Is It Legal To Sunbathe in Your Backyard

Is It Legal To Sunbathe in Your Backyard? (Yes or No)

In some places where there is extreme weather, you sometimes feel like lying down outside under the sun to receive some tanning. I get it too; you are not alone. Suntan is beneficial in so many ways which will be discussed in this article. But is it legal to sunbathe in your backyard? 

Generally, it is not illegal for you to sunbathe in your backyard provided you can not be seen by your neighbors or people around. However, the legality of sunbathing in your backyard depends on your state of residence. 

What Does it Mean to Sunbathe?

With recent talk about the heat of the sun because of global warming, it is difficult to come to terms with the fact that staying in the sun sometimes, could prove helpful.

When you talk about sunbathing, it means exposing your body to the sun. It also means to lounge in the shine of the sun, in order to get a suntan. People do this by lying in the sun to make their skin darker.

Note that there is a distinct difference between going outside to stay under the sun for a few minutes and staying outside under the sun in a tanning bed.

The effects of prolonged exposure to direct sunlight are well known. Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer is one of such effects.

Is It Legal to Sunbathe in Your Backyard?

It is not illegal to take an honest sunbathe in your backyard. I mean, it is your property. You are free to do whatever you deem fit on your property as long as it does not violate the privacy of others.

The main concern about having a sunbathe in your backyard is that people might be able to see you. When this is possible, it becomes illegal for you to sunbathe in your backyard.

If you see that where you are sunbathing in your backyard, that your neighbors (either close by or a few blocks away) can see you, it becomes an illegal act.

It is legal to sunbathe in your backyard as long as your neighbor and people around do not see you naked. If they see you naked in your backyard, it can be highly disturbing to them and a complaint could be made to the relevant authorities.

When and Where is it Legal to Sunbathe?

You want to know where it is legal to sunbathe in the United States, here you go.

It is legal to sunbathe in :

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  •  Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin, and
  • Wyoming.

In all these places, there are public indecency laws in place but you are permitted to be topless when you do it without the intention of offending or disturbing others.

When and Where is it Illegal to Sunbathe?

Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, Washington. In these states, public nudity is not illegal BUT you can be arrested for public nudity if you are seen doing it with the aim of offending others.

Indiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah. In these states, public nudity is illegal and toplessness is taken very seriously.

So these states here prohibit sunbathing. It is not advised to sunbathe in a place where others can see you. Make use of blockings like fences.

Benefits of Sunbathing

Sunbathing comes with a lot of benefits though; I am sure you have heard of Vitamin D. Proper exposure to sunlight helps the body produce vitamin D on its own. Vitamin D is very vital in the body system but it is not produced insufficient capacity in some people’s bodies.

The lack of vitamin D in people is not rare at all, a statistic shows that around a billion people across the globe lack this important vitamin.

Vitamin D can be derived from food but it is not in sufficient amounts. Vitamin D can be gotten from yolks of egg, fish, and milk of course. Nowadays, supplements are made as a cure for people who do not have enough vitamin D in them.

Subsequently, a few benefits of sunbathing will be considered to enlighten you on why you should spend time in the sun every now and then.

1. Stronger Bones

Intake of vitamin D provides the body with calcium, a mineral that leads to strength in the bones and joints. It also assists to ward off health issues such as arthritis and osteoporosis.

2. Boosts Immune System

Sufficient amounts of vitamins in the body system will boost the immune system. What is the effect of this? It will help in resisting infections in the body, fighting diseases, and preventing a lot of diseases such as flu, cancer, heart disease, muscle sclerosis, and many more.

3. More Sleep

Staying in the sun to tan your skin will help regulate the circadian rhythm in your body. What this means is that you start to feel sleepy when the sun goes down. This will help you sleep well and regain lost strength daily. More sleep, more refreshment.

4. Decrease in Depression

Getting sunbathe will help reduce your depression (that is if you have it). Sunlight helps the brain to secrete a hormone, known as serotonin. It helps to produce a feeling of calm and ease in the mind. Staying under the sunshine is an old-school way of raising your mood.

5. Protection against Preterm Labor

Sunbathing provides the human body with vitamin D, which helps to prevent preterm labor and other birth infections.

I can go on and on about the numerous benefits of staying in the sun. I will list some here for you to know:

  • Sunlight maintains the blood pressure in the body
  • Aids the healing of skin problems
  • Helps to avoid diabetes due to the production of insulin
  • Helps in providing good vision
  • Reduces the probability of getting Alzheimer’s

Is it Legal to Sunbathe in your Backyard in Florida?

If you decide to sunbathe in your backyard in Florida, you are fully backed by the law. Why? In Florida, your backyard is not seen as a public space even if it is fully viewable from your neighbor’s house across the street. Be rest assured, you are totally allowed by the Law to sunbathe in your backyard in Florida.

There is a law known as the exposure law in Florida. It states that exposure, display, and exhibition of sexual organs of an individual in public spaces is not allowed.

But an exposure or display of body parts without direct intent cannot be charged to court. The intent of the individual has to be proved before it can be charged to court.

Having this knowledge, you now know that sunbathing in your backyard in Florida is legal and nothing can be done to you. Enjoy the sun!

Is it Legal to Sunbathe in your Backyard in California?

Similar to the law in Florida, it is legal to sunbathe in your backyard in California. If you can be seen by neighbors or passers-by in the neighborhood, you are still protected by the law.

You have the right to sunbathe in your backyard in California but you will need to take some sensible measures to be sure that your neighbors cannot see you. Once those measures i.e., building a fence to block the view, are in place, you are protected by the law.

So, sunbathing in your backyard is legal in California. However, be reasonable enough to install a fence so that people such as underage children do not see your nudity. There are the backyard rules you must follow as well.

Cost of Sunbathing?

According to the Business Wire, in the year 2003, ten percent of Americans spend an average of 300 dollars annually to sunbathe in their homes. This adds to a total of 9 billion dollars per year in the whole country.

That is quite a figure! Seems a lot of people have been tanning, huh?


You should know the laws of the state where you are extensive. Be aware of the regulations that govern sunbathing so you are not caught on the wrong side of the law.

Although the benefits of sunbathing are numerous, it will be costly if you are charged for exposing body parts to the public. So it’s all about getting familiar with the laws in your locality and abiding by them.