What better way to enjoy nature than au-naturel? Sure, it may seem weird to some, but more and more people are opening up to the idea of getting outside in their birthday suits. And maybe it’s because of the legendary Texas heat here, because this holds very true in Lone Star state too. While active nudists already have their own resources for finding all the secret spots, the average Jack or Jill just looking for a place to legally try nature in the nude might want to know where that’s possible. So here you go.
Indeed, Texas has no law specifically forbidding public nudity (non-sexual), but Austin also has the state’s only official, government-maintained, clothing-optional public park – Hippie Hollow. Even the park’s sign says, “Yours to enjoy naturally.”
Situated on 100 acres of prime Lake Travis shoreline and about 20 minutes from downtown, Hippie Hollow offers plenty of quiet space for skinny dipping, as well as great trails for hiking. Travis County does prohibit anyone under 18 from entering, and rangers and frequent patrons help maintain a safe, friendly environment for everyone. Still, if you’re just a curious visitor, just know that you will, in fact, see lots of naked people enjoying the lakeside – and you should enjoy too – but don’t creep anyone out, and just have fun getting that line-less tan.
Because of the ongoing Texas drought, Lake Travis water levels are at historic lows, and the hike down to the water line is long and steep, over rock ledges. So be careful, and even if you don’t wear anything else, wear shoes.
For women who just want the freedom to go topless, Austin is “topless-tested.” Meaning that, compared to most other cities, it’s more common in Austin for women to exercise their topless rights, especially with all our awesome swimming holes. And one of the state’s best – Barton Springs Pool – is generally a safe place for bare breasts. Typically, topless sunbathing is more common on the pool’s mellower southwest hill, whereas the opposite corner tends to be a bit noisier, hosts more rambling children, and is generally less conducive to peaceful topless lounging.
After you’re done letting it all hang out, if you need a good meal or drink, both Hippie Hollow and Barton Springs have excellent options near them. The most obvious choice for a post-Hippie Hollow bite is The Oasis , which offers Austin’s best sunset views. It’s not the cheapest option for a good burger or margarita, but the view is definitely worth it. Just the drive to the Oasis from Hippie Hollow is amazing, with views of mansions and cliffs overlooking the blue of Lake Travis, is an experience in itself.
For those visiting Barton Springs pool, you will be close to so many great dining and drinking options, you might have trouble choosing. My favorite, especially if you want to stay in the “natural” mood, is Casa de Luz, for clean vegetarian cuisine.
The nice thing about Austin is that you can be close to town, with all its amenities, and still feel so far out and non-confined enough, and surrounded by lots of open-minded people, that what you wear or don’t wear is really no big deal. So whether you prefer a little topless spot among hip yogis at Barton Spring pool, or a stretch of rock ledge to lay out fully clothing-free at Hippie Hollow, Austin is a great place to enjoy nature, naturally.