Location:Nearest City: Sandy Hook,
State/Province: New Jersey
Country: United States
On a clear day at Gunnison Beach, it’s possible to see the New York skyline. That’s because the Northern New Jersey beach, part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, is conveniently located to the Big Apple. During the summer months, there’s even round-trip ferry service from Lower Manhattan.
Most visitors come by car, arriving by 9 a.m. on weekend days to pay the $15 park entry fee ($75 per season) and snag a parking spot. Vehicles more than 20 feet pay a $30 park entry fee or $150 per season. Gunnison Beach also offers great discounts for our active military members, frequent beach goers, and senior citizens. Our active military members receive free parking, and Golden Access and Golden Age Passport receive a 50% discount! The hours of collection are between 7 a.m.-5 p.m. The beach draws more than 5,000 visitors on summer weekend days!
Gunnison has attracted nude bathers for years, even before it became a clothing-optional beach. It officially opened as a nude beach not long after it was decommissioned as a military base in 1972. When it was a military base, the all-male soldiers would skinny-dip.
Gateway National Recreation Area is a six-mile peninsula known for its beaches, fishing, and historic sites, though the 2-mile nude beach stretch at Gunnison is the most popular attraction..
The beach’s signature landmark is the historic Sandy Hook lighthouse, which offers views of lower Manhattan and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. Driving around the Northern stretch of the park, it’s possible to see old buildings and converted barracks now used as storage and office space for park officials.
Though Gunnison Beach is the official designation of the nude beach, nudists often refer to it as Sandy Hook. Many improvements have been made to the beach in recent years, including the addition of a paved mini-plaza at the entrance, a snack bar, and expanded bathrooms.
Because of the park entry fee, being located all the way in the back, and half-mile walk from the plaza to the beach, Gunnison deters gawkers. Many nudists make a visit to the beach part of a Jersey Shore vacation, driving through such scenic towns as Rumson and Red Bank or eventually making their way into New York City.