Nature in All Its Glory

Strip Down in California

by Team Fathom
Purdon Purdon Crossing, Yuba River South Fork. Photo by Dillon Seitchik-Reardon.
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We’re in that transitional season that drives New Yorkers crazy: Can we put away the winter coat already or what? This is when we envy our West Coast friends, with their sheer tops and desert super blooms. Weather-weary and stoked for spring: California, here we come.
Start unbuttoning. We’ve got:

  • six serene skinny dipping spots 
  • a forest hotel that offers oysters for the grill
  • a human-sized nest in Big Sur
  • a five-room ryokan-inspired inn (and runaway restaurant success)
  • a tip for a (more) chill surf break
  • where to find the darkest of dark skies

Nudie Picks

Caroline Clements and Dillon Seitchik-Reardon are a couple of nature enthusiasts who tested the waters of the golden state for months and months in order to select, photograph, and write essays about 50 of the most special locales — a mix of secluded beaches, chilly mountain lakes, and lazy rivers. The result is Places We Swim: California, which includes charming first-person anecdotes and lists of best beaches and river swims. These prime skinny dipping picks were chosen for their combination of unique landscape and privacy.

The rest of this article — top spots to take your clothes off, surf with kings, kayak with whales, and get lost in surreal sand dunes — is for subscribers only. Sign up for our newsletter, Way to Go, for your all-access pass. And remember, the doctor is in, so send your burning travel dilemmas to the Fathom Travel Shrink.

We make every effort to ensure the information in our articles is accurate at the time of publication. But the world moves fast, and even we double-check important details before hitting the road.