2023’s Best Cities for Naked Gardening

Gardener wearing yellow gardening boots with no pants, seen from the knees and down, and standing amidst flowers in a garden

Where can you safely — and legally — tend to your carrots and petunias in your birthday suit?

To mark World Naked Gardening on May 6, LawnStarter has uncovered 2023’s Best Cities for Naked Gardening. 

We compared the 200 biggest U.S. cities based on nudist population size, indecent exposure laws, and, of course, gardener-friendliness. We also looked at weather forecasts, access to waxing salons, and sex offender listings, among 12 total metrics.

Dig into our totally NSFW ranking below. To learn how we ranked the cities, see our methodology.


City Rankings + Infographic

See how each city fared in our ranking:

Infographic showing the Best Cities for Naked Gardening, a ranking based on legality of public nudity, gardener-friendliness, weather forecasts, and more
Note: For presentation purposes, not all ties may be displayed for some metrics above.

Up Close: Exposing Our Top 5

Check out the slideshow below for highlights on each of our top five cities.

Skyscrapers stand tall in contrast against the blue sky and ocean in Miami.
No. 1: Miami | Overall Score: 78.14

Nude Gardener-Friendliness: 1
Local Interest: 16
Weather Forecast: 62
Safety: 149
A shot of the Austin, Texas, skyline and the Colorado River at twilight
No. 2: Austin | Overall Score: 75.72

Nude Gardener-Friendliness: 2
Local Interest: 4
Weather Forecast: 119
Safety: 81
2023’s Best Cities for Urban Gardening
No. 3: Atlanta | Overall Score: 71.91

Nude Gardener-Friendliness: 6
Local Interest: 3
Weather Forecast: 180
Safety: 176
An aerial view of Downtown Philadelphia’s skyline
No. 4: Philadelphia | Overall Score: 70.09

Nude Gardener-Friendliness: 4
Local Interest: 16
Weather Forecast: 86
Safety: 123

Photo Credit: Kelly / Pexels / Pexels License
A shot of the Los Angeles skyline with the Griffith Observatory in the forground from a hill surrounded by plants
No. 5: Los Angeles | Overall Score: 66.59

Nude Gardener-Friendliness: 31
Local Interest: 2
Weather Forecast: 44
Safety: 60

Baring It All: Key Insights

The Gist

Miami seems intent on being this year’s Naked Gardening Capital. The Magic City lost the title to Austin in 2022 but regained its mojo in 2023. Most of the other top(less) cities in our ranking scored high in Nude Gardener-Friendliness and Local Interest but show mixed results in Weather Forecast and Safety.

At the rear end of our ranking are mostly cold, northern cities like Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in last place, St. Paul, Minnesota (No. 197), and Anchorage, Alaska (No. 194). Most of these cities are the worst performers in Nude Gardener-Friendliness, with some exceptions in other categories, including Local Interest and Safety.

Standout Stats

  • Stick It Where the Sun Shines: Florida’s biggest cities aren’t shy to reveal their most skintimate sides. Four of the five cities with the most nudists (when adjusted by total population) are located in the Sunshine State, including Orlando at No. 1.

    In third place is Atlanta. They have to bronze those smooth, shiny Georgia peaches somehow.
  • Unrequited Love: Among our bottom 10, one city stands out: St. Paul, Minnesota (No. 193). Minneapolis’ twin clearly has a soft spot for nude gardening — it ranked No. 15 in related Google searches. (Minneapolis actually finished No. 9 in this metric but ranked 78 spots higher overall.)

    However, St. Paul prefers its residents to stay decent while planting their bulbs — the city ranked third-worst overall in nude gardener-friendliness.
  • Wild Swings: If you plan to garden in the buff on World Naked Gardening Day this May 6, stay out of Spokane, Washington, the city with the highest forecasted wind speed at 17 mph. That’s what the National Weather Service considers a “moderate breeze,” enough to “move small branches” and perhaps other loose bits from your undercarriage.
  • Midnight in the Garden of Lewd and Evil: Generally, nudity on private property is outlawed in the U.S., but intention matters. You could land jail time by baring more than just your green thumb in your garden — if you intend to be “lewd” or to arouse others within eyeshot.

    Austin, Philadelphia, and Seattle (the birthplace of World Naked Gardening Day) are among the five cities that let gardeners use their hoes with nothing but gloves. Make sure to read up on your local indecent-exposure rules beforehand — and consider a privacy fence.
  • Fruitloose: New Yorkers don’t just love to let their tomatoes and eggplants dangle from a vertical plant wall — they’re interested in letting gravity take the wheel while watering their veggie gardens. The Big Apple placed first in both urban gardening-friendliness and Google searches for naked gardening-related terms.
  • Thou Shalt Not Steal — a Glance: Loot someone else’s harvest, and you’ll be slapped with trespassing and theft charges at minimum. Peeping could land you in more legal hot water. Naked green thumbs hailing from Santa Clarita, California, need not worry so much about guarding their crops — or the family jewels. The city registered the fewest sex offenders per capita.
  • A Cut Above — or Below: Bushes overgrown? Whether a dense thicket has formed in your garden or below your gardening tool belt, Miami is the best place for trimming both your actual and personal lawns. The Magic City outranked the competition in both gardening supplies (No. 1) and hair removal services per square mile (No. 2).

Ask The Experts

Public nudity can be a touchy subject. We reached out to a panel of fully clothed experts to uncover the naked truth about this topic and offer their tips for safely gardening in the buff. 

  1. In many European countries, nudity is socially acceptable. Why is nudity treated as taboo in America by comparison?

  2. Does public nudity support the body positivity movement? Why or why not?

  3. Public nudity is allowed in very few U.S. cities. What do these cities have in common, if anything?

  4. What are three benefits and three dangers of gardening in the nude?

  5. What are your three best tips for first-time nude gardeners?
Tessa West
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
Leslie Gielow Jacobs
Director, Capital Center for Law & Policy, Professor of Law
Tessa West
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
New York University

In many European countries, nudity is socially acceptable. Why is nudity treated as taboo in America by comparison?

America has a complicated history with puritanism. Social conservatism — and with that a belief that people should dress conservatively and not show their private bits to the world — still runs strong through our American veins.

The places where public nudity is illegal tend to be more conservative places. In Alabama (a conservative state), for example, the publishment for public nudity can include a year in jail, $6,000 in fines, and being forced to register as a sex offender.

Does public nudity support the body positivity movement? Why or why not?

This probably depends entirely on where you live. In places where public nudity is socially unacceptable (even if legal), there is probably such a strong norm against it that the simple act of doing it would lead to social ostracism, which isn’t exactly good for the body positive movement. But in places where being barely clothed or not-at-all clothed is socially acceptable (think South Beach in Miami), it certainly could.

Beliefs about what is beautiful take time to change, so my guess is one act of public nudity won’t move the needle, but lots of it — coupled with positive messages about the benefits of public nudity — definitely could. Modeling behavior is important. If people see different types of bodies out there and people feeling truly comfortable in their own skin, that could make them realize, “Hey, I look beautiful in the nude, too.”

Public nudity is allowed in very few U.S. cities. What do these cities have in common, if anything?

Social conservatism. Politically liberal places are much more likely to allow nudity than conservative ones.

What are three benefits and three dangers of gardening in the nude?

For benefits, I would say an increase in vitamin D, learning to feel comfortable in your skin, and exploring new physical sensations.

Dangers include sunburn, accidental injury if you’re not careful (hint: don’t sit down in the dirt!), and bug bites where you don’t want them.

What are your three best tips for first-time nude gardeners?

  1. Wear sunscreen — everywhere! Remember, some of these body parts have never seen the sun, so they are very vulnerable. This is true for all skin tones and races.
  2. Make sure you aren’t using any chemicals (like weed killer) that might come in contact with your body. If you need gloves to handle your gardening chemicals, it might not be a good time to go nude.
  3. Bring a towel or blanket. Crouching down over your plot of land to dig out beans is fine, but most of us naturally sit down when our legs get tired — it’s an automatic behavior we don’t think about. Think proactively, and put something down on the ground that will be kind to your behind.
Leslie Gielow Jacobs
Director, Capital Center for Law & Policy, Professor of Law
University of the Pacific

In many European countries, nudity is socially acceptable. Why is nudity treated as taboo in America by comparison?

Different attitudes in different countries about public nudity stem from their different histories and cultural values. Attitudes in the United States likely stem in part from various religious doctrines that equate nudity with sexual desire and sexual desire with shame.

The U.S. Constitution permits states and cities to restrict public nudity so long as it is only conduct, not a form of speech. Interestingly, the U.S. Constitution more severely limits the ability of governments to restrict nudity that is part of speech, including pornography and live nude dancing, than do the free-speech guarantees of most other countries. So, European countries may allow more public nudity but also restrict more pornography than in the United States.

Also, U.S. women have successfully challenged public nudity restrictions that apply unequally, prohibiting them from displaying their breasts and nipples, for example, when men may do so.

Behind the Ranking

First, we determined the factors (metrics) that are most relevant to rank the Best Cities for Naked Gardening. We then assigned a weight to each factor based on its importance and grouped those factors into four categories: Nude Gardener-Friendliness, Local Interest, Weather Forecast, and Safety. The categories, factors, and their weights are listed in the table below.

For each of the 200 biggest U.S. cities, we then gathered data on each factor from the sources listed below the table.

Finally, we calculated scores (out of 100 points) for each city to determine its rank in each factor, each category, and overall. A city’s Overall Score is the average of its scores across all factors and categories. The highest Overall Score ranked “Best” (No. 1) and the lowest “Worst” (No. 200). 

  • The “Worst” among individual factors may not be No. 200 due to ties.
  • 100 new cities were added to this year’s sample.

Sources: AccuWeather, City-Data.com, CriminalDefenseLawyer, FindLaw, The Frisky, Google Trends, Other LawnStarter Studies, Refinery29, True Nudists, U.S. Census Bureau, and World Population Review

Barely Legal

This year marks the third time LawnStarter has ranked America’s biggest cities on naked gardening-friendliness, and it turns out Uncle Sam is still a bit of a prude. Not much has changed in the legal landscape when it comes to public nudity.

As mentioned earlier, exposing more than your green thumb outside your home is generally not allowed in the U.S. However, an actual violation depends on a prosecutor’s interpretation of “indecent exposure,” a fuzzy nether region of the law. The language used around this topic in many state laws is vague and mostly targets those who are intentionally lewd.

So, although many more cities technically allow a Full Monty outdoors, we credited only a handful of cities that news and legal information sources have singled out as “nudist-friendly.” They include Seattle, the birthplace of World Naked Gardening Day and home to the holiday’s cofounder Mark Storey.

If you need help trimming your lawn — the one in your yard — please hire a LawnStarter local pro before or after World Naked Gardening Day on May 6. And while you’re at it, make sure to check your local indecent-exposure laws beforehand — and the weather.

Media Resources

Main Photo Credit: Shutterstock


Staff Writer