This is not the famous San Onofre Beach in San Diego, rather, it is a small nude sunbathing beach on the edge of Gaviota State Park in Santa Barbara County. Gaviota State Park Beach is a long, solitary stretch of beach protected by high cliffs, however, the access point to the clothing-optional San Onofre Beach is not through the main park entrance. San Onofre Beach is 2.5 miles southwest of the park entrance and is accessed from a pullout along the southbound 101 freeway next to the mouth of Canada San Onofre Creek. The sand is underwater at higher tides.

  • Amenities: No Facilities
  • Activities: Beach Walking, Nude Sunbathing
  • Dog Policy: Dogs not allowed on the beach

Santa Barbara laws prohibit nudity on the beach except for a section of Bates Beach at the county line between Santa Barbara and Ventura. When it comes to nudity at San Onofre Beach, in most cases the park rangers do look the other way, but not always, and you might receive a citation.


Driving west from the 101 freeway drive take the Mariposa Reina exit then cross over the freeway and head southbound about a mile to where the highway gets close to the train tracks. Skip the small pullouts and look for the large pullout that can hold dozens of cars. To get to the beach, walk across the train tracks and follow a makeshift path to the ocean where a large rock sticks up out of the sand.

Legal Notice

"It is illegal to be nude on any State Park beach and can be a misdemeanor citation (that means a criminal record). Additionally, crossing the railroad tracks without the presence of a Ped crossing is also a misdemeanor (PC 369(i). This will no longer be tolerated, as it never should have been, due to the large number of complaints we get from people expecting to access the beach to recreate, only to find unexpected nudity (or lewd activities occurring)." - Ranger E. Buckley, Badge 1676