05/21/2014 06:07 EDT | Updated 05/21/2014 06:59 EDT

Great Nudist Beaches In North America: 12 Spots For The Nude Or Prude (PHOTOS)

Europeans might have a reputation as liberal-minded when it comes to shedding clothes on the beaches, but North America is coming on strong. Its nude beaches dot coasts east and west, north and south and now that summer's creeping closer, perhaps it's time to give it a try.

Imagine not having to spend time looking at and trying on bathing suits: This is your chance.

Like bathing suits, one nude beach does not fit all. There are beaches that cater to toned and tanned, while others appeal to sporty types and those who prefer to plant themselves into loungers for the day with an engrossing paperback (or e-reader) in hand.

Keep in mind there is some etiquette to heed. Don’t stare at the bare. Glance but don’t linger. It’s considered rude – at least wear very dark sunglasses. Put a towel down before you sit, from picnic tables to bar stools. It circumnavigates that “ick” factor.

Sunscreen is a must. Your tender bits are also prone to burn. Your beach bag needs to contain a bottle of the strong stuff with an SPF of 30 or above. The key buzz words to look for are “waterproof” and “full” or “broad spectrum.” And, thanks to modern technology, there are formulas that prevent sand from sticking to your birthday suit.

With that in mind, here's a collection of North America's stellar nude beaches from Texas to Toronto and all points in between.

North America's Best Nude Beaches