stay at Gunnison until sunset. You can catch a fabulously colorful sky on a clear day. The best part about staying until evening is that you can see the entire Manhattan skyline along the ocean’s horizon.

New Jersey gay beach

The Gunnison nude gay beach is also quite diverse. In fact, I experienced more diversity here than any other gay beach I’ve been to. You’ll encounter lovely people of all genders, ethnicities and ages. In my opinion, Gunnison isn’t just the best New Jersey gay beach, but the best gay beach in the entire tri-state area!



Where is the Gunnison Nude Gay Beach?

Gunnison Beach is on the iconic Sandy Hook barrier spit at on part of the New Jersey shore closest to New York City. This narrow strip of land extends out into the ocean, providing ample oceanfront for beachgoers to enjoy.

Sandy Hook beach

The Gunnison nude gay beach is on the east shore of Sandy Hook, in a section called Area G. All Sandy Hook beaches are within the Gateway National Recreation Area. These beautiful ocean fronts are popular with locals from both New York City and New Jersey.

Here’s a map of the Sandy Hook Recreation Area. More info on directions later in this post.

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Sections of the Gunnison New Jersey Gay Beach

Gunnison is without a doubt the most popular New Jersey gay beach; however, it may not be obvious at first. The entire shoreline fronting Sandy Hook Area G is nudist, but the Gunnison nude gay beach section is a short walk southward from the walkway leading toward the water.

Gunnison Beach nude area

You’ll first see the general crowd of nude beachgoers. Upon entering the beach and facing the ocean, walk to your right (southward) and you’ll soon encounter the energetic crowds of LGBT friends. Everyone tends to crowd a little closer together as compared to a typical beach because the beach abruptly ends, transitioning to protected land.

Is Everyone Nude at the Gunnison New Jersey Gay Beach?

Technically, clothing is optional here at Gunnison. This spot is actually the only clothing-optional beach in New Jersey! 

gunnison nude beach etiquette

Over in the gay area, I’d say probably 50 percent of the people were completely naked. It is completely fine to wear your swimsuit. You will not be scolded by anyone for keeping your swim trunks on, something I experienced on a gay beach in northern Albania.

Directions for Gunnison: How to Get to Sandy Hook’s Gay Beach

From New York City, you can reach Sandy Hook by car in about one and a half to two hours. However, this can depend heavily on traffic. Without traffic, you can reach Sandy Hook from midtown Manhattan in an hour and a half, but on a crowed summer morning, it could take as long as two and a half hours.

driving to sandy hook

To enter and park in Sandy Hook, there is a toll of $15 dollars. They conveniently accept payment by card. At busy times, these tolls can definitely cause more of a delay in getting to the beach. Finally, as you enter the national park, follow signs for Lot G.

Getting to Gunnison Beach by Ferry

High speed ferry service is another option to reach this beloved New Jersey gay beach. The ferry originates in Manhattan; you can board at either East 35th Street or downtown at Wall Street. 

An enjoyable 35-minute ride later, you’ll be on the bustling shores of New Jersey. From the Sandy Hook ferry terminal, the Gunnison nude beach is a 20-minute walk, more or less.

Gunnison Nude Beach

During the week, there is only one departure trip and one return trip, so you’ll have to be sure not to miss it. On the weekends, there are two ferry service trips. Ferries operate from early July to early September. They even have a full bar on board, too!

For the route, schedules and fares, visit the Seastreak Sandy Hook Ferry Service page.

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Tips for Visiting the Gunnison New Jersey Gay Beach

Here are a few more tips and bits of useful information to know before venturing to the best New Jersey gay beach there is!

Drinking Alcohol is Legal on Sandy Hook Beaches

Yep, it’s true. While the rest of New Jersey prohibits alcohol on the beach, you’ll be able to freely drink while spending the day at Gunnison Beach or any of the other nearby shores.

Sandy hook gay beach sign

Sexual Activity is Strictly Prohibited

Naturally, a crowd of naked men on a beach in summer can tend to lead to some promiscuity. Don’t get carried away though, because police definitely keep watch over this area for anyone engaging in unlawful sexual activity. Furthermore, remember that Sandy Hook is federal land and so you are subject to federal U.S. laws.

Food & Facilities at Gunnison Beach

Near the beach entrance, you’ll find an outdoor shower area as well as large restrooms. Adjacent to the showers, there’s a small truck selling drinks and basic snacks. Most people on the Gunnison nude beach tend to pack a cooler, and you’ll quickly spot diehard beachgoers towing those coolers with giant wheels for the sand.

Gunnison New Jersey gay Beach

One super convenient thing I cannot neglect to mention is this life saver of a walkway mat which leads from the showers to the shore. In my opinion, these things should be way more common! Nobody likes walking on sand while carrying all their stuff, but the Gunnison nude beach definitely makes things easy with this little pathway, or perhaps, runway!

Start Your Day with A Workout

The Sandy Hook area has plenty of bike paths, hiking trails and beach trails. If you’re a fitness lover or just like to explore nature, then plan a morning bike ride or leisure walk before relaxing on the beach.

There is so much to see around Sandy Hook from the serene Horseshoe Cove to a plethora of historical landmarks like Fort Hancock, Battery Gunnison and the Missile Monument.

Check out the Gateway National Recreation Area Maps to choose your route.

Have a blast at Gunnison. I definitely think this spot is the most popular, fun and friendly New Jersey gay beach of them all!

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