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Proper etiquette at the beach is not much different from the same good manners that you should exhibit wherever you go. Be polite and respect the rights of others and others will do the same for you.

Gawking is Impolite
Gawking, or staring at sunbathers, is impolite. It is always rude to stare at others, but it is especially so when you use binoculars or a camera to look at other people. If you gawk to the point of disturbing another, expect to be asked to leave the area.

Obey all Parking Rules and Regulations
Park only in designated areas. In some areas parking is limited and fills up early. If this is true at your beach you can:

. Arrive Early - before the crowds
. Carpool - saving both gas and parking spots.
. Give others a ride from the bus stop to the beach. Someone may do the same for you.

Respect the Environment
Keep out of the dunes or other areas that may be environmentally sensitive. Bates is just south of an environmentally sensitive area. Leave any animals (sea lions, birds, crabs, etc.) alone!

Also, you will notice that Bates Beach is often quieter than other beaches, except for an occasional dog barking, guitar player, or the excitement around the volleyball net. You will rarley hear a boom box or other amplified noise, and we like it that way. Please remember to use your head phones!

Help Keep the Area Clean
Bring and use trash bags. Always try to carry out more trash than you carried in. Leave nothing but footprints, take only memories.

Anyone going nude at the norhern end of the beach must get dressed when leaving the established C-O Area!
Thw clothing optional beach, while not strictly legal, is accepted by the local population. To avoid offending people, do not undressed anywhere else!

Avoid Any Sexual Activity
Avoid any hint of sexuality or lewd behavior at Bates Beach. The Beach Watch Ambassadors are trained to call the local sheriff. Period.

Respect Private Property
Show respect for the private property of others as you go to and from the beach. Don't litter or park on private property.

Respect the Privacy of Others - "No" Means No
Many people who come to the beach to enjoy nature do not want to be disturbed. It is OK to be friendly, but if someone doesn't seem to respond, please respect their right to privacy.

Respect Law Enforcement Officers
If a sheriff deputy or ranger approaches you and asks you to get dressed or to leave, always be polite and follow his/her request at once. In many cases, just leaving right away will result in a warning, not a ticket. Some park rangers are ignorant of the specific laws and court rulings as they apply to benign public nudity on a beach, so carry a copy of the Cahill Policy and other California court precedents, and share that information with the officer. If the situation deteriorates, be polite, get the officer's name and badge number and follow his/her directions. Then call our office.

Avoid Taking Photos or Movies
Few beachgoers are exhibitionists and even fewer want their picture taken, with or without permission. If you insist on taking a picture, confine it to just the people in your party, and that means avoiding having anyone in the background without their verbal (if not written) consent. Also, totally avoid taking photos of under-age children at the beach as it just isn't worth the legal hassle you will be inviting. In fact, we recommend take your pictures at home, before you leave or at the end of the trip, instead. If your cell phone has photo capability, try to point it's lens away from beach-goers while talking.

Be Prepared
At this time Bates has no lifeguards or tourist services other than the bathrooms found in the parking lot. Therefore you should bring everything you may need including:

. Water/Beverages
. Food . Cooler
. Sunscreen
. Towel
. Chair or Mattress
. Disposable Trash Bags

Speak up for Standards
If you see someone who is violating the accepted standards, please explain to them clearly and politely just how they are violating the rules and just what the proper behavior is. Be firm, but polite, and you will find most voyeurs will leave at the first sign of being discovered.

Click Here for a Printable (PDF) Version of these Guidelines