SLO Sights

Can't Miss Sights In and Around San Luis Obispo

Pirate’s Cove-Would You Go Nude?


About seven miles from San Luis Obispo, in Avila Bay, lies Pirate’s Cove.  Like the other sights I have chosen, it is a popular view for people to enjoy and take photos of.  What some people do not know about this quarter-mile-long cove is that it houses a nude beach.  After researching the nude beach and going there personally to check it out, it became clear that the majority of beach goers were senior citizens. This made me wonder how many college students were willing to bare all on the beach. I surveyed 50 college-aged students (18-23) to find out if they even knew the beach existed, if they had been, and if they would consider going.

I knew, and I’ve been! I knew, and I’ve considered. I knew, but I’d NEVER go. I didn’t know, and wouldn’t go. I didn’t know, but I’d go.






A shot of Pirate's Cove in Avila Bay. From this angle, turn left to find the path to the nude beach.

To make sure I acquired a random sample, I surveyed people at games, at parties, in the University Union, in the library, in dining halls, in dorms, and even on the street.  These five interviewees shared their thoughts.


Name: Nick Larmore

His story: Senior business major at University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, visiting his cousin at Cal Poly

Where I found him: A party on Slack Street

Had he heard?: No

His thoughts: “I don’t think I’d be comfortable there.  I wouldn’t want people lookin’ at me.  But how do you avoid lookin’ at other people.  Way too awkward for me.”–Nick Larmore

Nick Larmore, a student at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was less than intrigued by the nude beach.


Name: Madeleine Frannson

Her story: Freshman business major at Cal Poly

Where I found her: Poly Canyon’s parking structure

Had she heard? Yes

Her thoughts: “I’m from Europe, so nude beaches aren’t a new concept to me.  I’d go, but none of my friends want to, so I stick to Avila and Pismo for the most part.”

Madeleine Frannson came to Cal Poly this year from Sweden and wasn't surprised by the nude beach when she got here.


Name: Amanda Cloud

Her story: Sophomore at Cuesta College, Undecided major

Where I found her: Avila Beach

Had she heard? Yes

Her thoughts: “It’s fun! I’ve been there. Who cares if people see?  I’m hot!” — Amanda Cloud

Amanda Cloud is not afraid to take it all off on her days at the beach.


Name: Jena Epperson

Her story: Former Cal Poly Student

Where I found her: Outside Chipotle in downtown San Luis Obispo

Had she heard? Yes

Her thoughts: “I found out about it last year.  Some of my friends tried to get me to go but I’m just too modest for something like that.”

Jena Epperson doesn't feel like the nude beach is for her, but she doesn't judge those who go there.


Name: Sheighlin MacAskill

Her story: Freshman child-development major at Cal Poly

Where I found her: Outside of a Mustang basketball game

Had she heard? No

Her thoughts: “I can’t believe I have been here for like four months and I had no idea that that existed!  Definitely not my thing.”

Sheighlin MacAskill thinks nude beaches are unnecessary and "just plain gross."

Want to see for yourself?  Click here for simple directions to the beach.


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