Don’t be clothes minded when it comes to getting naked. As Lady Gaga says, “Baby, you were born that way.”

While snapping selfies in the nude next to Niagara Falls or climbing the Spanish Steps in Rome might not be acceptable, there are plenty of places on the planet where those who choose nude over prude are welcome.

And while naturist resorts are commonplace, letting it all hang out can happen in some surprising spots where nakedness is secondary to activities, like hiking, biking, and horseback riding. But let's face it: this isn’t exactly earth-shattering news. The ancient Greeks routinely competed in athletic events and trained in the buff.

Shedding one’s clothes can be linked to many things, with sex often far down the list. Some, naturalists in particular, feel it’s more natural to be naked. For some, it’s about comfort. No more corduroy pants to chaff delicate thighs, or scratchy seams to irritate your back.

Or it could be able practicality.

In parts of Africa, tribes go natural just because it is so freaking hot and tradition dictates shunning covering up. Nudity can also be a form of protest. History is rife with incidents. In 1924, mass marches featuring naked participants, organized by an organization called Down With Shame, filled streets in Russia to rebel against bourgeois morality.

In 1999, anti-nuclear weapons protesters strolled down Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco in the buff. Meanwhile, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has grabbed headlines with its “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” campaign.

Sometimes nudity is just art. American photographer Spencer Tunick has become notorious for his carefully orchestrated pictures of nude subjects on mass. He’s regularly looking for volunteers to fill his frames, so check out his website for upcoming projects happening worldwide so you can grab a bit of that fame and notoriety for yourself. Just remember to pack light and bring sunscreen.

Alternatively, check out this barely there list of global spots where you can flaunt your stuff with like-minded new friends

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  • Cycle Paths Unite: World Naked Bike Ride, Portland, Oregon

    The philosophy here is ride “<a href="" target="_blank">as bare as you dare</a>.” And judging from past years, many of the 8,000 or so cyclists choose a flesh-only riding ensemble. It’s the biggest nude bike ride in the world. The pedal power is unleashed this year on June 7. Ever had your pants get caught up in your bike chains? Don't count on it happening here. Photo Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">S. MiRK</a>

  • It's All Bull: Running Of The Nudes, Pamplona, Spain

    The Running of the Nudes in Pamplona takes place each July to coincide with the infamous Running of the Bulls. While there’s plenty of giggles sparked by the sight of both toned and saggy bodies bobbing down the cobblestone streets, there’s a serious side to this event. The run is <a href="" target="_blank">meant to draw attention to the brutality of bull fighting</a>. Photo Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">Abeeeer</a>

  • Hot Stuff: Burning Man, Nevada

    Anything goes at this annual grassroots, cultural festival. <em>Anything.</em> You’ll feel right at home among the throngs from around the world whether you’re wearing a Cat Woman outfit, a layer of plastic wrap. or nothing at all. And no one blinks an eye. It’s just all part of the scene. It happens again this year in the <a href="" target="_blank">Black Rock Desert from August 25 to September 1</a>. Bring matches. Photo Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">Pattitsa</a>

  • The Dane Event: Roskilde, Denmark

    What would it take for you to get naked in public? How about a free ticket to one of Europe’s biggest music festivals? That’s what organizers dangle in order to entice runners to shed their gear during the running race held at the <a href="" target="_blank">Roskilde festival</a>. It seems that plenty of folks are willing to bare it all for the price of admission. You could be one of them if you dare. Photo Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">Stig Nygaard </a>

  • Private Parts: Cap d’Agde, France

    If you find getting dressed in the morning to be troublesome before you head out to do your banking, or pick up some meat and veggies for dinner, you’re in luck. The entire town of <a href="" target="_blank">Cap d’Agde</a>, located on the Mediterranean coast of France, is clothing option all year round. It is considered the world’s capital of naturism. The crowds swell during the summer, natch, so book your trip early. Photo Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">Pepe Martin</a>

  • Sand Hassles: Orient Beach, St. Martin

    France and the Netherlands share custody of this pretty Caribbean country, but it’s on the French side where you can let your joie de vivre hang out. <a href="" target="_blank">Orient Beach</a> is a clothing-optional beach that draws many a bold European traveller. It’s often North Americans that tee-hee at the parade of flesh that happen along this stretch of sand. It’s a popular spot so nudes and prudes mingle harmoniously. If saggy boobs and dimpled bottoms offend you, go elsewhere. Photo Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">dbking</a>

  • Park And Recreation: Munich, Germany

    Tiptoe through the tulips, or across any other flora in Munich’s Englischer Garten, one of Europe's largest urban parks, sprawling over 3.7 square kilometres (bigger than New York's Central Park). Within the <a href="" target="_blank">Englischer Gartens</a>, the Schönfeldwiese area has been a hub for nude sunbathing since the 1960s. Say goodbye to your tan lines here. Photo Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">Sébastien Launay</a>

  • Peel Here: Striptease Trail, Tsitsikamma, South Africa

    If you’re naughty by nature, this is the place for you. Situated in pristine indigenous forest, there’s a gorgeous five-kilometre trail that can be booked for you and your hiking companion alone through <a href="" target="_blank">Tsitsikamma Lodge</a>. Along the way is a series of 11 rock pools (each with names like Topless, Bikini, Boobs, Bottomless and Halfway) where you can skinnydip and shed another article of clothing. What happens at pool 11, we don’t want to know. Photo Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">Dave Lonsdale</a>

  • For Art’s Sake: World Body Painting Festival, Austria

    For the shy types in the crowd, the <a href="" target="_blank">World Body Painting Festival</a> offers a touch of modesty. If you’re covered with paint, it hardly counts as nudity, right? While top artists go brush to brush in a slew of competitions (from special effects to brush & sponge), attendees can paint the town red (or blue, or yellow, or green) at live concerts, dance parties, art and photo exhibits. Plus they are plenty of opportunities to be almost naked among friends. Photo Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">Peter_Komposch</a>

  • Bottoms Up: Wreck Beach, Vancouver

    For something a bit closer to home, Wreck Beach, not far from the city centre, never fails to be entertaining for locals and visiting lookie loos. It claims to be the <a href="" target="_blank">largest naturist beach in North America </a>and it hosts the <a href="" target="_blank">Bare Buns Run </a>annually. The five-kilometre long route welcomes nudies of all shapes and sizes. Plan to tone up your jiggly bits before August 10th, 2014, when the race begins. Photo Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">Tlaloc Xicotencatl </a>

  • Crowded House: Kumbh Mela, India

    Getting lost in a crowd has never been so easy at this sacred Hindu festival. Over the course of the event, 100 million people congregate in what’s believed to be the largest peaceful gathering in the world. The location changes annually, depending on the position of Jupiter and the sun. The constant is bathing in holy rivers, which means plenty of naked stuff as far as the eye can see. Photo Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">sebadella</a>

  • The Naked Truth: World Pride, Toronto

    Despite the protests of some city counsellors, attendees of this LGBT-focused event will be able uncrate their flesh throughout the celebrations without being hassled by authorities. It's happening <a href="" target="_blank">June 20-29 </a>in Toronto and promises to be the party of the summer with concerts, marches, parades and activism. Photo Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">Kitty Rainbow</a>

  • Up Next: Europe's Best Nude Beaches

  • Action Pact In Sweden

    If you want to do more than splash in the waves and work on your tan-line-free sunbathing, then try Ågesta. It’s a short bus ride from Stockholm where you can get active biking and hiking. There are plenty of facilities on this pretty stretch of sand, but be mindful when using the barbecues sans clothing. Photo Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">Hans G Backman</a>

  • Nude, Not Lewd, In Portugal

    Those looking for budget-friendly European destinations should take a closer peek at Portugal, which offers great value these days. Skinny dippers have plenty of options there, too, especially in the Algarve. It has two official CO (clothing optional) beaches and plenty of non-official ones. Try <a href="" target="_blank">Adegas beach</a> on the western coast for views of the Atlantic and oodles of elbow room between nudies.

  • Bare Necessities Of Germany

    While Germany many not have as much coastline as some other European countries, it has some terrific nude beaches. On the island of Sylt, one of the Frisian Islands (located in the North Sea), tourists and locals alike flock to “the St. Tropez of Germany.” <a href="" target="_blank">Buhne 16 </a>is where the naturists hang out. Those used to Caribbean water temperatures might find the scene here a bit nippy, so bring a thick, plush towel for post-swim warm-ups.

  • Length Matters In Corsica

    As one of Europe’s longest naturist beach, <a href="" target="_blank">Linguizzetta</a> is a perfect stop while on Corsica, France. There are wild llamas, butterscotch-coloured rock formations and a eucalyptus forest, providing other things to look at if you’re tempted to stare. Over the summer, it’s packed with French and Italians, drawn to its bucolic vibe.

  • More Stud Than Dud In Dorset

    So much for the perception of the Brits being prim and proper… Studland (seriously) Beach in Dorset proves otherwise. Managed by the National Trust, it’s routinely listed among the best beaches in Britain. The section called Knoll Beach is well loved for its fine sand and sprawling nature reserve. It’s well marked with coloured posts. When you get hungry and too timid to get out of the water (shrinkage George Costanza style?), then wait for the floating ice cream vendor that sails along the beach.

  • Discrete In Crete

    Filaki Beach is the only “official” nude beach on the Greek island of Crete, but shunning swim wear is accepted widely everywhere. This particular beach isn’t the picture perfect sand that you see in the Caribbean. It’s made up instead of small pebbles that can be a bit rough of tender tootsies. But it’s a friendly welcoming spot not far from the Vritomartis Naturist Resort, handy for those waiting to spend more time here.

  • Daring In Denmark

    There’s a youthful vibe to Bellevue Beach, Klapenburgh, less than 10 km from Copenhagen. The beach pulses with loud, booming music and its close proximity to the city means a flux of visitors on sunny weekends. It’s a picturesque beach with views of neighbouring Sweden (on the other side of the Bresund Bridge) and crystal clear water. LGBT visitors gravitate toward the north end, known as the “gay area,” but all are welcome. Photo Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">Hunter Desportes </a>

  • Party Hearty In Ibiza

    Spain’s hedonistic island, home to notorious foam parties in nightclubs and “anything goes” attitude, is perfect for those who want to whoop it up. A slew of bars and cafés make Playa d’en Bossa more wild than mild for beachgoers. Gotta love Spain where being naked in any public area is considered a constitution right – very much evident in Ibiza. Photo Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">GanMed64</a>

  • Come For A "Oui" Stay Near Bordeaux

    Sure, you have nagging fears your bare bottom might soon be splashed across many a Facebook page but you can rest easier at the Centre Helio-Marin on the Aquitaine coast. Access to the beach south of Montalivet-les-Bains is granted primarily to guests of the centre who have an electronic tag. Photo Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">Michael Milin</a>

  • Where Irish Eyes Are Smiling

    It may come as a shock to some, but Ireland has quickly risen up to become one of the world’s top destinations for nude beach vacations. The southwest part of the country is popular because of the warming boost the Gulf Stream provides. In County Galway, Silver Strand Beach (pictured) is a private enclave accessible from long sets of stairs for those who like peace and quiet when they bare it all on the beach.

  • Extroverts Unite In St. Tropez

    This is where Brigitte Bardot famously pranced along the beach in a teeny striped bikini. One fell swoop, the French sex kitten made St. Tropez synonymous with beautiful people. That hasn’t changed. If you’re going to uncrate here along the beach, bring your six pack and jiggle-free booty. Photo Credit: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

  • Olé! Keep Clothes Away iIn Spain

    Spain is a champ when it comes to clothing-optional beaches with a reported 300 on the mainland, ready to bare witness to naked tourism. Venture a little further and you’ll find Playa la Tejita on Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands. It’s a favourite because of the year round fabulousness of the weather. Surrounded by mountains and sand dunes, there’s more to see than just flesh. Photo Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">Carlos Lopez Echeto</a>

  • Dutch Treats In Zandvoort

    Take the train from Amsterdam to this very popular seaside resort area and feel free to leave your swim suits behind. One third of this nine-kilometre-long beach allows everyone to let it all hang out. The area is well marked and has some very decent eateries (like Paal 69, good for sandwiches, salads and smoothies) catering to naked bathers. Photo Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">Pascal</a>

  • Cheap Thrills In Croatia

    She’s a beauty. Croatia offers the best of the Mediterranean, but at a kinder price point than Greece or Italy. The country’s most stunning beach, Zlatni Rat (or “Golden Horn”), has a small section devoted to clothing-optional enthusiasts. For more privacy, take a boat from the mainland to islands like Jerolim or Palmizana. Photo Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">ahenobarbus</a>

  • Up Next: Canada's Best Nude Beaches

  • Crystal Crescent Beach, Nova Scotia

    Known as Halifax’s formal nude ocean beach, Crystal Crescent is located in the aptly-named Crystal Crescent Beach Provincial Park which is close to Sambro, Nova Scotia. The beach offers great scenery and can get quite busy on weekends with up to 300 visitors. Photo Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">bigtzr45</a>

  • Oka Park, Quebec

    Referred to locally as Okapulco, this beach is on the shore of the Lac des Deux Montagnes, and is one of the best known nude beaches in Quebec. The beach offers a pleasant and peaceful atmosphere naturists have frequented the area for over 20 years.

  • Hanlan’s Point Beach, Ontario

    Located on the Toronto Island, the southern portion of Hanlan’s Beach has been officially designated as a sandy, clothing-optional beach for 14 years. The beach is maintained by the City of Toronto’s Parks Department and rules are enforced so that only a designated beach portion is clothing-optional and clothes must be worn everywhere else.

  • Beaconia Beach, Manitoba

    On the southeastern shore of Lake Winnipeg, you will find Beaconia Beach. The beach is often visited by clothed families, so it is recommended that naturists walk about 15 minutes south of the parking lot prior to undressing.

  • Patricia Beach, Manitoba

    This beach is located within a provincial park, and is recognized as a clothing optional beach on both weekdays and weekends. That being said, tourists are recommended to walk further north on weekends to avoid commotion with local residents or the RCMP.

  • Paradise Beach, Saskatchewan

    Located on the Saskatchewan River, Paradise Beach is a well recognized clothing-optional beach despite does not have an association to advocate for naturalists. Also worth noting is the beach is patrolled by local police to maintain the family-friendly atmosphere. Photo Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">BFRE</a>

  • Wreck Beach, British Columbia

    As the second largest clothing-optional beach in North America, Wreck Beach receives over 100,000 annual visitors. The beach is located in Pacific Spirit Regional Park on the shore of the Georgia Strait and the north arm of the Fraser River.

  • More Nude Beaches Around North America

  • Haulover Beach, Florida

  • Gunnison Beach, New Jersey

  • Rooster Rock Beach, Oregon

  • Hippie Hollow, Texas

  • Baker Beach, California

  • San Gregorio Beach, California

  • Robert Moses & Lighthouse Beaches, Fire Island, New York

  • Collin's Beach, Sauvie Island, Oregon

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