5 Places Where You Can Be Legally Topless in the U.S.

Lyndi & Jason/Flickr

Lyndi & Jason/Flickr

Tan lines. Who needs them? Men have enjoyed the privilege of walking around topless since, well, the dawn of time. And a surprising number of hotels, cities, and beaches have passed laws and rules to allow women (almost) the same topless rights as men. If you feel like baring it all under the protection of the law, read on for five places where you can be legally topless in the United States. 

1. New York City

Most people don't know that women have legally been allowed to go topless in New York City since 1992. In fact, to promote gender equality, the annual Go Topless Day hosts a parade of chest-baring men and women. This year, the parade falls on August 26th, but it's fair game to pop your top at New York's beaches, parks, and on the streets all year long. 

A Romantic Hotel Pick:

2. South Beach, Miami

Beach at the Delano South Beach Hotel.

Beach at the Delano South Beach Hotel.

Miami's super popular and picturesque stretch of South Beach allows for topless sunbathing, and it's quite common for women to swim and tan without their tops. That doesn't mean that toplessness is required, and many women do cover up. The area of sand in front of Delano South Beach (around 15th to 17th Streets) is particularly popular, as the hotel allows topless bathing at their pool and attracts lots of young couples. For those that want to get completely nude, Haulover Beach has white sand and excellent facilities. 

A Party Hotel Pick: 

3. New Orleans (for Mardi Gras)

New Orleans' municipal code specifically states that you can't expose “the genitals, pubic hair, anus, vulva, or female breast nipples in any public place or place open to the public view with the intent of arousing sexual desire...” The intent of arousing sexual desire is the tricky part as it can be pretty open to interpretation. However, women baring their breasts in exchange for beads during Mardi Gras festivities is widely protected and celebrated -- especially on party central Bourbon Street.  

A Historic Hotel Pick:

4. Fort Collins, Colorado

william stuben/Flickr

william stuben/Flickr

Just this year a federal judge in Fort Collins (about an hour north of Denver) blocked the city's ban on female toplessness, stating, "it perpetuates a stereotype engrained in our society that female breasts are primarily objects of sexual desire whereas male breasts are not." While skiing topless doesn't sound very appealing, a shirt-free hike in the mountains or dip in the river could certainly have its perks. 

A Luxury Hotel Pick:

5. Madison, Wisconsin

Paul Frederickson/Flickr

Paul Frederickson/Flickr

Nipples are legally free in Madison, Wisconsin, and it's no surprise that citizens in the beer-loving state have celebrated with a "nipple equality" pub crawl. Like in Colorado, a woman's right to bare her chest probably doesn't come up that often in the winter months. Note that the rest of the state isn't as forward thinking when it comes to toplessness for women. 

A Value Hotel Pick:

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