Yes, Canada has clothing optional beaches! And they’re not just limited to Toronto and Vancouver. In fact, this one that I’m unofficially designating at the best nude beach in Canada is probably found in the last place you would expect.
Three Mile Beach is located close to the southern edge of the Okanagan region in British Columbia. It’s also smack dab in the middle of the prestigious wine region. An unlikely setting if you ask me.
If you’re planning to do some wine tasting in Naramata or spend some time in Penticton, this beach is a must-do activity. Whether you consider yourself a naturist or not, it’s quite the experience.
It’s considered one of the best places to swim in Penticton, so if you’re not one to partake in public nudity, it’s still worth checking out.
After speaking to a few locals, it seems as though this beach is still considered a bit of a hidden gem.
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How to Get to Three Mile Beach
This long beachfront is in its own secluded bay only accessible by a dead end residential road. There’s a small parking area at the end of the road.
Head north out of Penticton onto Naramata road. Turn west onto Three Mile Road until you hit the end.
As long as you don’t arrive in the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday, you should be able to find a parking spot. There have been issues in the last few years about lack of parking and visitors blocking private driveways.
So it’s best to either arrive early or at the end of the afternoon.
After you park you realize that you can go one of two ways. To the south is a dog-friendly beach, and to the north is the wooden stairs heading down to the beach.
Is it Actually Nude?
A quick Google search pulls up some local news articles from 2014 and 2015 that discuss whether nudity is still acceptable in the area. Details centre around feuds between the local residents and naturist community members.
We visited in August 2020 and I can tell you it was most definitely a nude beach! A few years ago there were issues with access to the beach via cutting through private property.
There is now a well-marked wooden staircase down to the beach, so if you stay on the designated paths and trails to the beach, there won’t be any issues.
Upon arrival you will notice that most of the nudists occupy the far half of the beach, as you head east.
If you don’t want to get naked, just keep your swimsuit on and stick closer to the side of the beach with the stairs. In our party we had a mix of shirts and skins and this was very acceptable.
In speaking to a couple of local nude bathers while we were there, we learned a couple things. The vibe here is most certainly “clothing optional” and not “nudism required.”
Pro tip – get yourself one of these changing towel ponchos to quickly throw on and off, plus the soft microfiber is ultra-absorbent.
The naturist community is very welcoming and encourages everyone to mingle and enjoy themselves whether you’re wearing clothes or not.
Is it Worth Checking It Out?
How does a day like this sound?
Waking up in your Airbnb or hotel room and enjoy a cup of coffee overlooking the valley of wineries that look like Napa Valley or Tuscany.
Then, heading out along the Naramata Bench and spending the day tasting the local wines and picking out your new favorite Viogner.
After a long hot day of sipping, you grab a chilled bottle of white and head down to the beach for a cool down swim and sharing a bottle as you watch the sun go down? Sounds like a pretty amazing day to me!
TIP: This suite is a one minute walk from Three Mile Beach if you want to stay as close as possible!
It’s spacious with a garden patio area and hit tub, and is walking distance to many breweries, wineries and other beaches.
This winery stay is also only a few minutes away from Three Mile Beach. Check out the gorgeous views.
You should note that public consumption of alcohol is not permitted in most areas in Canada, and I’m not encouraging it here.
However, it’s a quiet beach with few children and as long as you’re discreet you should have no problem.
In my opinion, not only is this the best nude beach in Canada, it’s one of the best beaches, period! It’s a long beach, protected by large cliffs so you really feel secluded and out of the city.
The sand isn’t the softest, but it’s easy to walk on. The water is pristine and was nice and warm in early August when we visited.
The water is shallow enough to play in and lounge, but gets deeper to enjoy some splashing around. It’s a little rocky initially but a sandy bottom soft to the touch awaits after a few feet.
There’s a good sized floating dock to swim to and hang out on. And since you’re on the east side of Okanagan Lake, you get amazing sunsets over the water.
The beach itself is one of the cleanest I’ve ever visited, and most clientele seemed to be locals.
Other Nude Beaches in Canada
A quick Google search will yield a few other results about some famous or more well known nude beaches in Canada. There’s Hanlan’s Point in Toronto, Port Burwell Beach in Ontario and Wreck Beach in Vancouver.
Hanlan’s Point in Toronto
I haven’t been to Hanlan’s Point Beach, but I’ve got a couple friends who have told me all about it. It’s located on the Toronto Islands.
To get to Hanlan’s Point Beach, take the 20-minute ferry (of the same name) and then walk about 10 minutes to the beach. The ferry ride will cost you less than $10 Canadian.
Similar to Three Mile Beach, about half the clientele prefer to be in the nude and they generally stick to the south end of the beach.
Apparently the beach has become pretty popular in recent years and is often frequented by party-goer patronage. However, the views of the Toronto skyline are spectacular, and maybe even worth it for those views alone.
Port Burwell Beach, Ontario
The water is shallow and perfect for wading and usually not too crowded.
To get to the clothing optional beach at Port Burwell, park in the furthest lot (#5) of the provincial park, and walk west along the beach, just over 15 minutes until you see the park boundary sign.
Once you have left the provincial park boundary, walk another couple of minutes and this is the clothing optional area at Port Burwell.
Plus, Port Burwell is a charming little town with lots of unique eateries for when you’re done at the beach!
Wreck Beach, Vancouver
On the other side of the country, we have Wreck Beach in Vancouver; a well-known nude beach in Canada.
Located very close to the University of British Columbia, the vibe here is pretty chill, with plenty of folks engaging in naturism and a lot of cannabis connoisseurs.
This beach is probably best suited for those over 18 and there are also quite a few stairs to get down to the beach, so it’s not the most accessible for those who have trouble with stairs. Expect between 400 and 500 stairs at Wreck Beach.
Nude Beach Etiquette
Like similar places, Three Mile Nude Beach and the people who frequent it should exercise a high level of respect. I think the first rule is to not come here to stare or gawk at those baring it all.
Everyone should be treated the same whether they’re wearing clothing or not. Naturists come here to relax, recreate and enjoy being as close to nature as possible.
Secondly, keep the public displays of affection to a minimum.
Also, make sure you keep nudity to the beach itself. Wait to strip down until you’re on the sand, and don’t head back up the stairs without covering yourself up.
And as always, pack out what you take in. Meaning, don’t leave any garbage behind and don’t bring any glass bottles, cans or plastic only.
Final Thoughts on Visiting Three Mile Beach in Penticton
Overall, I’d say this place is definitely worth a visit. If you’re not interested in being naked on the beach, you can still enjoy this place as you would any other beach (as long as you don’t mind seeing others in the buff). But you won’t be encouraged to drop your trousers by any means.
Conversely, if you’re curious about trying it out, this beach would be the perfect place for a beginner naturist.
It’s chill, no one will judge you or even notice you for that matter. And no need to be self conscious here, either. Most people here are just your average body type and all shapes and sizes.
Try it out, be free and tell all your friends that I got naked at a nude beach in Canada! At the very least, it’s a great when to get some sun and not have to worry about tan lines!
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