Top 5 Beaches Where You Can Bare it All

2916787894_cc7c44f5e4Banana Beach, Greece - What would you expect from the aptly named Banana Beach, but lots of – er – bananas?  Well get your mind out of the gutter, because this beach is actually a trio of beaches located on the small Greek Islandof Skiathos, whose name came from the yellow-hued sand and the curved shape of their coastline.  The three beaches that make up Banana Beach are Little Banana (also called Sparticus), Big Banana and a small beach separated from Big Banana by a rocky outcrop.  And while one may have assumed that bigger would mean better (especially in this situation) Little Banana is actually the most popular of the three.  Durring the peak winter months, clothed onlookers tend to swarm the other two beaches while leaving Little Banana to itself.  As if there wasn’t already enough to look at, all three beaches have tremendous views of the tree covered foothills that surround the beaches behind you and the crystal clear Aegean Sea in front of you.

5111987645_5d03bd3665Baker Beach, San Francisco, CA – In the city that is known for its liberal lean, Baker Beach is right at home in San Francisco.  Baker Beach is blanketed in clean, fine white sand – not too dusty, not too pebbly – clear sapphire water, and maybe the most dramatic views of any beach you will come across.  Satisfy your inner vouyer, and we’re not just talking about the old men bits and pieces you are sure to see… as you walk the beach you will also catch a glimpse of some of California’s prime real estate – and have a chance to take in the same views that those homeowners enjoy – the cliff houses look out over the bay and the famous Golden Gate Bridge.  Parking is a breeze, free, and just a short walk from the beach, or you can opt to take public transportation, which dropps you off very close by.  Visit in September or October as the summer months tend to be covered with San Francisco’s notorious fog bank.

4910303358_101ac07014Valalta (Rovinj), Croatia – As far as nude beaches go, Valalta is perhaps the Mecca – the destination where all nude sunbathers and naturists feel drawn to and hope to journey to at least one time in their life.  This resort (yes, it is a planned resort, different from some of the naturally occuring beaches that have been gradually morphed into a nude beach over time) is huge, with the beach alone streatching over 3 miles.  Visitors can stay in a variety of accommodation – Valalta offers everything from fully-equipped apartments and bungalows to luxury mobile homes and glorified tents…all with electricity and running water though.  There is also a sports harbor, a number of restaurants, beer that has been brewed in their own brewery, souvenir shop, kids club, and a host of day and overnight excursions.  And if you prefer to get your bare-bronze on in relative seclusion rather than with the rest of the resort, there is a beach that is not an official part of the Valalta Resort that is usually much less crowded.

2773305082_27c5f70fb2Little Beach, Maui, Hawaii – If you like to live on the edge (which you must if your’re reading this post in the first place), Little Beach may be perfect for you.  Although nude sunbathing is technically illegal at the secluded Little Beach – and the rest of Hawaii – it’s referred to as Maui’s “unofficial clothing-optional beach” since the law has not been enforced here for a number of years.  It’s also somewhat of a local’s hot-spot…while the vast majority of beach-goers opt to sunbathe au natural, there are those who wear clothes (mostly tourists).  So if a little thing like illegality doesn’t rock your boat, grab your sandals and towel and make the trek to Maui’s Southern coast, and you will find Little Beach located just North of Big Beach.  Tucked behind rocks and high shrubs, and guarded by a narrow entry, Little Beach is picturesque Hawaii – white sand contrasted by bright blue/turquoise water.

5651319954_6a3b1c6a39Wreck Beach, Vancouver, British Columbia -

Named for a hulking, wrecked vessel that once sat on the sand, Wreck Beach is the shore of choice for Vancouver students. Just several hundred steps below the University of British Columbia, the 3-mile-long beach is a wildlife and nesting area for both bald eagles and bald bodies. Other sections of the beach assume a more carnival-like atmosphere. One stretch on the beach known as Vendors’ Row is a 1-stop shop for souvenirs, refreshments and the ever-important sunscreen.

Top 5 Most Romantic Beaches in the World

It’s hard to say what, exactly, makes a vacation HOT.  It’s more than the just weather, as Heidi Klum and hubby Seal could tell you – he infamously popped the question in a snow cave atop a glacier – but you can bet their engagement night was anything but frosty.  And while canopy beds, private hot tubs and candles can’t hurt, they can’t do all the work either.

We’ve gathered the top 5 most romantic beach destinations in the world as a starting point for your next X-rated escape.  There’s everything from a private island to a sizzling Latin locale – so pack your suit and anything else you may need…that is, if you even plan on emerging from your hotel room – yeah, we know your type…

Hayman Island, Australia – There must be a heap of  too-hot-for-TV Gilligan’s Island clips on someone’s cutting room floor.  I mean, after being stranded on that island for so long, wouldn’t the Professor ever get the urge to play doctor with Mary Ann?  Surely Ginger got into character and role played with Gilligan at least once?  If you’ve ever had the urge to reenact your very own “stranded on a deserted island” fantasy, look no further than Hayman Island (and not to worry – even though it’s far less populated than most places, it still isn’t completely deserted). Part of the world wonder that is Aussie’s Great Barrier Reef, Hayman Island is paradise found – an Eden that unabashedly flaunts its beauty that will have you asking your Lovey, “Who’s your Skipper?”  This sultry tropical setting has sprawling pure silica-white-crystal beaches and is where wildlife flourishes – it’s common to see everything from cockatoos and swans to bats and butterflies. At night, the stars seem to light the ink-black sky like perpetually frozen fireworks, so go ahead…get your Gilligan on.  Where to stay? Hayman Island Resort

Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica – Do you like your romance on the wild side?  Go au-natural at this raw eco-tourism haven…it’s hot and sticky most of the year, and Corcovado has a masterful balance of dense rain forests that open up onto stunningly beautiful beaches.  You and your sweetheart can experience the park’s virgin beauty with its green-sand beaches, wild mix of animals, and lantern-lit tent camps – the perfect location for you to reenact that unadulterated “In the jungle…” moment a la Ace Ventura…except at Corcovado there’s not a noisy headboard to give you away!  Afterward, you’ll want to cool down with some tropical cocktails, frolic in the warm surf, or strip down and rinse off in a fresh-water stream as it spills out from the jungle.  It may be taxing to get there, but just think of it as foreplay.  A-weema-weh A-weema-weh A-weema-weh… Where to stay? Corcovado Tent Camp

Shell Beach, California – Why should places like Paris, Ipanema and Santorini have all the fun?  You don’t have to travel out of the country to fall in love again – rekindle the passion amidst a wine-soaked love-fest on California’s picturesque Central Coast.  Shell Beach (and its neighbor Silver Shoals) feature the region’s famous dramatic rocky coastline.  If you can take your eyes off each other, enjoy panoramic views of the Pacific, Point Conception and Avila Bay from the bluffs or walk down the cliff trail to access the secluded beach, where you can swim, surf, or sunbathe.  Afterwards, take your sun-kissed bods to one of  the areas infamous vineyards.  There are plenty of romantic tasting rooms scattered throughout the rolling hills of San Luis Obispo county, so pick up a bottle of wine and perhaps some edible chocolate body paint and head back to your hotel to see where the night takes you!  Where to stay? Dolphin Bay Resort

Flamenco Beach, Puerto Rico – Just like Dancing with the Stars’ Gilles Marini could make your heart skip a beat without missing a beat, this steamy setting will leave you and your partner feeling hot and bothered.  You two are sure to feel the energy of the Latin culture at this secluded sandy beach that was named after the hot and sensual dance.  Framed by lush, green hills, the 1.5 mile wide horse-shoe shaped bay offers a wide, pink-tinted sandy beach and aqua blue, translucent and calm waters that almost resembles a swimming pool – perfect for snorkeling.  As daylight fades and temperatures cools a bit, the regions magical ocean bioluminescence are revealed.  This natural wonder, paired with the brightness of the starry night sky make Flamenco Beach about as romantic as you can get and will have you feeling HOT HOT HOT!  Where to stay? Bahia Marina Condo Hotel

Happy Bay, St. Martin – Two words – clothing optional.  After passing the last bar at Friar’s Bay, a short walk down a dirt path leads you to the sweeping views of Happy Bay beach. Fairly undiscovered, there isn’t much at this beach to interrupt your afternoon or to distract you from each other – no crowds, noisy restaurants, or traffic sounds. Don’t forget to pack your suntan oil – exchange sensual massages and you and your love can melt away on Happy Bay’s powdery white beach.  And if things get too steamy, there are plenty of palm trees lining the beach for shade or, uh-hem, added privacy.  Afterwards, stroll the wide beach and take in the vibrant, breathtaking vista.  If you’re up for more exercise, dip into the calm waters to enjoy some of the best snorkeling St. Martin has to offer.  Go ahead – leave your inhibitions and your tan lines behind.  Where to stay? Happy Bay Villa