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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 love spending days at Gunnison Nude Beach. It’s the best New Jersey gay beach there is! Taking in the sun, dipping my feet in the water, and having hilarious conversations all make it such a delightful experience.

Being in Gunnison’s judgment-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, similar to how people greet one another in Fire Island Pines.

Even though it’s a nude gay beach, nothing feels awkward or predatory in any way. Everyone loves to mingle and bop around to some music in the sun.

While some leave beforehand, the majority of beachgoers 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. Plus, it kind of turns into a little circuit party!

men at 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 beaches

Gunnison’s nude gay beach area 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 and New Jersey.

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

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.

entering Gunnison nude beach area

You’ll first see the general crowd of nude beachgoers. Upon entering the beach and facing the ocean, walk to your right (southward). You’ll soon encounter the energetic crowd of LGBT friends, socializing and snacking out of their beach picnic cooler bags.

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!

etiquette for Gunnison nude gay beach

Over in the gay area, I’d say probably 50 percent of people were completely naked. It is completely fine to wear a fun, sexy swimsuit. Many guys wear bikinis or swim briefs.

You will not be scolded by anyone for keeping your swim trunks on, I promise!

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

From the New York City area, 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 crowded summer morning, it could take as long as two and a half hours.

driving to sandy hook

If you prefer the comfort of driving, reserve an inexpensive rental car for the day.

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 Parking Lot G.

Getting to Gunnison Beach by Ferry

A 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.

Gunnison Nude Beach

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.

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.

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!

If you’re planning a visit, book a vacation rental near Gunnison before they get snapped up for the season!

Drinking Alcohol on Sandy Hook Beaches

Drinking alcohol on the beaches of Sandy Hook has been prohibited since 2019. If you do bring alcohol to Gunnison Beach, you’ll need to be discreet in consuming it since park rangers will be on the lookout.

Sandy hook gay beach entrance

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.

sexy man gunnison gay beach

I will mention though, many guys along the shore bring along large privacy beach tents. It’s anyone’s guess what might be going on inside them! Be careful though. Park rangers do not like to see tents that are completely closed.

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 lifesaver of a walkway mat, which leads from the showers to the shore. It makes it super easy to bring one of those rolling beach coolers along.

In my opinion, these things should be way more common! Nobody likes walking on hot sand while carrying all their stuff, but the Gunnison nude beach definitely makes things easy with this little pathway, or perhaps, runway!

To make your journey a little lighter, check out the bottle-sized foldable Cliq Chair, perfect to pop up quickly anywhere.

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.

View 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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