Solair Recreation League, near Woodstock, Connecticut
Welcome to Meandering Mondays, where we provide brief reviews of naturist places we have visited, simply to offer our admittedly subjective thoughts about what we experienced there. With over 150 pins on our naturist travel map, we have a lot of reviews to catch up on. Check out the "NAKED PLACES" tab on the main menu to see our ever-growing collection of trip reports.
We visited Solair Recreation League in May of 2020 – one of our very first outings following the sweeping lockdowns of COVID-19. After many years of frequenting naked places in Europe, Solair was one of our first stops for a series of blog posts we called Naked in America, attempting to chronicle our observations about naturist places in the US, good, bad, or indifferent. You can read our more extensive (and meandering) musings in our original report here, which talks about our long walk in the woods and how happy we were that things were still pretty quiet that early in the season during a pandemic. It’s a stunningly beautiful place, spread out over 300 acres, with a history that dates back to the 1930s, making it one of the oldest naked places in America. Now, as I’m working up a comprehensive series of reviews of dozens of American nudist places, I’m thinking that Solair is going to end up near the top of our list of best naked places in the US. If it weren’t quite so far from where we live, I suspect it would become our regular go-to naturist resort.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO GET THERE? While less than an hour from Hartford, Connecticut, and any number of other Northeast metropolitan centers, the final approach to Solair takes you over the mountains and through the woods, past quaint New England villages and lonely country roads until suddenly, there you are, at the gate of a nudist resort. In other words, you’re not getting there without a car. It seems they mainly draw folks from New York to Boston, noting that there are two other naked places within an hour’s drive; one in Connecticut, and one in Rhode Island. At this writing, we have yet to visit either of those.
WHAT’S THE FAMILY VIBE? We first heard about Solair from naturist friends who raved about the family environment in response to us whining about our frustrations in looking for a vibrant family naturist place in the United States. That was twenty years ago, but they reported that most weekends brought families out in droves. Noting that we visited in the early days of a pandemic, and that capacity was limited for total occupancy, it was pretty quiet the day we were there, though we did see two families with small children. Of all the naked places we’ve visited in the US, it certainly appears this one is more family friendly than most, with the potential for lots of kid friendly activities such as boating, hiking, ATVs, and camping.
HOW ARE THE ACCOMMODATIONS? I know they have several cabins in the rental pool, but we didn’t happen to see any of them. As opposed to some of the sprawling RV parks that seem to be the prototype for most US nudist places, overnight guests and residents mainly stay in cabins, ranging from simple and rustic, to elaborate mountain homes with all the amenities. It would be a very pleasant place for tent camping as well. If you’re not staying on the grounds, it’s likely a solid 20 to 30 minute drive to the nearest hotel.
ANYTHING ELSE WE SHOULD KNOW? Hiking trails! Naked hiking is one of our most favorite things, and Solair has an excellent circuit of well marked trails, most of which are open to ATVs as well. (We were delighted that we had the trails to ourselves the day we visited, as motorized vehicles would have changed the ambiance quite a lot.) There’s a beautiful clubhouse and pool complex, all of which was closed during our visit due to the pandemic, and a snack bar operating on weekends that had an extensive menu. As mentioned in our previous report, going back in normal times during a holiday weekend would be a mixed blessing, as there would be more amenities on offer, but less opportunity to enjoy the more peaceful elements of communing with nature.
Since that visit to Solair, we have visited at least two dozen other naked places in America. Especially if you enjoy outdoor activities in a bucolic setting, Solair is hard to beat. In our opinion, it truly is one of the best naked places in America.
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