OK lovely readers… Just so you have fair warning. I’m feeling pretty sad tonight. Having grown rather fond of my name and reputation as the Meandering Naturist, reality is setting in that naturism has become something of a challenge, and meandering? Well. That’s just not a thing right now.
Nick and Lins had an excellent post last week about where one could go on nakation any time of the year, (See: MUST-VISIT NATURIST DESTINATIONS FOR EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR) working their way around the globe with recommendations for each month of the year. Great post! In fact, it sounded like something of a challenge to me, despite the comment from a reader who pointed out that most people are not going to jump on the next flight to Bangkok to find a warm naturist place in the dead of Minnesota winter – ever! Fair point. A bit sobering, in fact, especially for one who has enjoyed the “privilege” of intertwining travel, work and naturist research into parallel missions. It helps to have learned a few tricks along the way about travel in general: how to grab a free flight here or find a good hotel bargain there. But even after the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, it’s not clear what that playing field will look like, especially when it comes to chalking up miles and cashing in free hotel nights. Seems irresponsible to even mention such things given the hardships so many are facing in these days, but there it is.
One of my very first blog posts was called “Hey! What About Naturism in America?” where I attempted to delineate those pervasive differences between naturism in the US and abroad. More recently, a couple weeks ago, a reader who lives in our region reached out to us for advice as to where he and his wife might go for their first nude recreational outing. (We would eventually connect with them online to give them a few pointers on how to figure that out. That can be amazingly tricky!)
Then, just yesterday, another reader posted a comment suggesting that the idea of family naturism in America is simply an unsubstantiated myth, reporting “As I see it, it’s dead!” I replied that I thought he was probably on point, though as far as I can tell, that’s an American phenomenon, at the very time when family naturism seems to be enjoying a resurgence in Europe – particularly in France.
This is where I need your helped… my American Nudist friends!
We don’t have young kids anymore, so we really don’t need to find a family naturist place where our kids can splash around in the pool. That said, there is something holistic about a vacation spot that embraces the spirit of a Disney resort or a campground in a national park. So, I took to the web to check up on places within driving distance that would offer the opportunity for a daytrip or weekend nakation getaway; some we’ve been to before, others that I’ve been curious about for some time, but are still on our bucket list.
To this end, I’ve decided to make a list of places I might like to get naked this summer, assuming that getting on an airplane to go anyplace is not on the immediate horizon. It might be helpful to my readers to disclose the criteria for “who got on the list,” noting the omissions of those I did not include on the list. (I don’t mean to sound judgmental or narrow minded, but especially if my wife is coming along, I don’t want to drive for ten hours to have a terrible day.)
So, how did a naturist place make the list?
- If the website looks like it was designed on Windows 95, lacking current information related to admission and entrance requirements, that’s immediately a “NO.”
- If the website alludes to “hot sexy nights” under the stars, or provides other hints regarding a friends with benefits vibe, we’re out. Again, no judgement – just not our thing.
- Like choosing a decent hotel in Boston, my first stop is always TripAdvisor where I’ll peruse at least the last dozen reviews. People often reveal clues in their candid prose that you might never find on the destination website. That seems particularly true for naturist places.
- We live in the Mid-Atlantic region between New York and Washington DC. I’m all about naked, but I’m not going to drive to Colorado any time soon just to take my clothes off. In the era of germaphobia and social distancing, a three-week road trip seems insurmountable.
- Finally, I typically comb through the entrance requirements to assess just how onerous it’s going to be to get through the gate, and how much of our “first visit” will be absorbed with orientation activities. This is distinctly an American ritual that we’ve never experienced when visiting naturist places abroad. Simply a bi-product of American paranoia about social nudity, I suppose.
So here we go, starting fifteen hours south of my home, and ending about nine hours to the north…
CYPRESS COVE NUDIST RESORT, FLORIDA: Having visited several of the other big-name resorts in Florida, I think this is the only place we would go back to, given their overnight accommodation options, modern pool complex, and recent efforts to attract a younger crowd, with volleyball tournaments and the like. Unless I missed something, the other options nearby vacillate between rustic and racy.
PARADISE VALLEY RESORT: GEORGIA: Have been looking at their website for years as it seems they have excellent facilities and a nice proximity to Atlanta. I find it interesting, though, that they don’t turn up on the AANR listing, especially given some other places that have retained AANR membership, despite corresponding shady reputations. Input anyone?
WHITE TAIL NUDIST RESORT, VIRGINIA: Almost left this place off this list, but it keeps coming up on threads about young naturists and family naturism, which suggests that it’s a place where we’d feel at home. It’s just too far for us to make a day trip of it, but it seems pretty popular with the south of DC crowd!
AVALON NUDIST RESORT: WEST VIRGINIA: We’ve actually been here several times over the years, though our last trip was something of a debacle when we rented a poorly maintained condo unit, brought the dog along (Bad idea!), and we simply couldn’t assimilate to the party vibe in the pool. Since then, the lodge has burned to the ground and they’re in rebuilding mode. But I would drive up there by myself just for a day of walking naked in the woods and snoozing on the lawn. Seems that is likely to happen this summer.
PINE TREE ASSOCIATES, MARYLAND: We did the orientation visit to Pine Tree perhaps 12 or 14 years ago, but ultimately decided not to return due to their restrictive membership policies that would require us to join after the third visit since the distance to our home was just under 100 miles. Don’t know if they still have that policy, but that was enough to scare us away. (Wasn’t about to pay $600 a year to join a club we could only get to a few times a year!) The facilities were lovely though, as I recall.
WHITE THORN LODGE, PENNSYLVANIA: I hear they have hiking trails. LOVE naked hiking! And in a normal year, it sounds like they have a pretty amazing volleyball tournament as well. I’m terrible at volleyball, but that sounds like a fun energy. My sense is this is a really good place. Eager to hear from people in the know.
ROCK LODGE CLUB, NEW JERSEY: Finally made my first visit to this legacy club last summer with my adult daughter and had a very nice day sitting beside the lake with a picnic and a bottle of wine. The registration and orientation process seemed excessive, but I also knew that the property belonged to the family of Felicity Jones, an avid advocate for social nudity amidst her twenty-something peer group. I am likely to visit again, as long as I can skip the tour involving instructional information related to the use of towels and an introduction to Pickle-Ball.
SOLAIR RECREATION LEAGUE: CONNECTICUT: We had friends who were regulars here when their kids were young, and they swore that family naturism here was as good as we had talked about in France. Here again, the entry process denoted online seems a bit onerous, and it’s not clear if I would be allowed to visit as a single male. (My wife may not want to drive that far to get naked.) But with over 300 acres, I hear the hiking is excellent. That would make it worth the trek for me.
BARE OAKS NATURIST PARK, ONTARIO, CANADA: As best I can tell, this is about as close as you can get to the standards of European naturism on North American soil. I’m a big fan of the Naturist Living Show podcast, and really appreciate the common sense approach to creating a naturist environment for the 21st century. If I only make one naturist sojourn this summer, I suspect this will be the one.
So, there’s my list! I intentionally left off places like Haulover Beach near Miami or The Ledges in Vermont as they are places where social nudity is sanctioned, but lacking the amenities one might enjoy at a naturist destination.
I hope to re-write this post at the end of August with an updated list, having visited these places, along with others that might get elevated to the short list by enthusiastic readers who wish to plug their favorite nakation destination. Keep in mind that we are not RVers, and the allure of tent-camping has faded a good bit since our early married days.
I have said for many years that circumstances could change, and we may not always be able to enjoy the luxury of international travel, which in turn, will likely afford us the opportunity to explore the opportunities for naked near home. Seems that day has arrived in a big way.
THIS IS WHERE YOU GET TO PARTICIPATE!
HELP ME OUT READERS! Comment on this post, or click the Say Hello button, or even send me an email. (email@example.com) We all know that the most valuable information comes by word of mouth. Help me shape my East Coast Nakation Bucket List. I’ll be waiting by the MacBook, eagerly awaiting your enthusiastic response.
P.S. Just added page to my blog where readers can share up to the minute information about the re-opening of their favorite naturist places. Please give back to the naturist community by clicking through and providing information about your naturist Nirvana!